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Soul Scape

In present day Sri Lanka,music would hardly seem to be the balm to soothe the frazzled nerves of a strife-torn nation.

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | Published: February 18, 2009 11:26 pm

Sri Lankan band Soul Sounds is set to spread the message of peace and harmony in India

In present day Sri Lanka,music would hardly seem to be the balm to soothe the frazzled nerves of a strife-torn nation. But every time Soundarie David and her all-girls band Soul Sounds take to the stage,all that they hope for is a little reprieve for a nation in the throes of a heartbreakingly bloody civil war. “We sincerely hope that music can have some kind of role in healing the wounds of the nation. If this just does not seem realistic enough,then at least we hope that we can,through song and music,create a sense of momentary relief,where you are able to forget your troubles and live with the sense of hope that there will be an answer soon,” says David,who along with her band will be performing in the capital on February 21 at Purana Qila,as part of the South Asian Bands Festival,scheduled from February 20 to 22.

One of Sri Lanka’s most well-known musical outfits,Soul Sounds’ repertoire includes everything from classical to pop,jazz,fusion and even sacred music. They have performed around the world with stalwarts such as Cliff Richards and Russel Watson,won three golds at the World Choir Games held in Austria last year and even recorded for the 1997 Hollywood flick,Mother Theresa. “Our arrangements have grown more intricate over the years. We have also had expert training from a gospel artist from the United States,so our repertoire has grown,and even includes contemporary gospel. We also do a few accapella performances,” says David. But the group has so far avoided any commentary on the socio-political crisis of their native land that has seen the government engaged in a bloody tryst with the LTTE for over two decades. “Given the ethnic conflict in our country,we hope for peace. We do not get involved with the political situation per se,but we spread the message of peace through our songs. Music cuts through all barriers,regardless of race,religion,caste and creed. And if we can pass this message through song,then this is what matters the most to us,” she says.

Formed in 2004 by a bunch of girls who went to the same school and performed together in the school choir,Soul Sounds is now a 25-member all-girls band,with members ranging between 14-27 years. For their third Indian sojourn,only six of the members will travel to Delhi. “It will be a smaller group,as this was the allocation for each country. But what the audience can expect is something that goes beyond the band concept.” The focus would be on the singers,with accompaniment only on keyboards and drums,” she says. Tune in.

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