Recollecting a music icon, legend Ranasinghe Arachchige Chandrasena ( Perera)
“There is no lasting spot for exploits and fame or you may quote Mark Anthony’s phrase, “The good that one does is often interred.” <br aria-hidden="true" The veritable truth of this statement is often witnessed in contemporary lives. Lofty and amazing feats of human endeavour very often failed to be lauded and commemorated by the state. Memories linger only in the minds of the fellow citizen. Human memories being frail they very often fade away Queerly, however, the two State television broadcasters have decided to air a two-hour commemorative program titled appropriately as ‘Nomiyena Sihinaya’ and ‘Peo Legend’ to honour past legends. A legend who deserves a permanent place in this commemorative endeavour is Ranasinghe Arachchige Chandrasena Perera, musician 1940-1980.
The other films with his musical scores were ‘Iranganie,’ ‘Mathabedaya,’ ‘Daiva Vipakaya,’ ‘Vedi Bima,’ ‘Vanaliya’ and ‘Miringuwa’. The vocalists chosen were Rukmani Devi, Mohideen Beg, Dharmadasa Walpola, Shirley Blight, Eddie Jayamanne, Suriya Rani, GSB Rani, Latha Walpola, Sujatha Perera, Milton Perera and Mabel Blight. RAC has sung many songs composing his own music. The highlight was theme song for the drama ‘Sanda Kinduri,’ the ‘Dasabaladari Budu Bala Pera Kala’ with lyrics by Professor S.L. Kekulawela. This song was reproduced and sung by his grandson Harshadeva Ariyasinghe in 2013.It is learnt that in the early 1950s it had been RAC who was commissioned to provide musical flourishes. He had been accountable for inviting singers like Mohideen Beg, Rukmani Devi and rest. He established his own musical school in 1951 ‘Chandrasena Institute of Music’. This helped many aspiring musicians. He never discriminated anyone who were keen on learning. In 1961 RAC launched a ‘gramophone record company’ under the label RAC and Shrimath producing all his music compositions on 45 RPM EP records exclusively marketed for the Sri Lankan Sinhala audiences. This venture was not successful. He had before his death in 1980 commenced a piano business which was continued by his wife Sriyani. During his brief lifespan of only 56 years, he had achieved incredible reputations as a proficient composer of music, a singer, teacher, a drama/film/light songs music director, more over as an exclusive mentor to so many key music personalities in our music world. The proverb “the good die young” was amply illustrated by RAC’s death. He was barely 56 when he died. During his brief lifetime he realised his sole passion of enhancing and enriching his beloved Sinhala music. More than his innovative contributions musically, his greatest legacy to the musical world was to identify guide and nurture those artistes of modern times who made Sinhala music a mammoth advance be admired.
It is very sorry to learn that hardly anything had been written on Legendary RA Chandrasena…Even photos are unavailable…The writer,Sunil THENABADU based in Brisbane, can be reached via e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)