Ancient Future Times

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Holiday 2009 Issue:
Welcome to the Ancient Future Times
Email newsletter of the World Fusion Music Ensemble Ancient Future

In This Issue:

Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.)
•Join Ancient Future in Creating a 30th Anniversary Subscription Recording Series

01/01/2010 Welcome the New Year with a World Music Workshop at Esalen, Big Sur
•Featured Video: Matthew Montfort Demonstrates Hendrix Raga for GuitarPlayer.Com (Just Published!)

Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.)

30th Anniversary CD Mystery Cover

Join Ancient Future in Creating a 30th Anniversary Subscription Recording Series

In December, 1978, Ancient Future went into Tres Virgos Studio in Mill Valley to begin work on the first Ancient Future record, Visions of a Peaceful Planet, which was first released in May of 1979. During Ancient Future's 30th anniversary year, work began on a new Ancient Future band project: the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.). The A.F.A.R. concept is to involve fans of world fusion music in supporting the creation of an archive of live and studio recordings that will be available to subscribers as they are created. 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!

The A.F.A.R. goal is to kick start fan support for the world fusion music movement by giving fans a role in the process. That role will be similar to the financing and artistic feedback roles of the traditional record label, except that the fan community will have a lot more fun by being a part of a movement for an important cause rather than a for profit business. Fans of world fusion music place value on artistic quality and want to be part of a movement that can help build understanding between cultures. By involving more people in the process, we hope that this will help build support for virtuoso level cross-cultural music collaborations.

To finance A.F.A.R., a subscription system model is being employed. Ancient-Future.Com Records will provide access to subscribers to select files from Ancient Future's archives of studio out takes, live concerts and radio performances along with new recordings as they are created. The full archive of recordings will be available during the project exclusively to subscribers, and when the archive is sufficiently stocked, a portion of the recordings will be selected for commercial release. There are already four recordings by Ancient Future and Ancient-Future.Com Records artists in the archives available for subscribers, with more to come as money is raised for further production!

Indo SlavicIndo Latin JazzArabic Fusion

As the recording progresses, a few digital singles will be released at major download sites to raise awareness of the project. The final selection of recordings from the archive will be released on Ancient-Future.Com Records, with national distribution through ADA/Ryko/WEA. Subscription sales for the recording will close when all the limited edition packages are sold out. Order now because the quicker supporter packages are sold, the faster the fun begins. More information can be found at

MattPatti3JugalbandiIndian JazzSlavic Fusion

There are four supporter packages available:

Recording Newsletter Package: $15. Add 1 to Cart. Buy 1 Now. This package entitles the recording project supporter to receive the recording newsletter via email, which provides a window on the creative process including progress reports and occasional links to streaming audio or video of work in progress. Subscribers to this package also receive downloads of four digital singles chosen from the archives, and a 30% discount on advance copies of the final commercial release. Be a virtual fly-on-the-wall during the recording process.

Download Supporter Package: $25. Add 1 to Cart. Buy 1 Now. This package entitles the recording project supporter to receive everything included in the Recording Newsletter Package plus downloads of all to be recorded music forming an exclusive preview audio recording with digital liner notes that will not otherwise be available in shops (selections from which will form a final public edition), and the chance to submit feedback to questions posed in the recording newsletter. Limited to 300 packages.

Limited Edition CD Sponsor Package: $50. Add 1 to Cart. Buy 1 Now. This package entitles the recording project supporter to everything included in the Download Supporter Package plus an exclusive limited edition CD-R of the same recording with with printed liner notes signed by Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort. Limited to 200 packages.

Honorary A & R Representative Package: $75. Add 1 to Cart. Buy 1 Now. This package entitles the recording project supporter to everything included in the Limited Edition CD Sponsor Package plus a DVD-R including video and 24 bit audio files for hi-rez playback on computers. This is the perfect package for audiophiles and home studio enthusiasts. Limited to 100 packages.


In addition, A.F.A.R. has been selected for eligibility to be funded through the crowd funding web site,, which seeks to give worthy projects like this a 90 day financial kick start. All of the above packages are available as rewards at for the next 90 days, and you can also contribute any amount from $1 to $10,000 to help get the project off the ground. There are even special rewards available for large contributions, such as music lessons or a private concert.


Thanks go out to the following people who have already subscribed on our web site: Anonymous, Vincent Martel, Cliff Sears, Alan Moore of Musicians for Peace, and Leslie Lawton.

This is just a small start. Ancient Future needs YOUR help to continue into its 31st season. The current recession has forced many arts support organizations to greatly cut back or suspend operations altogether. As old forms of support for the arts have fallen away, both the necessity and the opportunity arises for new creative ways of supporting the arts.

For all of us to thrive in the future, we need to make the arts a priority now. Since world fusion music is not only an art form but also a cause and an important mission that helps to bring cultures together, we must create new ways to support it. The A.F.A.R. program is the embodiment of a creative way forward. If you have enjoyed Ancient Future's work or support this cause, please do what you can now to insure that this music can continue in the future.

Holiday Support Sale

In addition to the A.F.A.R. program, we are also having a CD sale for the holidays at Ancient-Future.Com, with free shipping in the USA and very special deals on our new releases!

Ancient-Future.Com Records Logo

Planet Passion CD CoverSangria CD CoverSeven Serenades CD Cover

Holiday Checkout Option Sale! 3Releases Celebrating 30Years of World Music for $30!

Purchase 'Seven Serenades' and you will have the option of adding the other releases below for a total of $30 for all three!

Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Matthew Montfort. Ancient-Future.Com AF 2008. 6-panel Digipak CD: $17.98. Buy 1 Now. (>YTmusic).Matthew Montfort - Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar

Sangria by Mariah Parker. Ancient-Future.Com Records AF-2017. (>YTmusic). Mariah Parker - Sangria

Planet Passion by Ancient Future. Ancient-Future.Com AF-2001. (>YTmusic.) Ancient Future - Planet Passion (Remastered)

Welcome the New Year with a World Music Workshop at Esalen, Big Sur


Weekend of January 1-3, 2010
8:30 p.m. 1/1/2010 through 11:30 am 1/3/2010
Esalen Institute
Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
Cost: Workshop alone: Regular Rate- $385. Friends of Esalen Rate- $335.
With Bunk Bed Room: Regular Rate- $530. Friends of Esalen Rate- $480.
With standard accommodations: Regular Rate-$670. Friends of Esalen Rate- $620.
Reservations: 831-667-3005. Registration Form:
Fax: 831-667-2724. Email:
Download event poster: 01/01/10 Esalen Workshop.pdf (628 k)
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This workshop beginning on the first day of 2010 is a great way to start the new year with improved timing skills. Matthew Montfort is the author of Ancient Traditions -- Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. The book, which is the basis for this world music workshop, received rave reviews in publications such as GUITAR PLAYER, ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN, DRUMS AND DRUMMING, and the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE. Material from the book has been used by many teachers and musicians around the world, including Reinhard Flatischler, founder of the TaKeTiNa rhythm training process, and Steve Smith, famed jazz and rock drummer.

The workshop is presented in an easy to follow, entertaining yet educational format for all music lovers. African polyrhythms, Balinese kotèkan and Indian classical music were chosen as the source material for the training because these three traditions in combination cover the major types of rhythmic organization used in most of the world's music. Not just for musicians and percussionists, this training can help anyone with a desire to improve their rhythmic skills. Melodic aspects of the traditions will also be explored through vocal chanting and ensemble performance in a supportive setting. The workshop is open to all levels, and no musical background is required. Very simple to play percussion instruments will be provided, and participants are free to bring any percussive or melodic instruments they enjoy playing.

About Matthew Montfort

Matthew Montfort holds a B.A. in World Music and Composition and an M.A. in Arts and Media Technology from Antioch University. He is the leader of the world fusion music ensemble Ancient Future. A pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar (an instrument combining qualities of the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar), Montfort spent three months in intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the guitar. His debut solo CD, ‘Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar’ was released in 2009 to rave reviews on Ancient-Future.Com Records with national distribution through ADA/Ryko/WEA. He has performed concerts worldwide, including at the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain near Barcelona.

Rhythm Training Material

Ancient Traditions--Future Possibilities Book

Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Book/Enhanced Audio CD Set with MIDI Soundfiles:$52.95 (SALE! Normally $69.95): Buy 1 Now.


"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

"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 MAGAZINE

"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

Melodic Training Material

From GuitarPlayer.Com: "The Music of Jimi Hendrix Applied to Indian Raga" by Matthew Montfort

Guitar Player Video

Play Guitar Player.Com Video
Live version of 'Purple Raga' from Matthew Montfort's debut recording, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar.

Educational Liner Notes

Seven Serenades Digital Liner Notes

Educational Digital Liner Notes- $2.98 (SALE $2.00): Buy 1 Now. This exclusive download is a 17 page .pdf of liner notes for "Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar" by Matthew Montfort that is not available at any other music download site. ´╗┐These educational liner notes explain the inspirations and musical concepts behind each of the serenades. Sheet music is included for those who want to delve deeper!


Download the 65 page report of media placements for Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar. Complete reviews, photos, and links to online reviews. MediaMatthewMontfort.pdf (3.9 MB).

“A true guitar wizard.” – Jello Biafra, ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES RECORDS

“This album reveals a thorough knowledge of Hindustani microtonal ornaments, transferred in ways that create one of the most distinctive guitar sounds in contemporary music. However, it also reveals a lifetime of exploration in world music, which can be immediately summoned in a flash of inspiration. When this level of mastery is reached, there is no need to rewrite. The first improvisation has the depth of a reworked composition.” – Teed Rockwell, INDIA CURRENTS, March 2009

"Matthew’s playing is always impeccable, filled with subtle emotion and even wanderlust. I don't know of anyone who plays quite like Matthew. His mastery of the scalloped fretboard guitar seems unequaled. For a richly rewarding journey into the magic of acoustic world fusion music, look no farther than 'Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar.'" – Steve Ryals, FRESH TRACKS

"Leader of the world-music band Ancient Future since 1978, Matthew Montfort has adapted many string instrument styles – from sitar to zither – to his guitar. His special scalloped fretboard allows him to tweak the strings in unique ways, but his virtuosity is a lot more than technical." – David Rubien, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"It isn't every day that acoustic guitarists make their instrument sound a lot like an Indian sitar, but that is exactly what Matthew Montfort accomplishes on the instrumental 'Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar.' Through it all, Montfort demonstrates that even though he has considerable chops and technical prowess, he is much more interested in feeling and expression than technique. This 56-minute CD is an adventurous, consistently engaging demonstration of what Montfort can accomplish on the scalloped fretboard guitar." – Alex Henderson, ALL MUSIC GUIDE

"Though he plays guitar, Montfort's music isn't merely guitar music; it's a sonic environment that features a guitar. Strong Indian and Balinese influences permeate these seven exotic soundscapes. Beautifully recorded, this sumptuous music creates a unique wall of sound that you won't soon forget." – Steven Stone, VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE