Music is soothing to the mind and this is probably why Visharada Sri Jayamini Attanayake is never disassociated with it. She has experienced challenging periods in life and says that music offered the soothing effect of a balm during such times. During an interview with Nation, Jayamini spoke fondly of her travels to India to pursue higher studies in music. “It was a divine experience for me. Unlike here in Sri Lanka where studying this subject is restricted to the classroom for a few periods a day, in India they dedicate the whole day to study music,” said Jayamini.

She learnt classical and semi classical music in several Gurukulas (Teacher’s homes) and received the love and affection of the teachers who taught music at these schools. After returning to Sri Lanka with a deep knowledge in music, she found employment as a journalist at Lake House. She bagged the Up-coming Women Journalist of the year award in 2008 and also sang many songs. Her song ‘Kandulu Diyawela Watunath’ topped the chart in Rupavahini’s Sith Gath Gee program in year 2000.

Jayamini said that she never craved for fame and publicity. But she now believes this is a time in her life where she needs to ride on the popularity wave created by music videos. “This is the trend now,” she said adding, “Earlier I wrote about famous artistes and their songs, but now it’s time to focus on my skills and produce more songs.” She has 12 songs to her credit.

She speaks fondly of her experiences in India. She did research on Hindustani classical music and learnt this art with the aid of various scholars, who represented various Gurukulas in India. She cultivated friendships with the high class classical musicians and went onto obtain her Sangeeth Vishared Degree from Bhathkande university.

She showed a lot of promise in music at the Aesthetic Faculty of the Kelaniya University by bagging the award for the Best Lyricist in year 2000. Talking about present classical songs she said that artistes should change the structure of music and try out new music patterns.

She is at present employed at JMC International School as a music teacher and works with children belonging to different age groups.

Jayamini had her first lessons in music from Daya Perera before inputs were made to her career by renowned music teachers like Kolitha Bhanu Dissanayake, Rashmi Sangeetha, Visharada Sanath Nandasiri and Amara Ranatunga. But her music studies accelerated after going to India when coming under the tutelage of Professor Joharpal. She took this opportunity to state that her late father was a great source of inspiration in her music career.

According to Jayamini, music has helped elevate traits within her like patience, kindness, peacefulness, selflessness, compassion and sensitivity to another level. “My style is silent. Music is a meditation for me,” she said.

This bright spark in the music field said that people should have a good education and be spiritually and morally sound to appreciate classical music. However she said that one doesn’t need a huge knowledge of music to appreciate semi-classical music. Concluding the interview she said, “If Hinustani music can be compared to the sea, what I have learnt, in India up to now, can be likened to taking a sip from this great mass of water.”

Jayamini (left) with one of her music teachers in india
Jayamini (left) with one of her music teachers in india

Gurukul (4) Gurukul (3) Gurukul (2)