Yours, Musically – The New Indian Express


Express news service

MANGALURU: From a 70-year-old violin to a timeless guitar, the D’Silva twins have been repairing and restoring musical instruments for over half a century. Octogenarian brothers Ronald and Donald D’Silva from the coastal village of Salumara Kodavoor near Malpe in the Udupi district have given new life to musical instruments in desperate need of repair. 82-year-old D’Silvas, who was once part of the famous century-old music group “The Blue Ribbons”, restores and manufactures all types of musical instruments, from guitars and saxophones to trumpets and cornets.

Born into a family of 12 children, Ronald and Donald belong to an illustrious family of musicians. Their ancestors created the popular group “The Blue Ribbons” over 120 years ago during the Basel mission to the Karnataka coast. The D’Silva brothers are not only musicians but also mechanics which adds to their skill in repairing instruments in addition to their musical knowledge. Ronald and Donald started their careers at a 150-year-old tile factory started by the Basel Mission in Malpe as Mechanic and Chief Engineer, respectively.

“My father’s older brother, James D’Silva, had worked as a conductor with the Blue Ribbons during the Basel mission. A conductor from Goa taught music to our ancestors and other enthusiasts in the neighborhood. Although the band stopped playing after our uncle died, we continued to take music lessons. We also service and sell musical instruments, ”says Ronald.

He has clients not only from the country, but also from Singapore, Africa and other places. Many of their rare musical instruments are on display at the Manjusha Museum, a one-of-a-kind museum in the temple city of Dharmasthala that houses vintage cars, temple chariots, and rare items including musical instruments.

The D’Silva brothers also restored musical instruments from the Mangaluru Police Department and various educational institutions in the area. Jonam Obol, a guitarist from Mangaluru, says the duo are of great help to local musicians. “If we take our instruments to the company for service or repair, it takes months to get the job done. But they repair the instruments quickly and also at a much lower cost, ”he says.

Donald and Ronald have so far restored over 4,000 strings, brass, percussion and woodwinds solely for the love of music. “Many music companies these days charge a high price for the repair, even if there is only a minor problem with the instrument,” says Donald. “As musicians, we have to help other musicians. Our intention is to pass the contribution of The Blue Ribbons on to the next generation, ”say the brothers with the greatest joy of life.


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