Musicmatters Festival 2014.

Come August there’s a treat for all music lovers in Colombo. Colombo is where you should be when the Musicmatters Festival serves up a feast of music with an amazing lineup of events featuring artists from Australia, New Zealand, UK, India, USA and South Korea.

There will be music events of many genres speckled throughout the Festival of absolute music in different locations in Colombo. Musicmatters Festival is the only established event in Sri Lanka where artists from all over the world representing a wide range of genres gather in Colombo to celebrate inspiring original music that is out of the mainstream. 

Evocative – ‘Global Rhythms Reimagined’.  5th August at 7.15 PM

Lionel Wendt Theatre,  18 Guildford Crescent, Colombo 7.

Global Rhythms Reimagined is an album of solo piano music performed by Eshantha Peiris, featuring modernist compositions influenced by rhythmic traditions from around the world. The album will be released for free download on on August 5th, along with detailed liner notes and related multimedia. Included on the album is Eshantha’s original composition ‘Mona Magul Beryakda May?’ which has been released under a Creative Commons License. The entire production of the album was financed through a crowd-funding campaign. The album launch at the Lionel Wendt Theatre will be in the form of a piano recital with Eshantha performing music from the album, as well as other similarly themed piano compositions ear-marked for future recordings. Eshantha Peiris is a multi-instrumentalist, music director, composer, and student of ethnomusicology.

Tickets for the recital will be available from mid July. 

Louis Perera Performs Bach, Mozart, Chopin & Bethoven. 6th August at 7 PM

Goethe Institut Sri Lanka, 39 Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7.

This concert features the dedicated young pianist Louis Perera, as he prepares to further his musical education from this September at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Also performing are Srimal Weerasinghe, Vidhurinda Samaraweera, and Uthsara Malaweera Arachchi. The young musicians will have the honour of performing alongside acclaimed Clarinetist and Conductor, Ajit Abeysekera, in Mozart’s Piano-Wind Quintet.


Prelude and Fugue No.12 in F minor BWV 881, from “”The Welltempered Clavier II””

Ballade No.1 in G minor Op.23

Piano Sonata No.26 in E-flat major Op.81a “”The Farewell””

Quintet in E-flat major K.452 for Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon

Srimal Weerasinghe, Oboe
Ajit Abeysekera, Clarinet
Vidhurinda Samaraweera, Horn
Uthsara Malaweera Arachchi, Bassoon
Louis Perera, Piano

Tickets for this show are Rs 500.

Grunge And Hip Hop. 6th August at 8.30 PM

Charcoal Gallery Cafe, 75 Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia.

If your taste buds like the flava of Grunge and Hip Hop lend an ear to Sakwala Chakraya, Sketch City Saturday, Larry T Hill and Dis Patis Ba Ba.

Tickets for this show are Rs 500.

Big Ears Experimental Music 7th August at 8 PM

Goethe Institut Sri Lanka, 39 Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7.

This year’s  Big Ears Music Series is curated by Isuru Kumarasinghe, who is a rare experimental musician, sonic artist that uses sound manipulation and field recordings to create original works. Among the groups featured in this concert will be Isuru’s trio Ves with saxophonist Derek Beckvold and vocalist Amila Sandaruwan in their form based approach to improvising, which Isuru identifies as dramatic sound-play.

The Humouresque Icons from New Zealand consists of Jeff Henderson – saxophones and Hermione Johnson – prepared piano. Jeff, a rare treat to be seen performing in Colombo, is an integral part of the New Zealand improvised music scene. He is one of the true master saxophonists and has been responsible for fostering Wellington underground music for many years. Jeff has played with Marilyn Crispell, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, William Parker and other giants over the years.

Darren Moore, a Singapore-based UK free-jazz drum exponent will perform in a trio with Jeff Henderson and Musicmatters resident double bassist Isaac Smith. Many other impromptu performances are expected to materialize this evening as most of the visiting artists for the festival will be in town.

Tickets for this show are Rs 500.

Music In The Courtyard on the 8th of August

Goethe Institut Sri Lanka, 39 Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7.

Music In The Courtyard features an eclectic mix of acoustic music with young performers as well as professionals. The evening will consist of several short sets and feature some of the best student groups from Musicmatters School performing a range of originals and cover songs.

In addition to students, the newly-formed young musicians’ Colombo Classical Collective will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Twenty Ninth Symphony in A major under the direction of Louis Perera.

Milan John, a Musicmatters tutor and a pianist well established in the pop music scene, will perform a solo piano set with influences of blues, jazz fusion and Sri Lankan folk music.

Guitarist Dinuka Jayasooriya will present his newly formed jazz-fusion ensemble performing a collection of standards and originals. Dinuka leads the ensemble with Praveen Thilakarathne (piano), Uvindu Perera (double bass) and Yohan Jayasooriya (drums).

The festival also welcomes the acoustic global sounds of Hania Luthufi who is back for a short stint from her studies in India with her new act “The front Gate” accompanied by Axel Onnestad on guitar.

Magic Love Mirrors with Isaac Smith and Isuru Kumarasinghe will close the evening on day 4. Using live sampling to create colorful and textural compositions .

Tickets for this show are Rs 500.

The Main Concert 9th August

Viharamahadevi Park Amphetheatre Colombo 7

The final day of Musicmatters Festival 2014 culminates the week’s musical activities into an evening which promises to be, by far, the most elaborate and exciting event presented by Musicmatters to date. Among the international artists and groups featured are Australian master drummer Simon Barker’s trio Chiri. Chiri is an internationally recognized cross-cultural ensemble with Korean singer Bae il Dong and Australian trumpeter Scott Tinkler. Chiri will be presenting a world premiere of “”Echo from an Empty Creek.

Dan Weiss is a New York based drummer/percussionist whose style combines modern jazz and Indian classical music. He has recorded and toured extensively with musicians such as David Binney, Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahantthapa, Miguel Zenon, Kenny Werner and many others. Dan will be presenting his solo drumset project which includes a combination of improvisations and tabla repertoire adapted on the drums.

Tyson Smith, an exceptional guitarist/singer/songwriter from New Zealand is back at Musicmatters Festival 2014, following up his blazing performance at last year’s festival which received much acclaim. Tyson will be performing material from his new album “The Hollow Tree”.

Percussion duo Darren Moore (Singapore based UK musician) and Suresh Vaidyanathan from India will present a unique collaboration between drumset and Ghatam.

‘The Humouresque Icons’ from New Zealand, an energetic free improvising duo consisting of Jeff Henderson – saxophones and Hermione Johnson – prepared piano, featured in the Big Ears Experimental music night will also take to the stage at the main concert.

The local groups featured in the main concert include Musicmatters affiliated groups’ Serendib Sorceres, Baliphonics and Thriloka. In addition, this year’s local line up will be enhanced with the Chamber Music Society of Colombo directed by Lakshman J de Saram featuring Asvajit Boyle, presenting Terry Riley’s “In C”, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world’s first masterpiece of music minimalism.

5pm Serendib Sorcerers
5.50pm Darren Moore and Suresh Vaidyanathan (UK, India)
6.40pm Baliphonics
7.30pm Chamber Music Society of Colombo directed by
Lakshman J de Saram featuring Asvajit Boyle
8.20pm Solo Drumset: Dan Weiss (USA)
9.10pm Chiri, World Premiere of “”Echo from an Empty Creek””
Simon Barker, Scott Tinkler, Bae il Dong (Australia/Korea)
10pm The Humouresque Icons: Jeff Henderson & Hermione Johnson (New Zealand)
10.50pm Tyson Smith (New Zealand)
11.10pm Thriloka

Tickets for this show is priced at Rs. 1000

Access is possible to all Musicmatters Festival 2014 concerts with a Festival Pass – Rs 2,500. 



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