Baliphonics

Live Act Worldmusic Avantgarde Jazz Folk
Baliphonics - Worldmusic Avantgarde Jazz Folk Live Act in Colombo

Baliphonics Short Info

Båliphonics presents the music of the low-country Båli ritual tradition of Sri Lanka in a sublime collaboration with contemporary jazz and improvisation. The Båli ritual is an astrological ritual and it demands the highest level of musicianship from its performers. As a result, the ritual displays the tradition’s artistry to the highest level. This ritual, however, is facing extinction due to effects of globalization and changes in modern society. With their impressive live performances, the Båliphonics shows true potential in keeping this ritual music alive in a global contemporary context.

The Båliphonics came to life in 2008 with drummer Sumudi Suraweera’s initiation, through his long standing research on the tradition of low-country ritual drumming and music. The ensemble was formed as a research project affiliated to Sumudi’s doctorate in Ethnomusicology in New Zealand. As part of the project, Sumudi brought over 3 New Zealanders to Sri Lanka for one month, to collaborate with himself (on drums) and a family of 3 ritual artists.

Since then, one of the New Zealanders - Isaac Smith - has continued to reside in Sri Lanka absorbing the local culture over the past five years. The ensemble has also been through a number of reformations during this time. A notable line up is one as a quintet in which the group recorded its debut self titled album in 2014. The current lineup, perhaps the most powerful to date, works equally well as a quartet or a trio. As a result of working on the project over several years, the interactions among the musicians are at its strongest.

Sumudi’s adaptation of the low-country drumming language on to the Western drum set in the group opens up the possibility of transforming this age old drumming tradition onto a global contemporary stage. The raw, original chanting, singing and dancing performed by Susantha Rupathilaka communicate the immense intensity and power of ritual music while being visually breathtaking. The experimental sounds and sonic textures provided by Isaac illustrate the high level of musical dialogue and interaction between the two musical cultures.

Recent concerts of Båliphonics at local festivals and the Goethe Institute in Colombo have been received and regarded very highly by local audiences. The group has also been active in the South East Asian region over the past two years with concerts in Singapore and Malaysia.

It is time that audiences outside of Sri Lanka experience the Båliphonics, witness the traditional boundaries being pushed, and transcend themselves into the spirit of the Sri Lankan ritual!

Båliphonics presents the music of the low-country Båli ritual tradition of Sri Lanka in a sublime collaboration with contemporary jazz and improvisation. The Båli ritual is an astrological ritual and it demands the highest level of musicianship from its performers. As a result, the ritual displays the tradition’s artistry to the highest level. This ritual, however, is facing extinction due to effects of globalization and changes in modern society. With their impressive live performances, the Båliphonics shows true potential in keeping this ritual music alive in a global contemporary context.

The Båliphonics came to life in 2008 with drumm...

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Past Gigs Baliphonics

  • 12 | 2015 Delhi, India Global Music Institute
  • 08 | 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka Musicmatters Festival 2015
  • 05 | 2015 Jaffna, Sri Lanka Jaffna Music Festival 2015
  • 03 | 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka Goethe Institut
  • 01 | 2015 Singapore Choppa Festival 2015
  • 08 | 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka Musicmatters Festival 2014
  • 03 | 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka Goethe Institut
  • 03 | 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Foundation
  • 02 | 2014 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Petaling Street Art House
  • 02 | 2014 Singapore Blue Jaz
  • 02 | 2014 Singapore Artists in Residence at Lassalle College of the Arts
  • 02 | 2014 Penang, Malaysia Soundmaker Studio

Discography Baliphonics

  • 2014 Baliphonics Album | Independant

Media

  • Video Båliphonics
  • Video Baliphonics at Jaffna Music...
  • Video Baliphonics in Kuala Lumpur...
  • Sound Panduvas' Leopard Misfortune
  • Sound Lo Thura

Origin

  • Colombo LK

Founded

  • 2008

Members

  • Susantha Rupathilaka Dancer / Vocalist
  • Isaac Smith Double bass
  • Sumudi Suraweera Drums

Downloads / Press Releases