Tuesday, December 12, 2017

World Rhythms 15: We Have the Beats!

World Rhythms News Banner
Issue 15, Dec. 2017: We Have the Beats!
The World Rhythms News is an infrequent newsletter dedicated to world music education brought to you by the band Ancient Future. Subscribe at Ancient-Future.Com.
In this issue:

Future Possibilities

World Fusion Exercises

When musicians are exposed to the musical knowledge developed by traditions that are not native to their upbringing, new traditions are created. This process is normally an organic one. The more musical knowledge you have, the more that knowledge comes through in the music you create.
But it can be fun to make exercises bringing ideas from different traditions together. The book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India includes an entire chapter on world fusion exercises. But rather than including a large set of exercises, just a few key examples are presented to inspire you to create your own.
We begin with a world fusion exercise, and then delve into the traditions it is based on.

Tihai Kotèkan

This exercise combines Balinese and North Indian rhythmic concepts. This intermediate level example from Chapter 4, Exercise I, page 127 of Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities is in a 15 beat rhythmic cycle. Recite the drum syllables of the tihai (North Indian rhythmic phrase that repeats three times and lands on the first beat of the rhythm cycle), starting first with the bottom part of the kotèkan (Balinese interlocking rhythm), and then proceeding to the top and more offbeat part. For an explanation of the notation below, see the North Indian Tala page. Also see the Pronunciation Guide to Indian Drum Syllables.
Play Tihai Kotèkan
    + (hand clap on sam)
15 |dhin * dha ge *   na ge *  ki ta *  ka dhin *   dha ge
4  |dhin * dha *  dhi na *  na ki *  ta ka *    kre dha * 
    1             2            3           4

    2 (hand clap on 2nd tali, or section marker of the tala)
    dhin * * *  * * dhin * dha ge *   na ge * ki ta
    dhin * * *  * * dhin * dha *  dhi na * na ki * 
    5           6          7             8
    0 (hand wave on khali, or empty beat of the tala)
    *  ka dhin *   dha ge dhin *  * * * *  dhin * dha ge
    ta ka *    kre dha *  dhin *  * * * *  dhin * dha * 
    9              10             11       12

    3 (hand clap on 3rd tali)                 +                      
    *   na ge *  ki ta *  ka dhin *   dha ge |dhin
    dhi na *  na ki *  ta ka *    kre dha *  |dhin
    13           14          15               1

Key: Each syllable is a quarter of a beat, or 16th note. An * signifies a rest.

Ancient Traditions

Here we will explain the two traditions behind the above fusion exercise.

Tihai

A tihai is a common North Indian cadential pattern repeated three times in succession. The last note of the cadence is timed to fall either on the sam, the first beat of the tala (rhythmic cycle), or on the the beginning note of a main musical phrase. One repetition of the pattern is known as a pala. Musicians become skilled at fashioning tihais on the spur of the moment to create a cadence, and must continually be aware of where they are in the rhythmic cycle and consequently how many counts are left in which to play a tihai.
In North Indian music, the term laya refers to both the main tempo of the beats in the tala and the relative speed of the notes played during each beat of the tala. Another way to look at the later meaning is that the number of divisions per beat is referred to as the laya. Instead of looking at four notes per beat in 4/4 time as sixteenth notes, the speed of the notes relative to the beats is considered a laya of four, or chaugun laya. Of course, the laya used is an important part of calculating the tihai math.

Tihai Math

Does math make your brain hurt? Then skip to next part. But you will become a better musician if you embrace math.
While North Indian musicians create tihais by a more or less intuitive process gained through years of practice and familiarization with the elements of tala, it is helpful to know mathematical formulas for arriving at tihais, of which there are many. The math behind the above tihai could be expressed using the following formula, which works for all tihais that start on the sam:
G = [(CTL +1) - 3P] ÷ 2, where C = the number of repetitions of the rhythmic cycle required to bring the tihai to sam, T = the number of beats in the tala (rhythmic cycle), L = the number of laya divisions, P = the length of one pala of the tihai expressed in laya divisions, and G = the gap or breath between pala repetitions expressed in laya divisions.
The tihai formula is used to figure out what the the gap or rest between the palas of the tihai needs to be to make the tihai land on sam given the length of the pala, the number of divisions in the laya, and the number of beats in the tala. Here's how the math works for the tihai in the world fusion exercise above:
The tihai takes only 1 cycle of 15 beats with a laya division of 4 notes per beat, so CTL = 1 x 15 x 4, or 60. Therefore, CTL + 1 = 61. One pala of the tihai takes up 17 laya divisions of 4 notes per beat, so 3P = 3 x 17, or 51. Therefore [(CTL +1) - 3P] = 61 - 51, or 10. 10 ÷ 2 = 5, so the gap is equal to 5 laya divisions of 4 notes per beat, or 5 16th note rests.
Try making your own tihai using the G = [(CTL +1) - 3P] ÷ 2 formula!

Kotèkan

A gamelan is an ensemble normally composed primarily of percussion. In Bali, orchestras of tuned gongs, bronze kettles, bronze metallophones, bamboo xylophones, drums, cymbals and flutes fill the night air with animated music. Melodic parts interlock, divided in such a way that musicians play alternate notes to form the melody line. These interlocking parts, known as kotèkan, require cooperation and a keen sense of rhythm to perform. The two parts of a kotèkan, which are thought of as male and female, are known as nyangsih and polos. The main accents of the nyangsih part are usually on the offbeat, while the main accents of the polos part are usually on the beat.
Knowledge of kotèkan can be extremely valuable. These interlocking rhythms have a unique way of bringing people together in cooperation towards a common goal, and there are many creative possibilities for applying them to contemporary music.
Here is an example of a traditional kotèkan. The bottom part is the polos, and the top part is the nyangsih.
Play Kotèkan
Ochetan Music Notation
Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities includes a set of cards representing all 26 mathematically possible one beat kotèkan patterns without rests. They are very useful for creating your own kotèkan patterns for pre-existing or yet to be written melodies.

Create Your Own Tihai Kotèkan

Using the tihai formulas and kotèkan cards in Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities, you can create your own tihai kotèkan. You might even come up with something that will become part of one of your compositions. Tihai kotèkans make for intriguing endings such as the final tihai kotèkan employed on a track released by the band Ancient Future:
"Nyo Nyo Gde" by Matthew Montfort from World Without Walls by Ancient Future: Play on Ethnocloud. Play on Spotify. Play on iTunes.

Where's the Beat?

  Talking Drum, Gamelan, and Tabla
A. West Africa, Bali, and India, birthplaces of polyrhythm, gamelan, and tala.
B. Within every performer, where musical dreams are made.
C. In a rhythm training manual by Matthew Montfort called Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities.
D. In the new companion set from Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India.
E. Through world rhythm workshops and Skype study with Matthew Montfort.
F. All of the above.

The Answer

If you answered "all of the above," you are well on your way to finding the beat! Read on to find out how a training manual on the rhythms of Africa, Bali and India can help performers of all types reach their musical dreams, enable listeners to get more out of music, and is now bringing these ancient rhythms into the grooves of the future with the release of an audio companion edition for digital audio workstations, sequencers, computers, tablets, smartphones, CD players and other gizmos!

The Beginning, the Beat, the Book

Book Cover

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. By Matthew Montfort. Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Comb Bound Book- $46.95 (SALE $33.95). Book and Enhanced Audio CD Set with MIDI files- $74.95 (SALE $53.95). New Best Buy! Book & Audio Guide/MIDI Download- $69.95 (SALE $49.95).
This classic "world beat bible" by Matthew Montfort takes the student on a musical voyage through the ancient rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India with a series of exercises that require no instruments to perform. Interesting, imaginative and fun, these rhythm exercises will be of immense help to all music lovers, not just percussionists. Indeed, Matthew Montfort, leader of the trailblazing world fusion music group Ancient Future, was inspired to write the book because it was difficult for him to find musicians who had the skills to perform multi-cultural music. By enabling home study of non-Western rhythms with enough material for years of practice for most students, the training develops refined rhythmic skills, promotes multi-cultural musicianship, stimulates new ideas for composers and improvisers, and fosters cross-cultural music appreciation.

The New Audio Guides and Grooves

A.T.F.P. Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. By Matthew Montfort. Ancient Future Music (AF-0001, 2005. V 4.0, 2017). New Preview Release! Companion MP3/MIDI Guide Tracks Download Set- $34.95 (SALE 24.95). Companion Audio/MIDI Guide Tracks 2 Volume CD/CD-ROM Set- $39.95 (SALE $29.95).
A new downloadable companion set of MP3 audio guide and MIDI groove tracks of the exercises in the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities will be released in fall 2017. The preview beta release is on sale now at Ancient-Future.Com. The downloads are set up for playback on Mac and PC computers, tablets, and smartphones. The tracks are also available on a CD/CD-ROM set.
West African drum music, Balinese gamelan, and Indian tala are oral traditions, and the new downloadable files make it very convenient to integrate the tradition of learning by ear into the rhythm studies. The material is presented in two complimentary formats: audio guide tracks and MIDI groove tracks, which are also available separately as downloads.

The Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: MP3 Audio Guide Tracks. By Matthew Montfort. Kentfield: Ancient Future Music (2005). New Preview Release! Companion MP3 Audio Guide Tracks Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95).
Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide Tracks is a set of 115 audio guide tracks of the exercises in Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities that help facilitate correct practice habits. The download version is divided into three zipped folders of MP3 files. Volume I covers the exercises in Chapter 1, West Africa, and Chapter 2, Bali. Volume II A covers the South Indian exercises in Chapter 3, India. Volume II B covers the North Indian exercises in Chapter 3, India, and Chapter 4, Future Possibilities. Two printable .pdf booklets are included: the A.T.F.P Audio Guide Tracks CD Booklet, a wrap around CD booklet with instructions for burning CDs if desired, and the A.T.F.P Audio Guide Track List, which includes the names, durations, tempo settings, and book page numbers for all 115 audio guide tracks.

The MIDI Groove Tracks

Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Version 4.0. By Matthew Montfort. Kentfield: Ancient Future Music (1997. V. 4.0 2017). New Preview Release! MIDI File Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95).
Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India is a complete set of 128 MIDI tracks that playback in Standard MIDI File compatible web browsers. For greater control or for use as rhythm tracks in audio productions, load them into a MIDI sequencer app (Mac, PC, iOS, Android, etc.) to loop tracks, change the tempo, or listen to individual parts. The files come arranged for General MIDI percussion and can be remapped to other instruments using the included MIDI maps with explanations of the sounds of West African drums, Balinese gamelan, South Indian mridangam, and North Indian tabla. A full set of tabla samples is included along with supporting files for using them with VSTi instruments (PC) and GarageBand (Mac).

The Beat

The Eve Orchestra of West Africa

The Eve people of the island town of Anyako off the coast of Southeastern Ghana have developed a music rich in polyrhythmic interplay, such as in the drum music of takada, a dance and drumming club developed by the Eve women. The instruments of their percussion orchestra are detailed in the West African section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves. The exercises are arranged for General MIDI agogo, bongo, conga and maracas. MIDI maps of the Eve instruments are included for those who want to experiment with different drum sounds.

The Interlocking Rhythms of Balinese Gamelan

A gamelan is an ensemble normally composed primarily of percussion. In Bali, orchestras of tuned gongs, bronze kettles, bronze metallophones, bamboo xylophones, drums, cymbals, and flutes fill the night air with animated music. Melodic parts interlock, divided in such a way that musicians play alternate notes to form the melody line. These interlocking parts, known as kotèkan, require cooperation and a keen sense of rhythm to perform. The Balinese section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves details the music and instruments of the Gamelan Semar Pegulingan and other ensembles.

The Rhythmic Cycles of India

The perception of the cyclic nature of life is reflected in Indian classical music through the device of tala, a recurring time-measure or rhythmic cycle. There are two different traditions in Indian classical music, the Carnatic music of South India and the Hindustani music of North India.
The tabla is a North Indian drum set comprised of two drums with goat-skin heads. For every sound on the drum there is a corresponding syllable. These syllables are known as bols. Each North Indian tala has a theka, a standard set of bols that identify the rhythmic cycle. The MIDI files of these thekas are arranged for General MIDI conga and bongo, and make excellent groove tracks for creating compositions or practicing. The North Indian section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves features a full explanation of the tabla bols complete with audio links to tabla samples of each bol, and files for VSTi instruments and GarageBand that remap the MIDI files to the included tabla samples.
The mridangam is a South Indian two-headed barrel drum made of jackwood with goatskin heads. South Indian drumming has a language all of its own known as solkattu. For the sounds produced by the mridangam, there are corresponding syllables known as konokol. The South Indian section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves features an explanation of the konokol syllables used in the solkattu compositions that are presented. The South Indian rhythm exercises have been arranged for General MIDI conga and bongo. Instructions and sequencer files are included to help in remapping the MIDI files to tabla or mridangam samples.

The Author

Matthew Montfort

Scalloped fretboard guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort has devoted his life to cross-cultural music through his role as the leader of the world music group Ancient Future. He spent years of study with some of the world's best musicians, such as gamelan director K.R.T. Wasitodipuro, North Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, and vina master K.S. Subramanian, with whom he did an intensive study of South Indian note-bending techniques. He has recorded with legendary world music figures ranging from Bolivian panpipe master Gonzalo Vargas to tabla maestros Swapan Chaudhuri and Zakir Hussain, and performed concerts worldwide, from the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain to the Festival of India in Mumbai. He has taught masterclasses at prestigious universities, schools, camps, museums, and resorts, and has over four decades of teaching experience, including two on the faculty of Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco. He is recognized as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists by DigitalDreamDoor.com, a curated "best of" site, along with such luminaries as Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Merle Travis, John Renbourn, Tommy Emmanuel, and Alex De Grassi. He was interviewed in the December 2009 Les Paul issue of Guitar Player Magazine about the scalloped fretboard guitar and the application of the rules of Indian raga to the music of Jimi Hendrix as exemplified by "Purple Raga" from his debut solo recording, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar.

The Workshops and Skype Lessons

Matthew Montfort offers instruction based on Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities through online lessons via Skype and rhythm workshops at conservatories, public schools, and resorts.

The Quotes

"You can view this deceptively slim masterwork from a few different angles: as a friendly yet serious appetizer on three of the most sophisticated rhythm systems on earth; a chance to work on your rhythmic sight reading; a three-culture dip with matching mp3s for your ears; a gateway to exotic spices, complete with MIDI files, for your songwriting or drumming; or a fun way to organically digest complex time signatures. No matter how you slice it, this scholarly labor of love is packed with rich flavors for those patient enough to harvest them." – E.E. Bradman, Bass Player Magazine
"You've heard Afro-Pop, sitar, gamelan and world music for years. But do you know what they are and how they work? Better yet, would you like to play those twisted cross-rhythms and melodies? In Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities, Matthew Montfort, a founding member of the world music band Ancient Future, has put together the book for people who want to dig into world music with both hands. The first section of the book covers traditional music of West Africa, Bali and India with theories and exercises. Wherever possible, Montfort has provided beat counts alongside the standard musical notation so even if you can't read music, you can still learn the rhythms. The last section of the book mixes patterns from different cultures, demonstrating the powerful music these simple exercises can generate." – Richard Kadrey, San Francisco Chronicle
"A hands-on exploration of Balinese, African, and Indian rhythms that should appeal to all musicians. One needn't play percussion instruments, or any instruments at all, for that matter, to use and benefit from the book." Drums and Drumming
"A very practical manual. There is enough material to keep interested musicians busy for years. Montfort has done a great service for western musicians interested in world music. A pleasure to work with."Option
"Very highly recommended for any instrumentalists hoping to expand their rhythmic horizons. If you've never investigated the beautiful clash of African polyrhythm, the incredible interlocking textures of Balinese music, or the complex metric structure of Indian classical music, check out Ancient Traditions – it will blow your mind and deepen your groove."Guitar Player
"If you're tired of programming your drum machine with the same old 4/4 back-beat, or you want to sharpen your rhythmic chops, this book is highly recommended."Electronic Musician

The Performers

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities has been used and admired by many teachers and musicians around the world.
Lou Harrison (1917-2003), prominent composer and founder of the American gamelan movement, called the work "a very useful contribution to musical scholarship."
Reinhard Flatischler, founder of the TaKeTiNa rhythm training process, was an early enthusiast of the method book.
John Bergamo (1940-2013), composer and coordinator of the percussion department at the California Institute of the Arts, found a copy of Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities when he cleaned out his desk at retirement. As he finally had the time available, he worked his way through it, after which he called the author to thank him for writing it, and encouraged him to write more world music training manuals. One is in the works.
Steve Smith, stellar jazz and rock drummer of Journey fame, went through the book in preparation for a percussion summit with tabla master Zakir Hussain.
Start your own journey to musical excellence with Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities!

All compositions, recordings, video, and text in this article © 2017 Ancient Future Music. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Future of Ancient Future

Ancient Future Times
Ancient Future Times: Future of Ancient Future
November 2017 Issue:
Help Build Our Future: Join a Campaign to Save Music
•Check Out This Video Shedding Light on the Artist's Plight in the Digital Age
Free Library Concert Series Continues After the Fires
•World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort with Arabic Percussion Virtuoso Antoine Lammam or Tabla Virtuoso Vishal Nagar
Guitar Summit at Wu Wei Temple in Fairfax
•Featuring Matthew Montfort (Scalloped Fretboard Guitar) and Teja Gerken (Fingerstyle Guitar)
Beats Book Brings Bang for the Buck
•Sale Celebrates New Audio Guides and Grooves for Gizmos



Help Build Our Future: Join a Campaign to Save Music

YouTube Can Do Better Content Creators Coalition Video

Check Out This Video Shedding Light on the Artist's Plight in the Digital Age

By Matthew Montfort
I'm on the board of directors of the Content Creators Coalition, a nonprofit uniting artists organizing in favor of fair rates for music. We just released two funny new videos referencing Apple's "Hi, I'm a Mac" campaign that take aim at YouTube's tiny compensation for ad-supported streams and its takedown process for unauthorized usage that is basically impossible for artists to use.
But YouTube promptly responded with its own takedown of our inital video post! As Richard Morgan wrote in the New York Post, "While videos of ISIS beheadings somehow slipped past YouTube censors, the video streaming site didn’t have any problems finding a playful ad campaign by some indie musicians — and promptly pulling the plug on it." The video was later restored when it became clear that pulling the video had caused a backlash that was generating negative publicity for YouTube.

What This Means for Ancient Future's World Fusion Music Mission

The videos demonstrate one of the major difficulties Ancient Future has in continuing its mission in the digital age. For emerging artists and those in less mainstream genres, the tech industry's "creative disruption" has "elevated" artists from workers or small businesses to beggars. No doubt you see lots of requests from artists seeking support through tech solicitation hubs such as Kickstarter. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that I am sadly lacking in my solicitation skills.
Ancient Future has been experiencing a shortfall between the income we need to support our mission and the income that comes in from concerts and recordings. I tried to make up the difference by working non-stop on the computer, but this ended up causing tendon problems. It has come to the point where I can't personally continue to put in all the business hours necessary just to keep Ancient Future going, much less to expand our reach, which is what is necessary to further the mission of world fusion music.
I have come to the conclusion that Ancient Future needs a team of volunteers, benefactors, and superfans in order for world fusion music to reach its potential for social change. Here are some things you can do to help!

Ways to Support Ancient Future in the Digital Age

Volunteer Positions Available

Ancient Future needs a Director of Solicitations, Begging, and Busking to help raise money for activities, apply for grants, and explore starting a non-profit organization to support world fusion music. Other open positions include Concert Circuit Creator (duties include developing a circuit of world fusion friendly presenters and booking concerts), Anti-Social Media Manager (duties include encouraging cross-cultural pro-social responses on the anti-social media without simply enriching said companies at the expense of artists), and Traditional Media Archeologist (duties include searching through the charred remains of the traditional media to locate the whereabouts of current media contacts to maintain our database of world fusion friendly media).
Anyone interested in stepping forward is encouraged to email info@ancient-future.com. The positions could eventually become paid ones once financial support is generated by a genius Director of Solicitations, Begging, and Busking.

Direct Donation to Subsidize Concerts

Like the symphony, Ancient Future's world music rehearsals and performances cannot be supported by ticket sales alone. Yet arts funding has been cut drastically, especially in the USA and in California, and the advancement and indeed survival of the art of music is at stake.
You can help support Ancient Future's local San Francisco Bay Area concert season, or with a big enough donation, provide seed money to get Ancient Future to perform in your local area. Contributions can be made online or via check payable to "Ancient Future" sent to:
Ancient Future
PO Box 264
Kentfield, CA 94914-0264
Contributions are not currently tax deductible because Ancient Future is not registered as a 501(c) nonprofit organization. But hopefully Ancient Future's next Director of Solictations, Begging, and Busking (you?) can rectify that.

Donate to the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings

Photo of Bui Huu Nhut Recording A.F.A.R.Photo of Abbos Kosimov Recording A.F.A.R.
Bui Huu Nhut and Abbos Kosimov Recording A.F.A.R.. Photos by Michael Braden

The concept of the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.) is to involve fans of world fusion music in supporting the production of an archive of live and studio recordings of cross cultural collaborations. The best of these recordings will be selected to be released commercially at a "future" date, at which point they will be on their way to becoming "ancient" recordings, hence the title.
There are four supporter thank-you packages available ranging from $15 to $75, and while donations to the A.F.A.R. project are not currently tax deductible, donations of any amount are greatly appreciated! Please do what you can to support the music. Detailed information on the various supporter packages and the benefits included can be found at www.ancient-future.com/afar.html.

Live Video of A.F.A.R. Track

Prelude and Bookenka on Ethnocloud
Watch video on Ethnocloud

Free Library Concert Series Continues After the Fires

Antoine Lammam and Matthew Montfort Library Concert Photo

Arabic Percussion Virtuoso Antoine Lammam and World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort

Ancient Future's first concerts after October's devastating Northern California fires will be in areas that were very much under threat. The fires forced the evacuation of Ancient Future percussionist Antoine Lammam, who will be performing at three of the concerts. Fortunately his home was spared. Others, including supporters of Ancient Future, were not so lucky. Our hearts go out to everyone affected. The recovery will take a sustained commitment.
These free hour long educational concerts by Ancient Future at Sonoma County libraries will introduce the audience to Indian and Arabic rhythms and feature world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort accompanied by either Arabic percussion virtuoso Antoine Lammam or Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar.

November Concerts

Winter Concerts

Photo of Matthew Montfort and Vishal Nagar

'El Zaffa' by Ancient Future

El Zaffa on Ethnocloud
Video
of Arabic fusion music by Ancient Future

'Yearning for the Wind' by Ancient Future

Yearning for the Wind on YouTube
Video of Indian fusion music by Ancient Future

Guitar Summit at Wu Wei Temple in Fairfax

Photo of Matthew MontfortPhoto of Teja Gerken

Featuring Matthew Montfort (Scalloped Fretboard Guitar) and Teja Gerken (Fingerstyle Guitar)

Friday, December 8, 8 PM, Wu Wei Tea Temple, 1820 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax, CA 94930. No cover. Suggested donation: $10 - $20. Info: visit wuweiteatemple.com.
Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar, an instrument with a modified fretboard in which the wood between frets has been carved out in order to facilitate intricate note-bending ornaments. He has released two solo CDs: Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar and Sympathetic Serenade, for which he is recognized as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists by DigitalDreamDoor.com.
Teja Gerken is a contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitarist whose playing merges the styles of European guitar pioneers such as John Renbourn and Pierre Bensusan with the distinct sounds of American players such as Leo Kottke and Micheal Hedges. Known for his original compositions, many of which employ alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, Teja will also bring Celtic, jazz, and classical styles to the summit.

Beats Book Brings Bang for the Buck

Book Cover

Sale Celebrates New Audio Guides and Grooves for Gizmos

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. By Matthew Montfort. Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Comb Bound Book- $46.95 (SALE $33.95). Book and Enhanced Audio CD Set with MIDI files- $74.95 (SALE $53.95). New Best Buy! Book & Audio Guide/MIDI Download- $69.95 (SALE $49.95).
This classic "world beat bible" by Matthew Montfort takes the student on a musical voyage through the ancient rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India with a series of exercises that require no instruments to perform. Interesting, imaginative and fun, these rhythm exercises will be of immense help to all music lovers, not just percussionists.

New Guides and Grooves

A.T.F.P. Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. By Matthew Montfort. Ancient Future Music (AF-0001, 2005. V 4.0, 2017). New Release! Companion MP3/MIDI Guide Tracks Download Set- $34.95 (SALE 24.95). Companion Audio/MIDI Guide Tracks 2 Volume CD/CD-ROM Set- $39.95 (SALE $29.95).
This new downloadable companion set of MP3 audio guide and MIDI groove tracks of the exercises in the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities is set up for playback on Mac and PC computers, tablets, and smartphones. The tracks are also available on a CD/CD-ROM set. The material is presented in two complimentary formats: audio guide tracks and MIDI groove tracks.

Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: MP3 Audio Guide Tracks. By Matthew Montfort. Kentfield: Ancient Future Music (2005). New Release! Companion MP3 Audio Guide Tracks Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95).
Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide Tracks is a set of 115 audio guide tracks of the exercises in Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities that enable learning by ear.

MIDI Groove Tracks

Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Version 4.0. By Matthew Montfort. Kentfield: Ancient Future Music (1997. V. 4.0 2017). New Release! MIDI File Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95).
Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India is a complete set of 128 MIDI tracks that playback in Standard MIDI File compatible web browsers. For greater control or for use as rhythm tracks in audio productions, load them into a MIDI sequencer app (Mac, PC, iOS, Android, etc.) to loop tracks, change the tempo, or listen to individual parts. The files come arranged for General MIDI percussion and can be remapped to other instruments using the included MIDI maps.

Workshops and Skype Lessons

60 Minute Skype Lesson. $75 (Sale $60). Custom private one hour online lesson via Skype or other video conferencing service.
Matthew Montfort offers instruction based on Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities through online lessons via Skype and rhythm workshops at conservatories, public schools, and resorts. He also offers instruction for all styles of guitar, ukulele, bass, mandolin, sitar, and other plucked instruments.

Quote

"You can view this deceptively slim masterwork from a few different angles: as a friendly yet serious appetizer on three of the most sophisticated rhythm systems on earth; a chance to work on your rhythmic sight reading; a three-culture dip with matching mp3s for your ears; a gateway to exotic spices, complete with MIDI files, for your songwriting or drumming; or a fun way to organically digest complex time signatures. No matter how you slice it, this scholarly labor of love is packed with rich flavors for those patient enough to harvest them." – E.E. Bradman, Bass Player Magazine

Monday, September 4, 2017

Beat's by the Books

Ancient Future Times
Ancient Future Times: Beat's by the Books
September 2017 Issue:
Where's the Beat?
•West Africa, Bali, and India, birthplaces of polyrhythm, gamelan, and tala.
Ancient Future Performs Free Library Concert Series
•World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort with Arabic Percussion Virtuoso Antoine Lammam or Tabla Virtuoso Vishal Nagar



Where's the Beat?

  Talking Drum, Gamelan, and Tabla
A. West Africa, Bali, and India, birthplaces of polyrhythm, gamelan, and tala.
B. Within every performer, where musical dreams are made.
C. In a rhythm training manual by Matthew Montfort called Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities.
D. In the new companion set from Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India.
E. Through world rhythm workshops and Skype study with Matthew Montfort.
F. All of the above.

The Answer

If you answered "all of the above," you are well on your way to finding the beat! Read on to find out how a training manual on the rhythms of Africa, Bali and India can help performers of all types reach their musical dreams, enable listeners to get more out of music, and is now bringing these ancient rhythms into the grooves of the future with the release of an audio companion edition for digital audio workstations, sequencers, computers, tablets, smartphones, CD players and other gizmos!

The Beginning, the Beat, the Book

Book Cover

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. By Matthew Montfort. Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2.
This classic "world beat bible" by Matthew Montfort takes the student on a musical voyage through the ancient rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India with a series of exercises that require no instruments to perform. Interesting, imaginative and fun, these rhythm exercises will be of immense help to all music lovers, not just percussionists.

The New Guides and Grooves

A.T.F.P. Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. By Matthew Montfort. Ancient Future Music (AF-0001, 2005. V 4.0, 2017). New Preview Release!
This new downloadable companion set of MP3 audio guide and MIDI groove tracks of the exercises in the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities is set up for playback on Mac and PC computers, tablets, and smartphones. The tracks are also available on a CD/CD-ROM set. The material is presented in two complimentary formats: audio guide tracks and MIDI groove tracks.

The Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide Tracks is a set of 115 audio guide tracks of the exercises in Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities that enable learning by ear.

The MIDI Groove Tracks

Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India is a complete set of 128 MIDI tracks that playback in Standard MIDI File compatible web browsers. For greater control or for use as rhythm tracks in audio productions, load them into a MIDI sequencer app (Mac, PC, iOS, Android, etc.) to loop tracks, change the tempo, or listen to individual parts. The files come arranged for General MIDI percussion and can be remapped to other instruments using the included MIDI maps.

The Eve Orchestra of West Africa

The Eve people of the island town of Anyako off the coast of Southeastern Ghana have developed a music rich in polyrhythmic interplay, such as in the drum music of takada, a dance and drumming club developed by the Eve women. The instruments of their percussion orchestra are detailed in the West African section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves.

The Interlocking Rhythms of Balinese Gamelan

A gamelan is an ensemble normally composed primarily of percussion. In Bali, orchestras of tuned gongs, bronze kettles, bronze metallophones, bamboo xylophones, drums, cymbals, and flutes fill the night air with animated music. Melodic parts interlock, divided in such a way that musicians play alternate notes to form the melody line. These interlocking parts, known as kotèkan, require cooperation and a keen sense of rhythm to perform. The Balinese section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves details the music and instruments of the Gamelan Semar Pegulingan and other ensembles.

The Rhythmic Cycles of India

The perception of the cyclic nature of life is reflected in Indian classical music through the device of tala, a recurring time-measure or rhythmic cycle. There are two different traditions in Indian classical music, the Carnatic music of South India and the Hindustani music of North India.
The tabla is a North Indian drum set comprised of two drums with goat-skin heads. For every sound on the drum there is a corresponding syllable. These syllables are known as bols. Each North Indian tala has a theka, a standard set of bols that identify the rhythmic cycle. The MIDI files of these thekas make excellent groove tracks for creating compositions or practicing. The North Indian section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves features a full explanation of the tabla bols complete with audio links to tabla samples of each bol, and files for VSTi instruments and GarageBand that remap the MIDI files to the included tabla samples.
The mridangam is a South Indian two-headed barrel drum made of jackwood with goatskin heads. South Indian drumming has a language all of its own known as solkattu. For the sounds produced by the mridangam, there are corresponding syllables known as konokol. The South Indian section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves features an explanation of the konokol syllables used in the solkattu compositions that are presented.

The Workshops and Skype Lessons

Matthew Montfort offers instruction based on Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities through online lessons via Skype and rhythm workshops at conservatories, public schools, and resorts.

The Quotes

"You can view this deceptively slim masterwork from a few different angles: as a friendly yet serious appetizer on three of the most sophisticated rhythm systems on earth; a chance to work on your rhythmic sight reading; a three-culture dip with matching mp3s for your ears; a gateway to exotic spices, complete with MIDI files, for your songwriting or drumming; or a fun way to organically digest complex time signatures. No matter how you slice it, this scholarly labor of love is packed with rich flavors for those patient enough to harvest them." – E.E. Bradman, Bass Player Magazine
"You've heard Afro-Pop, sitar, gamelan and world music for years. But do you know what they are and how they work? Better yet, would you like to play those twisted cross-rhythms and melodies? In Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities, Matthew Montfort, a founding member of the world music band Ancient Future, has put together the book for people who want to dig into world music with both hands. Wherever possible, Montfort has provided beat counts alongside the standard musical notation so even if you can't read music, you can still learn the rhythms." – Richard Kadrey, San Francisco Chronicle
"A hands-on exploration of Balinese, African, and Indian rhythms that should appeal to all musicians. One needn't play percussion instruments, or any instruments at all, for that matter, to use and benefit from the book." – Drums and Drumming
"Very highly recommended for any instrumentalists hoping to expand their rhythmic horizons. If you've never investigated the beautiful clash of African polyrhythm, the incredible interlocking textures of Balinese music, or the complex metric structure of Indian classical music, check out Ancient Traditions – it will blow your mind and deepen your groove." – Guitar Player
"If you're tired of programming your drum machine with the same old 4/4 back-beat, or you want to sharpen your rhythmic chops, this book is highly recommended." – Electronic Musician

The Performers

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities has been used and admired by many teachers and musicians around the world.
Lou Harrison (1917-2003), prominent composer and founder of the American gamelan movement, called the work "a very useful contribution to musical scholarship."
Reinhard Flatischler, founder of the TaKeTiNa rhythm training process, was an early enthusiast of the method book.
John Bergamo (1940-2013), composer and coordinator of the percussion department at the California Institute of the Arts, found a copy of Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities when he cleaned out his desk at retirement. As he finally had the time available, he worked his way through it, after which he called the author to thank him for writing it, and encouraged him to write more world music training manuals. One is in the works.
Steve Smith, stellar jazz and rock drummer of Journey fame, went through the book in preparation for a percussion summit with tabla master Zakir Hussain.
Start your own journey to musical excellence with Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities!

Ancient Future Performs Free Library Concert Series

Photo of Matthew Montfort and Vishal Nagar

World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort with Arabic Percussion Virtuoso Antoine Lammam or Tabla Virtuoso Vishal Nagar

One of the program variations of the trailblazing world fusion music ensemble, Ancient Future, this improvisatory duet features world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort accompanied by either Arabic percussion virtuoso Antoine Lammam or Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar. Strains of flamenco, Arabic music, and Indian raga emanate from this duet performing renditions of music from Ancient Future's ground breaking world music recordings as well as many new unreleased works!

These hour long educational concerts by Ancient Future at Sonoma County libraries will introduce the audience to musical concepts from world music such as Indian and Arabic rhythms.

September Concerts

November Concerts

Winter Concerts

'El Zaffa' by Ancient Future

El Zaffa on Ethnocloud
Video
of Arabic fusion music by Ancient Future

'Yearning for the Wind' by Ancient Future

Yearning for the Wind on YouTube
Video of Indian fusion music by Ancient Future

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Music Matters - Restoring the Ritual of Reverent Resonance

Ancient Future Times
Ancient Future Times: Music Matters - Restoring the Ritual of Reverent Resonance
June 2017 Issue:
Guest Castaway on Desert Island Jazz on KCSM
•Inspirations for the World Fusion Music of Ancient Future

Get a SFIAF Festival Pass!
•Guitar-Sitar Jugalbandi, June 1; Mariah Parker, June 3; Global Guitar Summit, June 4
'Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert' by Mariah Parker on JazzWeek/ZMR Charts!
•Six Weeks in the JazzWeek Top 50 and Debuting at Number #22 on ZMR World
Music Matters
•Restoring the Ritual of Reverent Resonance
Listen and Learn
•Expand Your Experience of Music

Guest Castaway on Desert Island Jazz on KCSM

Alisa Clancy Interviews Matthew Montfort on KCSM

Inspirations for the World Fusion Music of Ancient Future

On Friday, May 26, at 9 AM, Matthew Montfort was Alisa Clancy's Guest Castaway on Desert Island Jazz on KCSM Jazz 91.1 FM, playing his music right along side the music that influenced it. He even brought out the original vinyl copies of the recordings that he listened to over and over in his youth!
This is a rare chance to hear timeless music from the past along with unreleased music from Ancient Future's Archive of Future Ancient Recordings. Also discussed are three concerts at the San Francisco International Arts Festival: Ancient Future on 6/1, Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Chamber Jazz on 6/3, and the Global Guitar Summit on 6/4.
The radio show will be archived through June 8, 2017, at radiofreeamerica.com, so stream it now!
KCSM Desert Isle LP Picks

Desert Island Picks

Intro: Mariah Parker, Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert, Milo's Moment, Ancient-Future.Com Records
# 1: Ancient Future, The Best of A.F.A.R. (So Far), Purple Nam/Purple Haze, Ancient-Future.Com Records
# 2: Django Reinhardt, The Essential Django Reinhardt, Minor Swing, RCA
# 3: The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds of Fire, Hope, Columbia
# 4: Osamu Kitajima, Benzaiten, Benzaiten, Antilles
# 5: Paco de Lucia, Paco, Entre Dos Aguas, Island
# 6: Ancient Future, The Best of A.F.A.R. (So Far), Tres Tarantas Tres, Ancient-Future.Com Records
# 7: Diga Rhythm Band, Diga, Sweet Sixteen, United Artists
# 8: Ravi Shankar, Music Festival from India,Vandana, A&M
# 9: Ancient Future, Planet Passion, Socha Socha, Ancient-Future.Com Records
# 10: Oregon, Out of the Woods, Yellow Bell, Elektra
# 11: Ancient Future, The Best of A.F.A.R. (So Far), East of the Sun, Ancient-Future.Com Records
# 12: Instruments for Elephants by Dave Soldier and Richard Lair, Thai Elephant Orchestra, Thun Kan Sunrise, Mulatta Records
# 13: Ancient Future, Natural Rhythms, Hummingbird, Ancient-Future.Com Records

Book: Classical Music of North India, the First Years of Study: The Music of the Baba Allauddin Gharana as Taught by Ali Akbar Khan at the Ali Akbar College of Music, George Ruckert, Ed.
Luxury Item: Chocolate


Get a SFIAF Festival Pass!

San Francisco International Arts Festival Logo

Guitar-Sitar Jugalbandi, June 1; Mariah Parker, June 3; Global Guitar Summit, June 4

Ancient-Future.Com Records artists will perform three different concerts as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival at Fort Mason. A festival pass let's you see five different SFIAF shows for only $70!

Ancient Future Guitar-Sitar Jugalbandi, June 1, Chapel, Fort Mason

Matthew Montfort and Pandit Habib Khan
Thursday, June 1, 2017, 8 PM, Ancient Future Guitar-Sitar Jugalbandi with Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Pandit Habib Khan (sitar), and Ferhan Najeeb Qureshi (tabla), San Francisco International Arts Festival, Fort Mason Chapel, Upper Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94109. Take Franklin Street from Bay Street. The Chapel is located near Park Head Quarters and the General's Residence. Admission: $25 general, $12.50 under 18. Full time students with ID and seniors, $4 off cover price. Festival Pass, 5 shows for $70 (also see Global Guitar Summit 6/4, Indo Latin Jazz 6/3, and 2 more!). Buy Tix. Concert Poster. Press Release.
Jugalbandi is a classical North Indian musical duet (meaning literally "tied together"). This jugalbandi works well because Matthew Montfort is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar with knowledge of sitar, and Pandit Habib Khan has been described as the “Jimi Hendrix of the sitar” by L'Orient le Jour, Beirut's French language newspaper. They will be accompanied by tabla master Ferhan Qureshi.

Mariah Parker’s Indo Latin Chamber Jazz Quintet, June 3, Gallery 308, Fort Mason

Band Photos
Saturday, June 3, 2017, 6 PM, Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Chamber Jazz with Mariah Parker (piano, santur), Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Ian Dogole (percussion), Kash Killion (upright bass), and Jim Hurley (violin), San Francisco International Arts Festival, Gallery 308, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94109. Admission: $25 general, $12.50 under 18. Full time students with ID and seniors, $4 off cover price. Festival Pass, 5 shows for $70 (also see Ancient Future 6/1, Global Guitar Summit 6/4, and 2 more!). Buy Tix. Concert Poster. Press Release.
According to Latin Beat Magazine, "Parker and friends blend the rhythmic syncopations of Latin jazz music with the entrancing, asymmetrical meters of East Indian rhythms resulting in first-class world music." This chamber variation of the ensemble with its emphasis on strings will explore new arrangements of existing work.

Global Guitar Summit, June 4, Chapel, Fort Mason

Photos of Global Guitar Summit
Sunday, June 4, 2017, 3 PM, Global Guitar Summit with Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Giacomo Fiore (classical guitar), and Teja Gerken (acoustic guitar), San Francisco International Arts Festival, Fort Mason Chapel, Upper Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94109. Take Franklin Street from Bay Street. The Chapel is located near Park Head Quarters and the General's Residence. Admission: $25 general, $12.50 under 18. Full time students with ID and seniors, $4 off cover price. Festival Pass, 5 shows for $70 (also see Ancient Future 6/1, Indo Latin Jazz 6/3, and 2 more!). Buy Tix. Concert Poster. Press Release.
This Global Guitar Summit features American scalloped fretboard guitar and world fusion music pioneer Matthew Montfort, master Italian guitarist and musicologist Giacomo Fiore, and German fingerstyle guitarist extraordinaire Teja Gerken.

'Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert' by Mariah Parker on JazzWeek/ZMR Charts!

Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert CD Cover

Six Weeks in the JazzWeek Top 50 and Debuting at Number #22 on ZMR World

Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert by Mariah Parker (Ancient-Future.Com AF-20142).
Indo Latin Jazz Live in Concert captures the magic of the concert debut of Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble in front of a full house at Yoshi’s in Oakland, as well as subsequent concerts at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage, the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley, and Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in San Rafael. The recording includes Ancient Future musicians along with top Indian musicians and jazz and Latin players who have performed with Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, and Oregon. For example, jazz wind virtuoso Paul McCandless is known for his groundbreaking work with the seminal chamber jazz group, Oregon. Indo Latin Jazz Live in Concert spent six weeks on the very prestigious JazzWeek National Airplay Chart where it reached #32, and just debuted at #22 on the ZMR World Chart!

Music Matters

Photo of Instruments Used on Visions of a Peaceful Planet by Ancient Future

Restoring the Ritual of Reverent Resonance

Much is being lost in this age of connected cars and smart phones. The convenience of the quick click to free lo-fi streaming has made music simply a taken-for-granted background soundtrack to life.
Yet the real power in music comes from absorbing it into one's being and letting it resonate there to do its magic. One must become the music, and that isn't possible while scrolling through a twitter feed. The digital distraction of constant connection is keeping people from experiencing the moment they are in. Indeed, it is common to see people at live concerts buried in their phones ignoring the music pouring from the master musicians on stage.
Clearly it is time to bring back quality to your music listening experience. Instead of streaming background playlists for daily activities, devote time to become the music you love. Just listen and absorb the glorious sound into your being. In this way, music can be an antidote to the negative effects of digital distraction.
To accomplish this, buy hi-fi music and play it on a nice stereo. It is best to set up a home listening station. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but the old fashioned home stereo with a CD player and even a turntable is a fantastic option, and you can get one used cheap these days. Or, you can get a hi-resolution audio interface for your computer and buy a pair of powered monitors. Just make sure to play at least CD quality audio files. There is a big difference between CD quality and the standard compressed audio formats of the major download sites. You will hear and feel the difference when you are truly absorbing the music, and this difference is more pronounced on music with a lot of detail. Streaming music is even lower quality, and the major streaming sites don't even come close to making a sustainable financial contribution to an artist's ability to make new recordings, as payments are now measured in thousandth of a cent increments.
Mariah Parker's new CD is having an amazing run on the radio airplay charts. Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert is available at all of the major download and streaming sites. But a hi-resolution copy is needed to hear the record in its full glory. Yet, in a sign of the times, despite the great success of the record on radio, no one has purchased a CD copy at the Ancient Future website! Indeed, there have only been two CDs sold at Ancient-Future.Com this year. Before downloads and streaming, monthly sales ranged between $200 and $1000. Of course, this has a detrimental effect on the artist's ability to bring you new music.
You can be the very first to buy her CD at Ancient-Future.Com to hear it in its full glory. While you are at Ancient-Future.Com, take advantage of sale prices on a variety of CDs. There are even still a few very rare original copies of Ancient Future's first LP, Visions of a Peaceful Planet, available on vinyl for a truly analog listening experience!
In other news, work is being done right now to make it possible to download 24-bit hi-resolution audio at Ancient-Future.Com. Stay tuned!

Listen and Learn

Second Grade Rhythm Class

Expand Your Experience of Music

Learning about music is another way to absorb more of its magic into your life. Those who understand the structures of various musical traditions get more out of listening to them. The World Music Education section of Ancient-Future.Com provides a good introduction to that magic.
Matthew Montfort's book, Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India, can provide the next step on your path to getting more out of music. The book takes the student on a musical voyage through these great ancient rhythmic traditions with a series of exercises that require no instruments to perform. Through hand clapping, foot tapping, and vocal recitation, the traditions move right into your body. While the book does use standard music notation to convey the exercises, for those who can't read music counting is provided and the book is typeset so that page space equals time, which provides an excellent visual cue to the rhythms.
The exercises are available as a complete 2 CD set of 115 audio guide tracks to supplement the book for those who don't read music. For those comfortable with music production file formats, the exercises are also available as Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves, a set of 128 MIDI percussion groove tracks for loading into a music sequencer or web browser. Work is being done to expand the educational offerings at Ancient-Future.Com through educational downloads, and Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves is the very first to be offered!
Matthew Montfort offers private lessons on the traditions on the Ancient-Future.Com world music education web site via Skype. Instruction is tailored to the individual needs of the student, so don't be shy if you are just looking for explanations that will help you enjoy the music more. Music lessons make an excellent gift, and introductory sale rates on individual Skype lessons are being offered for a limited time.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ancient Future Times: In Loving Memory

Ancient Future Times
Ancient Future Times: In Loving Memory
Fall 2016 Issue:

In Loving Memory of Phil Fong
•Passing of Original Ancient Future Member

World Music at Open Secret October 14
•An Evening of World Music Improvisations Featuring Matthew Montfort, Pascale Caristo, Daniel Berkman, and Emam
Helping Hands
•Send Percussionist Jim Santi Owen Good Vibes
Phone Home A.F.A.R.
•Check Out the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings on Mobile Friendly Ancient-Future.Com!
Skype Lesson Sale
•Study in the Comfort of Home with Ancient Future Leader Matthew Montfort
Save the Dates
•Important Shows in Early 2017


In Loving Memory of Phil Fong

Picture of First Ancient Future Line Up
Hi-Res Photo of Ancient Future Circa 1979 (1.3 MB). Shown: Benjy Wertheimer, Phil Fong, Mindia Devi Klein, Matthew Montfort

Passing of Original Ancient Future Member

On July 18, 2016, Philip Fong passed away at St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco after a battle with ALS. His family reported that he was courageous for the year and a half that he was hospitalized, and for most of that time he enjoyed a decent quality of life with the aid of a ventilator and speaking valve.
Phil Fong was an amazing musician and one of the most soulful sarod students of Ali Akbar Khan. The amount of emotion in his music was truly remarkable. But he became disenchanted with the music business only a few years after Ancient Future formed, and after leaving the band, earned a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology, becoming a therapist practicing in San Francisco. No one can blame him for taking this course, and no doubt his patients are very thankful for his help. But Phil's musical legacy is important as well. He was well liked by his Ali Akbar College of Music alumni, and in addition to his work with Ancient Future, he played in a variety of other ensembles, from classical Indian music to punk rock.

Archival Video of Ancient Future with Phil Fong

Original Ancient Future Video on Facebook
YouTube video of Ancient Future Circa 1978. Shown: Matthew Montfort, Yusef Ali, Mindia Devi Klein, Phil Fong, Benjy Wertheimer

This video is an amazing archaeological find: the very first video of Ancient Future, recorded in late 1978, months before Ancient Future's first concert! Thanks to Jonah and Mariposa at Marin Artists International who were able to rescue parts of Ancient Future's first video recording session from archival oblivion during the time that Phil was hospitalized. This short teaser from 'Eternal Embrace' by Phil Fong from Visions of a Peaceful Planet was the first release from this archeological expedition. Performances of two complete pieces featuring Phil and the rest of Ancient Future have been recovered, and are now available on the reunion E-CD edition of Visions of a Peaceful Planet. We were able to get the video to Phil's family before he passed.

World Music at Open Secret October 14

Photo of Matthew Montfort, Pascale Caristo, Daniel Berkman, and Emam

An Evening of World Music Improvisations Featuring Matthew Montfort, Pascale Caristo, Daniel Berkman, and Emam

Friday Nights World Music at Open Secret is a music series produced and presented by Emam, who performs with each artist on the series.
Friday October 14, 2016, 7:30 PM
Open Secret Bookstore
923 C St.
San Rafael, CA 94901
Info: 415-457-4191
Tix: $20 donation at the door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds!
For more information: 415-472-1008
Facebook Event.
Poster.


Helping Hands

Jim Owen Photo

Send Percussionist Jim Santi Owen Good Vibes

"Last week it was confirmed that the testicular cancer that I was treated for in 2011 has returned. The good news is that this is one form of cancer that Western medicine has learned how to treat. It is considered to be 90%-98% curable. The not so good news is that that cure necessitates my undergoing 3-4 cycles of chemotherapy over the next 9-12 weeks with at least a month of recovery time afterward. I am (thankfully!) fully insured and fully supported by my family and friends, especially my amazing partner, Reshma Vasanwala. That said, I am sure we will need some help over the next few months, though, at this moment, I don't know exactly what that will be. For now, your thoughts and prayers and positive energy are appreciated if you feel inspired to send them our way." Jim Santi Owen
Jim Santi Owen and Reshma Vasanwala are using LotsaHelpingHands.com to organize support over the next four or more months while Jim undergoes chemotherapy treatment:

https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/jimsantiowen

Phone Home A.F.A.R.

Upper Cave Wall Navigation

Check Out the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings on Mobile Friendly Ancient-Future.Com!

For world music aficionados, Ancient-Future.Com has a lot of valuable information, educational exercises, and streaming music and video, and now it is accessible on mobile devices! This huge in-house project has taken many hours away from precious music production time, and there are still a few projects left, including an expensive upgrade to the shopping cart to make it truly mobile friendly.
But you can help to insure that music production gets the attention it deserves. The fan funded Archive of Future Ancient Recordings gives supporters access to Ancient Future recordings as they are created. This summer, six new pieces and a video were added to the archive, bringing a total of 86 minutes and 51 seconds of music available to supporters immediately, with more to come as more money is raised!
As many are aware, forces within the tech industry seeking to profit from free content have destroyed financial support for music by promoting the meme that free music is good for musicians, claiming that musicians would gain exposure and make money playing concerts. But now that even famous musicians no longer make money from their recordings, they have to be on the road most of the year to make a living. This has driven down performance fees and made it harder to book viable concert tours for unusual acts like Ancient Future.
Ancient Future is dedicated to the idea that cross-cultural collaboration can help to create a better world, and now more than ever needs your help to continue to create world fusion music. Detailed information on the various supporter packages and the benefits included can be found at www.ancient-future.com/afar.html.

Live Video of A.F.A.R. Track

Prelude and Bookenka on Ethnocloud
Watch video on Ethnocloud
A live medley of Prelude and Bookenka (The Adventurer), which was originally recorded on Ancient Future's Asian Fusion release, has been added to the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings. Fans can check it out on Ethnocloud at 720p now, and then get it in full resolution beautifully shot HD 1080p video and rich 96-kHz/24-bit audio as a thank-you for becoming a hi-res supporter of A.F.A.R.!

Skype online music lesson guitar pick icon carved in Bali for Matthew MontfortSkype Lesson Sale

Study in the Comfort of Home with Ancient Future Leader Matthew Montfort


Download Guitar Player Magazine Story on Matthew MontfortHendrix Raga ArticleDownload Guitar Player Magazine Story on Matthew Montfort
Guitar Player Magazine Feature on Matthew Montfort Plus Online Lesson (1.4 MB pdf).
Matthew Montfort offers all styles and levels of guitar (and other plucked instruments) instruction as well as lessons on any of the subjects on the Ancient-Future.Com world music education web site via Skype. For further information, visit www.matthewmontfort.com or send an email to info@ancient-future.com.

Skype Sale

30 Minute Skype Lesson. Normally $50. Sale $36. Buy 1 Now.
45 Minute Skype Lesson. Normally $65. Sale $48. Buy 1 Now.
60 Minute Skype Lesson. Normally $75. Sale $60. Buy 1 Now.

Recommended Training Manual

Ancient Traditions Book Cover
Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India by Matthew Montfort (Ancient Future Music, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2). Sale $52.95. Buy 1 Now. A must-have for all students of world music, plus there is an additional discount on a Skype lesson with your online purchase at Ancient-Future.Com!

Save the Dates

Photo of Mariah Parker, Matthew Montfort, and Vishal Nagar

Important Shows in Early 2017

Save the dates of these important early 2017 shows!
Sunday, January 22, 2017, 7 PM
Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz CD Release Concert
Freight & Salvage
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
Tix: $24 adv., $28 door. Purchase tickets.
Info: Call 510-644-2020 or email info@freightandsalvage.org

Sunday, January 29, 2017, 7 PM
Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz CD Release Concert

Don Quixote's International Music Hall
6275 Highway 9
Felton, CA 95018
Info: 831-603-2294 or email tmm@cruzio.com

Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8 PM
Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz CD Release Concert

Occidental Center for the Arts
3850 Doris Murphy Ct. (Bohemian Hwy. at Graton Rd.)
Occidental CA 95465

Info: 707-874-9392 or email info@occidentalcenterforthearts.org

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 8 PM
Ancient Future 38th Anniversary Concert

Trinity Chamber Concerts
Trinity Chapel
2320 Dana Street between Bancroft Way & Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
Info and reservations: 510-778-1719 or email info@trinitychamberconcerts.com