The Serendib Sorcerers is a project that explores new musical possibilities of folk music in Sri Lanka together with improvisational, contemporary and Western approaches to music. Their debut album ‘Jana Gee Reworked’ was released in 2016 and received much acclaim locally. In September 2019, the Sorcerers released their second album, ‘Pathulen Muthu gena’ comprising of a collection of unfamiliar pieces of Sri Lanakan folk songs from different local regions.
The Serendib Sorcerers consists of Susantha Rupathillaka (voice), Sarani Perera (guitar), Uvindu Perera (bass), Sumudi Suraweera (drums) and Prasantha Rupathilaka (Sri Lankan percussion).
Susantha Rupathilaka (born in 1970) is also a well established traditional artist in Sri Lanka. Susantha, too, was exposed to ritual performances at a young age, where most of his learning occurred through his father and grandfather. Like Prasanna, Susantha has also been a member of the State Dance Ensemble. Susantha is currently the only permanent musician in the area of traditional music at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation. His collaborative nature is also apparent throughout his career, having performed with a number of leading dance ensembles and artists in Sri Lanka, most notably the Chithrasena Dance Ensemble, Budhawatta Dance Ensemble, Ravibandu Vidyapathi and Panibaratha.
Prasanna Rupathilaka (born in 1972), is a rare exponent of Sri Lankan traditional drumming, as he is equally experienced and established in both the contemporary music scene as well as the Sri Lankan upcountry and low country ritual forms. His experience as a contemporary musician began in 1989 when he worked as an artist for the International Peace Council of Sri Lanka. Prasanna has a collaborative nature and this is evident from his career; he has designed and built a drum which has Sri Lankan and Japanese influences, performed at the WOMAD Festivals in Singapore and Sri Lanka, and conducted a drum orchestra of 350 drummers, which was commissioned by the International Cricket Council. Currently Prasanna is a member of the Sri Lankan State Dance Ensemble and is a respected teacher in both Kandyan and Low Country Drumming forms.
Uvindu Perera, a self educated musician from Colombo, has been an active musician and educator, enhancing culture through performance and teaching creative music making for children. A bass guitarist by trait, he has worked with multiple artists and projects including the Soul, Serendib Sorcerers, Colombo Kinesthetics, Thriloka, Brahminy Kites, Sakvala Chakraya and more. Being part of Musicmatters (a reputed creative music school for children in Colombo) since its inception in 2010 as a musician and teacher has pushed him toward other mediums and different methods of approaching instruments and music itself, opening up to experimenting with sound in many forms.
Sarani Perera on guitar, has been in the forefront of the growing alterantive underground music scene in Colombo, for the past decade. With an equal interest in being a guitarist, sound artist and feild recording, his contribution to numeruos siginificat local projects such as Thriloka, Soul, Tom Cat and Magnum have been widely acclaimed.
Sumudi Suraweera attained his doctorate in Ethnomusicology in 2010 from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. His research focused on Sri Lankan Low-Country traditional drumming. Prior to this, in 2005, he completed a Bachelor of Music in jazz, majoring in drums, with first-class honours. In his own ensembles Sumudi leans his focus on experimentation with Sri Lankan traditional musical material. Aside from the Serendib Sorcerers, he has initiated a number of other collaborative groups including the Baliphonics and the Musicmatters Transcoastal Collective.
Sample track “Deva Prashasthi” from “Pathulen Muthugena”
The full album is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and other platforms.
8 March 2020 – Luna Festival, kalipitya, Sri Lanka
26 October 2019 – Dots, Hirikeitya, Sri Lanka
17 August 2019 – Goethe Institute, Sri Lanka
3 August 2019 – Sri Lanka Foundation, Sri Lanka