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2011 has been yet another hectic year for Soul Sounds, with many local concerts, as well as a concert tour of Australia. It was great being back in Sydney and Melbourne, and we thank all those who worked so tirelessly to make these concerts a reality. We would also like to thank all those who have supported the choir over the years, not just in terms of funding, but most importantly by being there and encouraging us throughout our many endeavors. Soul Sounds has been truly blessed!

Exploring new repertoire has been one of our challenges in 2011, and our pop concert was an attempt to put popular music into choral form. The choir really did their best, both in terms of the singing and the choreography, which was entirely handled by them. Having missed Prof. Wilson at the beginning of the year, we thought it would be apt to get him for our Thanksgiving Concert, which was held on the 24th of November 2011. It was not merely a

refreshing experience to work yet again on our gospel repertoire, but also a spiritual revival to have Prof. Wilson with us, reminding us to 'pray without ceasing' knowing and believing that with God as our guide nothing is impossible.

As many of us go deeper into our career aspirations and family commitments, it is not always easy, but the music keeps us going. We hope that music will always be the driving force behind our group, and that through this, we can reach out to you all, especially in the coming year, with new ideas, a unique event in September, some great projects, not forgetting an inspiring selection of new music. Once again thank you for your support in 2011, and we wish you all a blessed Christmas and a new year full of love, peace, and music!

Musically yours,
 
 

Soul Sounds has experienced a very busy year! We had a very successful pop concert in June and were invited to perform once again in Sydney and Melbourne in September this year. A huge thank you to the organizers who went the extra mile to make our stay Down Under truly memorable.

We have been indeed blessed to have Prof. Mark Wilson return to Sri Lanka this year and perform a wonderful and energetic gospel concert to celebrate Thanksgiving at Mount Lavinia Hotel. His passion and energy for the music he creates is as always, truly inspiring.

 

2011 also saw many of our choristers tie the knot and choir baby No. 2 was born :)

We are currently gearing up for our Christmas concert, which will be held on 20th December at the Cinnamon Grand and we hope to see you there!

Of course none of this would be possible without the driving force behind Soul Sounds – Soundarie herself whose resilience in the face of adversity is truly remarkable.

2012 is almost upon us and promises to be an interesting one filled with new experiences for the choir and we hope that you can join us as we embark on this journey of discovery through music and soul.

May the peace and joy of Christmas surround you and yours this season!

 


 

 


It is 10 am on a Saturday morning and the breakfast that I have just eaten has barely settled in my stomach. I look at the clock and realize I have only 30 minutes to fix something for lunch and head out. But the list of chores at home, and the lengthy to-do list in life do prod at my conscience as a reminder of things not-yet-done. The unfinished tasks, and the quick passing of the weekend owing to singing makes me wonder why I sacrifice my time to sit with twenty other women and sing!

 

For someone who never imagined her singing career to go beyond the school choir, committing a couple of hours every weekend can seem absurd sometimes. However, I realize that singing is like a pill that cures diseases of the mind - setting words to a dotted crotchet and a quaver or a minim, whether semitones or tones apart, provides temporary relief from the weekend musings of my mind.


By listening to the soothing strokes of the pianists' hands and the blend of female voices, the sore muscles are relaxed and the mind is intoxicated. Piano introductions that mimic trumpets take over my weary self to lift my spirits and adjust my posture, to herald the grand piece as it makes its entrance. Contrasts between piano leggiero and fortissimo require every bit of my concentration and energy to give life to the piece. As draining as it may be, the concentration shifts the focus from the thoughts that plague my mind - the imperfect moments in personal relationships and the burden of my uncertain future - to the processes at work that need to be more efficient and gifts that need to be purchased.

  
Singing also triumphs over my fear, anxiety, uncertainty and personal weaknesses in a manner similar to prayer. Left to my own will, praising God in the midst of a crisis seems absurd. Yet being uprooted from various crises and diverse states of mind, I find myself firmly planted on fertile ground where the soil of gospel music emits inspiration, guidance, and strength. When circumstances in my life seem impossible, singing of God’s power and of his reassurance, magically replaces my despair with hope. My journey with Soul Sounds is also special because obstacles such as a lack of finances and red tape in offices that have threatened to abort dreams and journeys have miraculously been removed to pave the way for the journey forward. 


Reflecting on my experience, the name Soul Sounds appears apt because it has enabled my soul to be influenced by the music I sing, as well as to give voice to the sound in my soul.


Anushka Fernando-Goonetilleke


The British Welfare Group organised a Charity Musical Evening at Westminster House on 28th October, graciously hosted by  H.E. The British High Commissioner, Mr. John Rankin. 

Soul Sounds generously supported this event and performed to a captivated audience of 200 guests. It was  a most successful evening despite the damp weather.

The charities supported by the British Welfare Group range from assistance to orphanages, the elderly and handicapped and recently the building of drinking water wells in the Dambulla district. The Group is greatly indebted to Soundarie David for her willing support and to Soul Sounds for their time and a wonderful performance.

 

 

Magic on Stage

Together we stand
Before the crowds
Silence
Silence
The only sound
As the music begins
Our hearts sing out
Soul to Soul
Creating magic on stage
Those moments so special
We cherish together
Remembering
The music we make together
Soul to Soul
We share a bond
That creates something special
A kind of
Magic on stage
Our hearts explode
With faith and love
As an energy Devine
Keeps our music alive
Soul to Soul
As we go on
Creating magic on stage

 

 

Saumya Fernando


 

 

 

We are all entirely too familiar with the standard Christmas music we hear on the radio, see on television or listen to at various Christmas carol services. Why not add a little spice to your Christmas music collection this year? Here are some world music Christmas albums that we hope will interest you!

‘On Christmas Night' - Cherish the Ladies

This album, released in the year 2004, is by the well-known all female Irish-American super group Cherish the Ladies. While the musicianship of the group is beyond compare, the stunning choice of song is indeed music for the soul. The album is soft and elegant, providing the perfect setting to put you in a truly Christmas mood!


‘AfroAndina Chrismas' - Jose Luis Madueno & Ricardo Silva

Madueno and Silva are both well-known Afro-Peruvian musicians, whose styles combine African traditions with Latin and Native Peruvian elements. This 2003 album, has them performing Christmas songs in their signature cross-cultural style, and while they do perform several very well known songs, including all time Christmas favourite Jingle Bells, they perform them in their own signature style.


‘Christmas Bayou' - Michael Doucet

Michael Doucet is a world renowned Cajun Fiddler and founder of the Cajun band ‘Beausoleil’. This particular 1994 album is one of his best! It features an impressive lineup of backing musicians, including Sonny Landreth. He performs a range of traditional Christmas songs and many from the Cajun repertoire.

 

‘Winter Dreams for Christmas' - R. Carlos Nakai & William Eaton

R. Carlos Nakai is an absolute master of the Native American cedar flute, and on this album, he together with William Eaton give a quiet, contemplative treatment to several Christmas classics. This album, released in the year 1993, may seem not have a wide appeal, but for those fans of Native American flute music, it's a definite treasure. The songs are performed in an improvisational style, but still retain their original melody and are a pleaure to the musical soul.


‘Wow Gospel Christmas' - Various Artists

This best selling 2007 release from the WOW series compiles two discs' worth of the finest contemporary gospel acts doing their spirited best on classic Christmas songs, including ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Joy to the World’ as well as some soul stirring originals such as ‘God Speaking’ and ‘In the Presence of a King, which have become holiday staples among Christmas Gospel music.


 




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