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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.

Currently, the group performs both as a quartet as well as a trio. Quartet performances are the most powerful with two percussionists and two dancers at times. The unique quartet instrumentation of yak bera (devil drum), drum set, and double bass 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 Isaac’s double bass playing.

The group’s latest recording was made as a trio with Susantha, Isaac and Sumudi in January 2017.

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.

Video

Shows

09.23.2017 – The Sound Room, Colombo

01.01.2017 – Kala Pola festival, Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo

11.12.2016 – WINGS festival, Colombo Planetarium

09.27.2016 – British Council, Colombo

08.14.2016 – Musicmatters Festival 2016, Colombo

06.18.2016 – Goethe Institut, Colombo

08.15.2015 – Musicmatters Festival 2015, Barefoot Garden Cafe, Colombo

03.07.2015 – Goethe Institut, Colombo

01.24.2015 – Choppa Festival 2015, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

08.09.2014 – Musicmatters Festival 2014, Viharamaha Devi Park, Colombo

03.29.2014 – Sri Lanka Foundation Center, Colombo

03.08.2014 – Goethe Institut, Colombo

02.08.2014 – Soundmaker Studio, Penang

02.07.2014 – Petaling Street Art House, Kuala Lumpur

02.06.2014 – Blu Jaz, Singapore

02.03.2014 – Artists in Residence at Lassalle College of the Arts, Singapore

 

Audio

Jagatha Perenimithi – Panduvas’ Misfortune

Lo Thura – Buddha’s Virtues 

Pol Gediye Kavi – Birth of the Coconut

Ruthi Rathi Divi – The Blessing

Vishala Nuwara – Warding off Demons

All tracks by the Baliphonics Trio (Susantha Rupathilaka – voice, Isaac Smith – double bass, Sumudi Suraweera – drums). Recorded December 2016 at Sooriya Village Studio, Colombo by Nishan Daniel. Mixed and Mastered by Isuru Kumarasinghe.