Quantamis Navarathna: The Man Is In Love

by Traci Nubalo

photos by Jami Mills

(rez Magazine - February, 2012)

He’s wicked gorgeous in Second Life; he plays guitar like it’s growing from his hands. He sings from his heart to many hearts; his original songs are profound and meticulously-crafted love sonnets that grab the listener and demand to be listened to.

And he has a totally-gorgeous, vivacious SL partner: a brilliant, witty, talented and beautiful wife. He loves her; and she certainly loves him.

Sound like a rock star lifestyle?


Quantamis and Sedona Navarathna live in a picturesque lighthouse on an amazing Second Life seashore. They live a quiet life, enjoying being with one another. They like to fly and sail together inworld in their spare time.

Several times a week the couple ventures from their nest and heads for a live music venue, where Quan regularly leaves audiences breathless by performing his confident and creative set of passionate songs. This guy is one romantic man, a man with a heart brimming-full of love. I know it from the way he writes. But I also know it because I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him in SL.

Quan, you are regarded by many to be one of SL’s most talented songwriters. What is your process - lyrics first, or riffs?

For me it is the melody that comes first, almost always. The melody will be going through my mind either briefly or for years as in the case of my new song, “Destiny”. Eventually a thought in my mind appears to connect to that particular music; the lyrics just wrap themselves around it and then I just apply the final brushstrokes to the canvas.

A song, for example, like “Forever More” - can you tell us how that one came about? What was your thought process in writing those amazing lyrics?

Well, I just had this very simple melody in my head, and the guitar part was flowing perfect for it.

I began to think about how our lives really are: our struggles, our illnesses, the days when everything just goes right and then those days when everything seems to be wrong.

In my case, despite everything I have a very close relationship with my friend and sweetheart, Sedona. What I am trying to say in the song is to just keep focused on the ones you hold dearest to your heart and everything will be okay no matter what.

Sometimes we’re up, sometimes we’re down,
sometimes we’re lost sometimes we’re found.
Sometimes our light has lost it’s glow,
sometimes as bright as morning snow.
Whoa, my love. Yeah, my love.
I shall be with you forever more.
- “Forever More”

What’s your RL performing backgound? Bands, solo work, etc.?

I have been in many different bands here in my city since out of high school. The first band I formed was called Silver and Ash. Kind of a country rock band with inspiration from the progressive country movement back then started by the music of Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allen Coe, Waylon Jennings and many others.

Later I formed several other groups, including a rock and roll band. I also played a few solo gigs around town and played at many open mics as well: a very cool way to test out new songs.

Did you write originals back then? What were they like?

Oh yes, in my early groups I wrote and performed many of my original songs. There are a couple I wrote from then that I still perform to this day and some later ones that I converted into acoustic solo songs.

When and how did you discover SL?

In October of 2008, I was hanging around the house on the weekend and being bored. Was playing online games and someone sent me the link for SL. I just thought it was an interactive 3D video game and wow did I find it was so much more than that as time went by. I met someone inworld who would later become a very good friend and mentor to me and taught me the “do’s and don’t’s” and what was really happening in this virtual world.

She later convinced me to try streaming my own music into SL. With some major help from Edward Lowell getting me streaming, I was up and running, though very rusty and scared to death at the time.

I had not written anything in about three years and barely ever picked up my guitar anymore. I must say at this time that it was definitely SL that began to inspire me to write again. All the beauty and creativity around me began to effect me in a very positive way.

Now with the help of Sedona I must say that every performance gets better.

You have an obvious love for the work of Cat Stevens. Can you share with us about that?

I was around sixteen when I was first turned on to Cat. My two older sisters would play his records all the time and when they were gone I would play them as well. I put many scratches on them indeed.

I must say his songwriting played a major part in my own process as I was writing my first songs.

Your guitar work is some of the most precise and interesting in SL, particularly your right hand (finger picking) style. How was this developed?

Well, as you may already know I play mostly by ear. I was taught my first guitar chord progressions by my grandfather and I would play rhythm guitar to his fiddle - blue grass music. He kept trying to get me to use a pick but I kept going back to using my thumb; it just felt natural to me. As time went by my forefinger and middle finger started joining in and eventually became a part of this picking style which seems so natural to me. I actually keep my thumb nail as a pick and keep it filed and shaped a certain way.

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Quantamis: “This is my technical set up: I use an AKG C200B studio mic with phantom power that I put in through an ALESIS Multimix 8 Fire mixer.

Then the signal goes out into an external SIIG USB Soundwave 7.1 digital
to USB port sound card.

The guitars are a pair of Sierra acoustic six strings. I also have an Ovation,
but I’ve found that the Sierras give a better sound over the stream. One is black and one is blue and they have very well-working Barcus Berry electronic pick up systems.

My player is a Butt. I‘ve found it to be more dependable and reliable; it also uses less memory then other well known players.”

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Your SL partner - your Valentine - is my good friend Sedona. In fact, I admire your relationship and feel that together you are making this a true Valentine piece. Could you fill us in? Please tell the readers about your relationship.

It all started with a dance. We were both at a venue and listening to a live performer when the owner of the venue suggested in local chat that we should dance together. After that one dance I wrote “Sedona Moon Dance”…

“Tonight the moon will rise, and lighten the midnight sky,
and I’ll gaze into your eyes, and our dance shall begin.”

…and we have been dancing together ever since. She is a major part of my success and helps me greatly. She’s my close confidant and my friend as well. My Valentine.

Valentines Day has always been one of my favorite holidays and is even more so now as I have my very special valentine Sedona. It has been a year since I asked Sedona to marry me, so it is also a very beautiful and special anniversary for us. This year has been incredible. She has been such a blessing to me in so many ways and the cool thing is we often think alike. We often say things at the exact same time and our sense of humor is so alike. We love many of the same things in SL including, sailing, pirating, gun battles and flying. Sedona is so sweet she doesn’t mind me shooting her plane down repeatedly in air-to-air combat.

So I would like to say to all of you who have not found your very special Valentine, do not give up, he or she is out there waiting for you. Wishing everyone a very happy Valentines day!

I was around you when your long-time RL canine friend Luke passed away. Can you tell us about Luke and your struggles with him in those last days?

I stumbled into an animal shelter in a small nearby town, just intending to look at the dogs up for adoption. I walked into the office and there was this guy trying to turn in this beautiful golden retriever, saying he could not keep the dog anymore. They were telling him they had no more room and he would have to fill out some papers and drop the dog at the sheriff’s office where the dog would be euthanized immediately.

He asked me to hold the leash so he could fill the papers out. I sat down and petted Luke and looked into his eyes as he looked into mine. I knew that we were meant for each other, that I would rescue him and he would rescue me.

I shouted, “No! I will take this precious animal and give him a good home.” The lady behind the desk began to say that I could not do that, but the guy said, “Why not? I haven’t turned him in yet.”

Well, Luke came home with me that day and became a huge inspiration to me. We shared many good years together but he got very old and could no longer use his back legs because of hip dysplasia. I took care of him as an invalid and monitored his pain knowing that he would let me know when he was ready to go.

I was able to spend two more months with him and slept by his side as we just enjoyed each other’s company. The time did come when he was ready to go and I knew it almost immediately. And thus, one of the hardest things any of us will ever have to do. He remains with me in spirit and will always be an inspiration to me of unconditional love.

That’s a beautiful story, Quan. Thank you for sharing that with us. What is in your SL future, Q?

The future is unknown to me. I only know that now that my inspiration for writing has started flowing again, I am never going to stop, for it truly is a part of me and who I am. I hope to bring inspiration to others who hear my music here in Second Life and continue to stream my music here. I really owe so much to Sher Salmson of Spiritfire Entertainment for believing in me and for her continued support. With her at the helm I believe the future holds many positive outcomes.

In an age where tearing up the dressing room is applauded, and where some performers elect to skip activities such as warming up vocally, or even tuning their guitar! - along comes Quan. He brings to us the heart of the true poet. Amid the many ups and downs of his life he seems to have landed on his feet creatively and is rapidly establishing himself as a major musician in SL.

He has a strong commitment to the craft of writing and performing; he’s resolute in his willingness to do what it takes to offer his audience 100% every time he hits the stage. His guitar sings in chordal patterns which are emotionally-perfect for his material.

I highly suggest that you take an hour and join other discerning music lovers at a Quan show. I guarantee that you’ll totally enjoy his style.

And…the man is in love.

Copyright © 2012 Traci Nubalo. All rights reserved.

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  1. What a beautiful article. You have captured the music of Quantamis and so much more. Keep up the good work Traci, it is wonderful to see such a human side.

  1. I have been very concerned about Traci. her blog stopped and have heard nothing more from her in a long while. Please if anyone knows anything please post.

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