We have recently heard that you are making songs for children. First, I would like to know how did you get into music?
I remember, being very fond of playing a musical instrument as a child. In the meantime, my father created a strange product by putting together a coconut shell, a board, and four wires, and he called it a “Violin”. So, I started calling it the “Coconut-shell-violin”. I used to make a sound from the new instrument and sometimes, I sang pieces of songs, too.
Understanding my passion and interest in music, my parents brought me a baby violin from abroad through a relative. I was eight years old when I first picked up a violin. However, by the year 2002, I graduated from Lucknow University in Bhathkhande, India, and earned the degree of Sangeeth Visharada. At the age of eleven, I got the opportunity to play the violin on Sri Lanka Radio's Lama Pitiya program.
I have participated and won in all island music competitions during my school days up to A/L classes. Later, I was able to present many new songs, composed by myself for the Rupavahini Gee Kekulu program and Sirasa Channel's Punchi Panchi program.
Though I didn't choose music for university subjects or career, I knew that life could be balanced through music.
It is a universal language... Also, music can touch and heal the human heart.
Can you describe the aim of the ND Production YouTube channel...?
Through the channel, I hope to bring children's enjoyment to a higher level and increase their imagination. In addition to the songs, I am also working on a series of musical dramas to include on the channel. I hope the musical dramas developed based on moral stories would be suitable for the era. "Two Brothers" is the first musical drama, I included in the channel.
In addition, there is an opportunity for children who have singing skills to join us to show their talents. It is a common thing to see these days that the songs suitable for children are very rare, so they always choose songs that are more suitable for adults...thereby limiting the enjoyment of children. Filling this gap is another objective of the ND Production YouTube channel.
It is mentioned that you do the lyrics and music for the channel's creations... Shall we leave a little note about that, too?
Yes. So far, all my creative work, songs, musical drama, and stories have been written by myself. I have been writing articles for newspapers, translations, and children's fiction for about twenty-five years now. The experience gained from being in the field of writing for a long time helps me to create works for the channel.
Importantly, we must attend with much care when writing for children. Not only that, but the modern child is also very different. Not like our time. Therefore, developing songs, and painting for children should also be changed according to the era.
You have also added a series of very beautiful and attractive animations to support your songs and drama. How did you get the knowledge for those designs
Even though I didn't study art in a particular way, my father gifts me with the talent of art. I learned how to balance a picture in a frame and how to match colours by watching him draw cartoons every day. My father was my art master.
Let me explain more about developing pictures with animation. After listening to the song, the special moments should be identified, and the frames should be outlined. Then the characters should be arranged one by one in a meaningful way.
I always try to use pictures, colors, and shapes that are suitable for the child's mind. I try to focus on the relevant incident. One can see that I have used different images for the same character. For example, "Two Brothers" music drama has not always used the same characters or same rat.
In the real world, our figure changes according to the occasion and the location.
Change happens every moment. That is the reality of our life. The change that happens to us every moment is not visible to our naked eyes. So I try to highlight this fact through my creations.
One should have the freedom to create a picture in his mind and enjoy it. If we practice that, a new and different society will be built. However, I get the necessary technical knowledge in animation from my husband.
You work as a Senior Commissioner at the Inland Revenue and are also engaged in many other community services. Meanwhile, how do you find time to develop the channel?
One thing that everyone always says is that we don't have time. I know very well that there are only twenty-four hours in a day. But if we manage it properly, we can turn those twenty-four hours into forty-eight.
Recently, with the current crisis in the country, I was also in the fuel queue. I had to wait for about three and a half hours. But I came out of the queue having composed a children's song. So, I believe there is enough time. We need to find it out.
The readiness of the President and the Prime Minister to open doors for a "public-participatory" reform program for a profound and positive change in the system can be considered as a unique revolution likely to take place in the context of the youth uprising.
In the immediate aftermath of the ending of the internal civil war, it occurred to me that Sri Lanka would soon go bankrupt and plunge into anarchy in the face of the deterioration of the state and the socio-political system caused by the neglect of essential reforms.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country, known as the "Gem of the Indian Ocean". This beautiful country had suffered from war. The civil war lasted for 26 years. In the early post-war period, the entire country was devastated and left to be rebuilt. There was an urgent need for Sri Lankan people to rebuild their homes and develop their economy.