Baliphonics is a profound and ecstatic insight into the ritual music of Sri Lanka in a contemporary context. Their music draws upon a particular astrological healing ritual known as the Bali Ritual, stemming from the Southern and Western regions of Sri Lanka.
The unique quartet instrumentation of yak bera (devil drum), drum set, and bass/ soprano clarinet in combination with traditional ritual chant and dance makes the Baliphonics performances an intense and visceral experience. Prasanna, a master traditional drummer, displays the free expressive nature of Sri Lankan drumming at its best while joining his brother Susantha with chants and dance. On drum set, Sumudi has established a deep and powerful approach to his playing, integrating the Sri Lankan ritual drum vocabulary via long-standing research on this traditional music. The percussionists form the base for the raw, cathartic nature of Susantha’s transcendent chants which intertwine the deep, rich counterpoint and sonic textures of Reuben’s clarinet playing.
Baliphonics communicates the energy of an age-old ritual which struggles to find its place in a globalized, modern, contemporary society and transforms and transports us in the moment and into the past.