Sridas’ Music

Mr. Sridas has had no formal training in music, in the strict sense, though he loved Indian Classical music from his young days., thanks to the likes of M.K.T., M.S., Desikar and Vasanthakokilam all of whom reigned through the Cinema and phonogram Singles with renditions delineating the scope of Ragas to the fullest and , more importantly, without adulteration. He sustained his interest through participation in School Dramas and Concerts. His sister, Gowry, has had formal training in Music for a considerable period of time, including a couple of years under Maharajapuram Sri Santhanam. Sridas and his sibblings have inherited this love for Carnatic Music from their father Mr. Sivasambo, also a non-professional musician who, in his time, made his School ( Manipay Hindu College) proud by winning the first prize at the Jaffna Inter School Music competition. Dr.Sriharan, Mr.Sridas’ brother plays the Veena and Miridangam and has been giving Veena recitals over Singapore Radio during his tenure at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Sigapore. Mr. Sridas recalls with pride an occsion when he and Dr.Sriharan were featured over Singapore Radio in a Joint recital, the former on the Flute and the latter on the Veena.

Hailing from middle class Jaffna Tamil community where daughters are encouraged to learn Music and Dance and sons not, Mr. Sridas largely benefited through his sister who had music lessons at home. . In fact the foundation for his musical career was laid before he completed secondary education, during the time he was at home with his co-borns and parents. Determined to gain as much insight of this art Mr. Sridas chased his dream by practising on his own on the Flute as well as on the Veena (Yes, there was a Veena in the house, having been procured for the sister). His first Guru was Sri Ariyanayagam of Tinneveli,Jaffna who not only taught him the basics of the flute but also kept pace with his avarice at amassing as much knowledge as one possibly can, within just the two months vacation time available. He completed his training under Sri Ariyanayagam, having learnt not only a few Varnams but also a few Krirthanas too, including Raguvamsa, popularised by none other than Mali. Though Mr. Sridas had some formal training on Veena while he was a student in Madras he started learning compositions of the Trinity only after he joined public service at age 24. He built up his repertoire with assistance from Notables including Dr. Ramani, Sri Sivanandam and Saratha, Sri K.R. Ganapathy, M.A. Kalyanakrishna Bhagawathar and Calcutta Sri Krishnamurthy, among others, with visits to Madras every 3-4 years and lasting just 2-3 weeks on each occasion.

Mr. Sridas started performing over the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (earlier known as Radio Ceylon) at age 29 , both on Flute and the Veena, having been successful at the auditions held just 6 months apart. This, immediately after winning the gold medal for Instrumental music in the music competition held for amateurs by the Colombo Tamil Sangam, on an all Island basis, in 1963.

Mr. Sridas has been performing over the Radio in Sri Lanka for over 23 Years, before he left the Country in 1986 with his family, to settle down in Canada. Though , a non-professional, he devoted his leisure to development of his playing skills on both the Instruments, over the years and enjoys the distinction of recognition as a ‘Super Grade’ Artist in both Flute and Veena by Sri Lankan Radio and Television which never fails to avail of his visits to his Country of birth, to record a concert or two on each and every occasion.

Having travelled widely, mostly on Government business, Mr. Sridas has performed for audiences in India, U.K., Netherlands, U.S.A., Japan, Philippines,Malaysia and Singapore in public and or over Radio and Television.

MURALI MANOHARAM AND VEINGUZHAL VASANTHAM , two Carnatic Flute CDs released by Mr. Sridas in Toronto, in December 2002, received good reviews from connoisseurs and laymen alike.and release of his Veena CDs too, in the near future, is in the cards.