Diliup Gabadamudalige
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Diliup Gabadamudalige, from Sri Lanka, is a Keyboardist, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, Producer and Performer. He Performed in Sri Lanka and abroad for over 25 years and is now retired from the music business and teaches Piano, Violin, Guitar and Audio Engineering to selected students on an individual basis. He was the Music Director of Young Asia Television (YA TV) from its inception till December 2003. Diliup is the Pioneer of MIDI music and Computer based music production in Sri Lanka. He introduced these systems to Sri Lanka as far back as 1986. Constant demonstrations over various television channels made many people aware of the use and the value of computers in music.

He pioneered teaching Computer Music Technology/ in 2002. Many have opened studios in many parts of the country after learning under him. His vision is to spread the technology away from the city and to make it a home based business. Looking at the spread of computer based recording studios in the country, it can be easily said that his dream has become a reality.

Diliup also introduced Computer Animation to Sri Lanka when in 1988 he produced many of his music videos with the local ITN Television station using an Atari computer for the Graphics work chroma keyed onto the studio shots. Later he started using an Amiga 4000 and did many Tv commercials. Due to his busy schedule, he had to drop the animation work in the mid 1990s. As of December 2005, he is back with much enthusiasm working with Lightwave 3D on a new animated cartoon series. More about Diliup's work and achievements can be found on the Music, Services and Awards Pages.

He studied Piano under Mrs. Manel Weerasinghe and the Violin under Mrs. Eileen Prins. He is a prize winner in Piano from the Trinity College of Music London. He was also the leader of the Junior Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka under Mrs. Carmel Raffel for two years.

A product of Royal College, Colombo, Diliup was a pioneer member of the Royal College Band, and  was the main organizer of the school's first ever musical show in the '70s titled "Drosophila" (zoological name of a fruit fly).

Diliup composed his first piece of music on the piano when he was around 11 years.

In the middle '70s he was introduced to the contemporary music scene then by Jehan Rajapakse, who is an old school buddy and Kumar Navaratnam of "Kumar Navaratnam and friends" fame. Kumar specialized in the music of Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix and showed Diliup his first keyboard solos for Santana music. Ramanan, Tabovardan and Yogu were also friends from this era who introduced Diliup to the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, King Crimson, Jethro Tull etc. He was offered a place in "Gabo and the Breakaways" a leading pop/dance band as a keyboard player, but could not take it up as he was still studying for his Olís.

From 1974 to 1976 he played violin, flute and organ with Kumar's band. In 1976 he formed his own band "Mary", Playing multi keyboards with Ravi Balasuriya (lead guitar) of "The Buggs" fame, Aruna Siriwardane (drums), Benjy Ranabahu (bass guitar) Harin Watson (rhythm guitar) and Dwight Van Gramberg(vocals). Due to the encouragement that he got from Ravi,his first song was written in April 1976, titled "Thoughts of Tomorrow". They enjoyed great success in the local music scene and it was during this period that Diliup was titled the "keyboard wizard".

Two people also worthy of mention here are Auggi Ranaweera, who used to lend Diliup a Roland Jupiter-4 Synthesizer simply because "Diliup knew how to programme it and make full use of it" and Upali Edirisinghe (of Pioneers Sound) who used to give Diliup "credit" to buy new MIDI gear from him and for the use of his practice rooms.

During this period he also freelanced as a keyboard player and played with bands like Sohan and the Experiments, Zaragon and Bumble Bee. In 1978, Diliup joined the famous Sri Lankan pop group Amazing Grace (later called Grace) playing piano and synthesizer. This was the first time he laid his hands on the Roland SH-5 Synthesizer. Diliup spent nearly 8 hours a day learning to programme the Synth to play different sounds. Around 1978 Diliup saw a "machine" do incredible things like answer questions and find names of the capital city if the country was given, at an exhibition in his school. This "machine" which was an early computer, sparked an interest in Diliup.

In late 1979 Diliup left Grace which took wings to perform in Switzerland and joined Air Lanka the new national carrier as an aircraft technician and went on to win the Award for the Best Student in Aircraft Engines and Airframes. While training at the Air Force Academy in China Bay, Trincomalee, he thought that the airline industry was going to be his future and that music would take second place. During this period Ray de Silva a young musician/singer (who later went on to be Diliup's first student to learn the art of computer music), along with another musician, learnt that Diliup was in Trincomalee. They approached the Air Force Base Commander and requested him to release Diliup to join them to perform at a well known tourist resort, the Nilaweli Beach Hotel. As Diliup excelled in his studies he was given special permission to join this outfit to perform on Fridays and Saturdays.

Diliup came to Colombo with his batch mates in 1980 and started working as an Aircraft Technician at the Colombo Airport in Katunayake. During this time he made many tv appearances and his seniors, many of whom  were Canadians and Hong Kong Chinese, used to ask him why he did not take up music as a carreer as they used to watch his programmes at night.

In 1982 Diliup came under the management of Earl Arnolda also known as Bobby, who was a leading showbiz manager and has managed artists like The Fireflies and Dalrene. After working at the airline during the day, he performed at many venues booked by Earl at night. Earl invested in a Yamaha Electone on which Diliup practiced during his free time and mastered the art of playing the pedal bass. Diliup now uses a Roland PK5 MIDI pedal keyboard for this purpose.

In 1983 Diliup formed "High Energy" with Dalrene who was one of Sri Lanka's finest female western singers. He bought his first synthesizer, a Roland Sh-2 which he proudly owns to this day!

In early 1985 he formed "Shock" an alternative band playing only their own music. It was during this time that he wrote Sri Lanka's first song with rap lyrics in it titled "Feel all this love". Chitral "chity" Somapala who is now an international rock singer in Germany performing with rock bands like Avalon, was the Bassist who was taken in on request by his father the late  P.L.A. Somapala who was one of Sri Lanka's top singers. The only concert by Diliup with "Shock" was sponsored by the then Roland agents in Sri Lanka, The Hi Fi Centre. Bala Namasivaya the owner of the company  lent many a hand to Diliup as he believed that "Diliup pushes an instrument to do things that may be even beyond it's limits".

He left the airline industry in 1985 to become a professional musician. By now, disappointed at the constant changes in the line up of pop bands over the years, he disbanded "Shock" and started his long journey as a solo artist. Being a classically trained pianist and with his vast experience with pop groups, he found it easy in his first job as a pianist at the newly built 5 Star Hotel in Colombo, The Ramada Renaissance. Diliup quickly evolved from Pianist to "One Man Band" status by incorporating a Roland Juno 106 Synthesizer, a Korg PK13 MIDI Bass Pedal unit  and a Roland TR707 Drum Machine. Though there were organists in Sri Lanka during this period Diliup was the Pioneer in using the newly developed MIDI technology in his performances and thus sounding different.

Diliup acquainted himself with the Weatherby Training Services and bought his first computer, a  ZX Spectrum 48. He bought various books and quickly learnt to programme in machine language of the Z80 micro processor, the brain of the "Speccy". As there was still no music software around he wrote his own software titled "MIDI Music Composer" and used it with the computer (now upgraded to a Spectrum 128) and his keyboard setup to sequence and playback music. His demonstration at Sri Lanka's first ever computer exhibition at the B.M.I.C.H. (Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall) caught the eye of the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe Premadasa who promptly asked him to go out of the city to show the rest of the people what technology can do to music. Thus Diliup travelled to several "Gam Udawa" (village reawakening) festivals in Sri Lanka demonstrating his software and Computer Music Technology.
   
His first Solo Public Concert  "Diliup in Concert -1" in 1982 was in aid of the Sri Lanka Cancer Society.
   
DIliup in Concert 2 in 1983 was in aid of the Save the Children's Fund.
   
Diliup in Concert 3 in 1984 was in aid of the Jaipur Foot  Fund.
   
Diliup in Concert 4 in 1985 was in aid of Preethipura Homes (orphanage)
   
In 1988 Diliup organized a large charity concert for "Help age Sri Lanka", an organisation which looks after  the elderly, on the North Lawn, Hotel Taj Samudra where many artists performed.
   
In 1986 Diliup wrote the song "Romeo" which went on to win the First place in Sri Lanka at the selections for the World Popular Song Festival held in Japan.
   
He has performed in Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Hong Kong, Germany, England, Italy and Turkey. In Sri Lanka, Diliup performed in all the 5 star hotels and many concerts.
   

  Some of the  prestigious events he has performed or composed music for, are:

The opening of the World Trade Center in Colombo.
   
The opening of the JAIC Hilton Colombo.
   
Miss Sri Lanka 1996 for Miss World. (incidentally, this was the first performance of young Bathiya Jayakody of Bathiya and Santhush fame, who was learning under Diliup at that time.)
   
EXPO 97 opening ceremony. Both, composition and performance.
   
Composed music for  Sri Lanka's 50th.  Independence Celebration pageant held at the Parliament Grounds in Sri Jayawardanepura.
   
Handled the concert at the opening of the newly constructed Galle Face Green.
   
Performed at the opening of  Eden Hotel.
   
Composed music for the Rupavahini new programme (2002 to 2004)
   
When the National Airline "Air Lanka", changed its name to "Sri Lankan", Diliup composed the Inflight music for the new batch of aircrafts. This music is still used by Sri Lankan Airlines.
   
Diliup has composed, arranged and performed music for several school songs.
- Asian International School
- Stafford International School
- Gateway International School
- Bishop's College (2007)
- Alethea International School (2007)
   
Diliup contributed in doing two tracks for the CD released by the Maharaja Organization on their 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
   
Composed, arranged, sung, (along with Wathsala Gunatilleke) recorded and produced the Theme Song for the National Diabetes Association.(2007)
 
Taking a break from performing, he is now busy producing new artists, teaching piano, guitar, computer music technology and also lecturing at the University of Visual and Performing Arts where he teaches his own syllabus.
 
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