Archive for the ‘Musiqe’ Category

The Jingy Bingy Man

I usually am an annoyance when I’m truly inspired. I go from person to person proclaiming whatever it was I experienced should be experienced by everyone. I’m a bit loony like that. People probably make jokes behind my back for that, but what the hell, I try to make this world a better place. Or at least introduce them to something TASTEFUL. 😛 Thanks to the blogosphere I can now share my enthusiasm (and sarcasm) with the World and cut down on the unwanted labor involved in going from person to person. Textbook internet benefit.

Recently, I was raving on about ‘Machan’; an absolutely brilliant film based on a true story of a group of Sri Lankans that illegally migrated to Europe under the ingenious guise of a handball team. Today, four months later, I have something else to rave about.

It was just after the conclusion of the opening night of Hamlet at Elsie’s Bar. The brilliant performance by the cast made me break my vow of not smoking up for the day. Damn it! I wish I was on stage too! The air raid on Colombo that took place a few hours before we made it to the studio seemed to matter very little because we were going to celebrate the success of opening night and talk about stuff that would make us sound quite outlandish.

The herb was really good. 😀

Buddhima was going crazy with the papers and was rolling some big ones that could be easily mistaken for shotgun mikes. We would soon find out that rolling torpedoes was one of his less significant talents. And after some unbounded fits of laughter and mundane stories, we went into the studio to chill out to the suave tune of Ranil’s Takamine guitar but were pleasantly surprised to see Buddhima join in on the jam as well. And inside the studio illuminated by that eerie neon light, we went on a musical journey that transcended the very essence of original Sri Lankan music.

Buddhi and Ranil started off with a hauntingly brilliant rendition of House of the rising sun. The crisp tone of the new strings coupled with the layered harmonies of the 12 string Yamaha guitar complimented Budhima’s robust voice. I opened my eyes after that song and smiled. I just smiled. It’s the smile that appears on your face when your mind gives two thumbs up for satisfaction. The audience of 5 burst out into applause, giving the impression of an actual unplugged concert. In my intoxicated state I was visualizing myself on the set of something similar to that of the MTV Nirvana unplugged gig. It was brilliant. I was in a happy place.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, Buddhima took the liberty of knocking our socks off with three of his original compositions. The name of his first song escapes my memory, but what a song it was. This was the first time I was hearing this and I was blown away. It wasn’t the technical intricacy of the song; there wasn’t anything intricate about it. It was simple music laced with honest words that were rooted deep in the heart of a brilliant man; Buddhi. It pored over the tribulations of a forthright man who enjoyed life the way it was; unfair yet beautiful. And after listening to the rest of his English-Sinhala compositions, I felt proud. Proud to know a guy like him. Those words stirred me to the point that I hugged him right after he finished playing his band’s song; Jingy Bingy Blues. I couldn’t keep my excitement to myself. I don’t think anyone in the studio could. That lead us to the question; What the hell was Buddhi doing all this time? His words are monumental. A throwback to the era of folk music where injustice was spat on and the beauty of everyday life was appreciated. I felt myself in the presence of the next Bob Marley, Rage Against the Machine, or Bob Dylan. Such was the vividness of those words. It made me proud as a Sri Lankan to hear those songs. I was proud that we; Sri Lanka; a country polluted with prejudices and corruption still have people like Buddhi; people who could see the unfairness of life, take it as it is and enjoy our breif stay in this world as well as we could in the face of all those adversities.

It was a great day for me. I was stirred by the simple yet beautiful music. I felt the power of words that I never thought I’d hear in a Sri Lankan song. It was beautiful. I’m still taking all of that in. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that a cynic like myself would be stirred by words that were simple yet momentous.

The sad thing is that no authority in the right mind would let this material go out to the public unless they want a state of free thinking and ouspoken constituents. The thought itself would turn the gleaming smiles of our crooked politicos into grisly grimaces. But I envision Buddhi being one of the cult icons of our generations. That is the effect that his words had on me. I never thought I’d find inspiration so close to me. Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Richard Branson, and Maynard James Keenan have been the only people who have fostered a change in me.

I’m proud to add Buddhima de Mel of Wagon Park to that list.


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