Sunil Santha’s legacy for posterity | Sunday Observer

Sunil Santha’s legacy for posterity

22 January, 2023

Sunil Santha was a beloved composer, singer and lyricist. He was a revolutionary personality in the development of Sinhala folk music in the mid to late 1940s and early 1950s. Having composed the soundtracks for Lester James Peries’ films Rekava and Sandesaya in 1956 and 1960, he was an outstanding artiste who had the ability to draw the beauty of nature and embed it with music.

His music has impacted generations and is loved and respected to this date. In memory of the lyrical masterpieces produced by Sunil Santha, The Sunil Santha Society held Sunila Sobha, homage to the musical journey of Sunil Santha at the Ministry of Education recently.

The Sunila Soba project was created by Sunil Santha Society Project Director Wasantha Kulathunga and sponsored by Sunil Santha Society Chairman Lanka Santha. The Ministry of Education assisted the Sunil Santha Society to connect musically inclined people all over the island.

When asked about how Sunil Santha’s music has influenced him, Kulathunga said, “I grew up listening to Sunil Santha’s music. It made me appreciate the environment I was living in.

I saw nature with a whole new light and started to feel love and affection towards it. This has greatly impacted the way I view the world and I am grateful for him. I believe invoking this kind of emotion in the audience is the duty of an entertainer. His connection with Sunil Santha’s music as a child was one of the key reasons Kulathunga initiated this project.

He believes that present day children do not have access to a more interactive environment as he did when he was a child, due to the many adversities of technology and that he believed that he wanted to give them this experience.

“The most important thing is to produce a sensitive, caring and creative future generation and I believe music can do that. I simply wanted to awake that spirit within our future generations with the help of the melodious works of this veteran musician,” Kulathunga said.

The musicians involved in the Sunila Sobha concert were all part of musical education, lecturers and professors and most of those who supported by singing are students of the arts faculties. “We wanted it to have an educational background because we are involving the Ministry of Education,” said Kulathunga.

He said Sunila Sobha concerts will be conducted this year based on requests from schools.