Down a quiet lane in the fast developing and increasingly dusty district of Borella in Colombo, a small but dedicated collective of musicians spend their days playing, teaching, composing and generally living through music. Operating independently from established bodies for examinations, MusicMatters is a school that emphasizes a practical approach to teaching music that is built upon a firm belief in performance and self-assessment rather than the rigid frameworks of more traditional teaching methods.
In addition to passing on the skills of music to both young and old, the school has also initiated a series of regular public events to further their goal of promoting expression in the musical sphere. These include: Big Ears – a fortnightly evening of experimental soundscapes that creates a space for both established professionals and talented newcomers alike to perform in an environment free from the commercial restraints that all too often hinder creativity at local shows.
Music matters also hosts weekly jazz nights featuring members of their faculty, often accompanied by visiting musicians, as well as perhaps their most cutting edge series; Discotheque Superlymbique – energetic nights of organic dance music performed completely live by a varying ensemble of musicians know as Colombo Kinesthetic, playing both traditional and electronic instruments.
Their most recent venture was Soul Progressions, a laid-back night of live music ranging from Roots Reggae and Nigerian Funk to Acid Jazz, Soul, Hip-Hop and Blues, featuring Santinikethan student and sultry voiced singer, Hania Luthufi along with Musicmatters regulars; virtuoso keyboard player Eshantha Peiris, Dr. Sumudi Suraweera (Drums), Isaac Smith (Double Bass/Keyboards), Isuru Kumarasinghe (Keyboards and Synthesizer), and the well matched drums/bass/guitar trio of Sarani Perera, Uvindu Perera and Harshan Gallage. An unexpected but interesting addition to the mix of styles and skills was the inclusion ofSunara & Asvajit, DJs from the underground dance music circuit.
written by Natalie Soysa and Dr. Tetsu