Baliphonics At The Melodies Of Folk Festival

Baliphonics At The Melodies Of Folk Festival

The 28th of Jan saw The Baliphonics take stage for the first time this year, at the Viharamahadevi Open Air Theater for a special performance for Melodies Of Folk.

Personnel: Susantha Rupathilaka (voice/dance), Isaac Smith (double bass), Prasantha Rupathilaka (voice/yak bera), Sumudi Suraweera (drums)
Baliphonics is a contemporary act working with ritual music that has been around for a few years now. It is amazing to see how their sound has developed over the past few years into something that is inspiring to watch for both traditionalists, and the ones who are looking out for modern sounds. Their set at Melodies of Folk comprised of 7 tunes and they really managed to capture the audience from the beginning to the end, with music ranging from serious chants to very danceable, authentically Sri Lankan grooves.
The highlight of the set was their take on the ‘Isivara Saudama’ – a song dedicated to the astrological deity associated with the Sun. Sumudi’s adaptation of this groove on the drumset sounded so authentic, but modern at the same time. The original ritual singing style and drumming of Susantha and Prasantha juxtaposed with Isaac’s counterpoints and basslines sounded excellent. The strong ending of the piece highlighted some dance movements that are unique to the Low-Country dance tradition of Sri Lanka.
 
Susantha’s presence and energy as the front man of Baliphonics has the potential to captivate anyone in the audience. This is definitely one act that is worth exporting for the rest of the world to witness. 
In case you were not there to check out the act live, here’s their entire set.

 review by G.

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