REVIEW BY AZARA JALEEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY BUDDHIMA KURUKULASURIYA
..The audience consisted of excited students from all over the island, eager looking military personnel, religious leaders, enthusiastic families, academia, diplomatic communities and tourists.They were engaging with each other not only through conversations but also through creative exchanges through music. It was heartwarming to see Sinhala speaking students and teachers from Galle questioning the Tamil speaking Carnatic musicians about their music. Although they did a fairly good job communicating with each other through language code-switching, a gentleman from the audience who was trilingual volunteered to translate each other’s questions and answers. For me personally, this was a great example of an organic dialogue where the participants as opposed to the leaders facilitated a platform for discussion with an earnest spirit to respect, recognize and learn about the differences of the cultural influences of different musical communities.
Another interesting aspect I noticed at most of the performances at the Jaffna Music Festival was the fusion of different types of music belonging to the genres of traditional, classical and contemporary forms. The group that was headed by Wageshan Sivanathan was symbolic of a futuristic nation for me as it included both Hindustani and Carnatic musical instruments, performers from different ethnic groups and first language speakers of different languages. Whilst different instruments represented different cultures, the harmony, an interesting word that denotes peaceful co-habitation and a musical note, resulted in forming a…
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