( By courtesy of www.dailynews.lk, 16th November 2006)
T.M. Jayarathne, one of Sri Lanka's most popular Sinhala singers, who has been actively and passionately involved in the music industry for the past 20 years was met recently at his premises in Kandewatha, along with his wife and son Isuru.
This musical man was born in Dodangoda and his first music notes were taught at St. Anthony's College and later on at Maliyadeva College. At first it was only violin that he learnt. But during his spare time T.M. used to sing local melodies and that's how he recalled the start in the music scene.
One day C.J.S. Kulathilaka who was heading the Folk and Research unit at the Broadcasting Corporation came and asked T.M. to sing collections of Lanka's folk songs like "Gana Thel Sadun" over radio. That made T.M. to open his doors to the world of music.
Opportunities came flying for him to sing background songs for films. T.M. said his first song "Lahiru Dahasak" was written by Sunil Ariyarathne and music composed by Khemadasa was a wonderful experience which was a film of Lester's.
"Films brought awards, fame, blessings of the fans and much more," T.M. said. Still he kept his eyes open, accepted everything in a good will and led a simple life with the family. Apart from the eastern music T.M. enjoys Arabic, Hindi, Western, Classical, instrumental music etc.
T.M. said music has changed considerably during the past years. The lyrics, themes, productions, instruments have brought plus and minus points to the local music industry. T.M. also added today's music, lyrics, instruments are far better and of high quality than old simple songs of yesterday.
Even though there is an improvement, today they are commercialised, hard and tough. For that reason itself many of today's songs are not beautiful as yesterday's, which brought relaxation. Malini Jayarathne, was wearing a simple smile from the time I came and I was truly lost for seconds with the background song....
I'm the "sun" of this world
Where the mother is the "moon"
Its the "sun and the "moon" which
brightened your life together
Going through life's difficulties
To bring you up my son
But not many hosannas are
Sung praising a father's love
She was once the daughter who loved her father so much and today been the mother of two, knew how much a father could love the children. Malini said usually the lyrics she have done such as Sonduru Athithaye, Amma Sandaki are her life experiences or day-to-day thoughts. Malini also added in the future that she might give a thought to write a book.
Next was the charming young Isuru who gave his views in the present music scene.
"Today people appreciate good music and have highly developed tastes in music. It is not an easy task to please today's audience. A singer has to give the best to be popular," Isuru said.
He also added that he has no intention to step into the industry just for the sake of been popular. Isuru's main priority is to touch the audience in a creative way following his father yet not been a duplicate of him. But accepting the blessings and to do a new change in music industry while going parallel with his work as a teacher. Isuru said he has planned to launch the first CD mid December.
Sun is slowly hiding away, while letting the moon to rise. It was time for me to leave the Jayarathne "Kedella" promising another meeting somewhere, some how, sometime soon... While taking back the wonderful memories.
Pictures by Ranjith Jayaweera
SAATunes Album "Amma Sandaki" by T M Jayaratne