Eugene Weekly 2005 Tour Preview

Eugene Weekly


World Fusion Pioneers
Ancient Future brings 'organic dance music' to Eugene.


Quick, how many people can you name who coined a term describing a popular musical genre? If the name Matthew Montfort didn't jump to mind, you've probably never heard of Ancient Future, a Bay Area-based band in their 27th year.

Ancient Future Photo
Ancient Future Far Horizons School, 2490 Hilyard St., 8 pm Thursday, April 28/ $13 adv/$17 door. Tickets available at StarGate Books, 1374 Willamette, 687-0282.

In 1978, Montfort called Ancient Future "world fusion music" to explain his motivation for combining ideas from many musical traditions. But Montfort would take umbrage at the word genre. "It is a process that actually creates tradition," he said. "When different cultures get together and learn from each other, each culture will have developed a certain musical knowledge kernel."

The band's name, Ancient Future, illustrates Montfort's desire to take music from the past and bring it into the future. "The traditions are very old and the knowledge of these traditions needs to be a part of future traditions," he said.

Ancient Future began as a quartet but has grown to include 25 masters of numerous musical traditions the world over. Montfort leads four touring versions of Ancient Future, with the arabic fusion version touring the Northwest during Spring 2005. "It's great music to dance to," he said. "People go to raves and all that, well this is organic dance music!"

Montfort, who plays scalloped fretboard guitar (combining South Indian vina and steel-string guitar), is joined by Georges Lammam, a Palestinian from Lebanon who plays Arabic violin and sings, Azerbaijani percussion master Salah Takesh, and Doug McKeehan on keyboards. Ancient Future's 2003 CD Planet Passion is 12 tracks arranged in chapters chronicling a relationship's arc: Flirtation, courtship, sacred eros, the wedding, seduction and longing for the beloved.

Nineteen masters of musical styles as diverse as Indian, Cuban Celtic, Jewish and Chinese converged to give life to lovely tracks like "Forest Frolic," I Mett Her in the Medowe" and "El Zaffa." The CD is rich with melodies and quiet moments in sound from around the globe; perfect for yoga, meditation, dancing, dinner or just plain listening!



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