Active since: February 11, 1979
World Fusion Music
Ancient Future is the first and longest running musical organization dedicated exclusively to the mission of creating world fusion music. The term was coined by bandleader Matthew Montfort in 1978 to describe Ancient Future’s unusual blend of musical traditions from around the world. BILLBOARD calls the group “trendsetters” for their early contributions to the movement, which seeks to show how people from different cultures can grow by learning from each other.
World fusion is more of a process than a genre. It is a process by which new traditions are created, and has been going on throughout history. It would be difficult to find a form of traditional music that has not at some time been influenced by the music of another culture. But current times offer the opportunity for musicians to learn music from anywhere on earth. It is the mission of Ancient Future to explore this new sonic territory while shining a light on the ancient musical knowledge of the world....
AwardsN.A.I.R.D "Indie Award" World Music
Leader Matthew Montfort's synthesis of styles and sounds isn't superficial — he plucks the essential musicality of several traditions without discounting them. Beautiful world fusion music. — Roger Carlberg, ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN
World music pioneers. Ancient Future created the world fusion genre with its blend of Indian, African, Balinese, Middle Eastern, European, East Asian and South American music. — World Vibe, 96 Hours Weekend Entertainment Guide, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
One of world music's finest expressions. — Renee Gelpi, DIMENSIONS, Toronto
With seamless fire and grace ... they storm through an electric dervish of music. — John Diliberto, JAZZIZ
Shadowfax with teeth. — Michael Bloom, BOSTON ROCK
The godfather of the world music movement. — Best Bets, MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL
Northern California's ... 'world fusion' band do more than simply throw together players and instruments from East and West. They rebuild at the sub-molecular level, puréeing the varied melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic idioms into tuneful ... compositions. Leader Matthew Montfort conjures lovely Asian zither-like inflections with a scalloped fretboard guitar. — GUITAR PLAYER
The key to Ancient Future is its ability to present various styles of music in settings that are accessible but still exotically charming. The net result is an infectious sound that simultaneously entertains and challenges. — Edward Tywoniak, BAM
Many artists have been running toward world music, trying to inject new life into their compositions. For most, it's a superficial exercise; but for Ancient Future, it's at the core of what this band has been doing since the late '70s. And the band traverses this fusion terrain with deft arrangements and beautifully wrought interplay. — John Diliberto, TOWER PULSE!
The time has definitely come for world fusion music, as cultural confluence has reached epidemic proportions in all facets of life. Ancient Future is one step ahead of game; on their side is the philosophical parallel between global consonance and world peace. — Philip Collins, SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL
The band that defines World Beat music — Larry Morningstar, STATE OF JEFFERSON WEEKLY EVENTS CALENDAR
Marvelous rhythmic patterns ... truly magnificent tonal balances ... the shifting dynamics,the fabric of the ensemble, the emergence, (then gradual disappearance) of melodic lines and the esprit de corps are MESMERIZING. — Philip Elwood, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
Visions Of A Peaceful PlanetNarada
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Willing to teach:
The members of Ancient Future are all master musicians from various world music traditions. Instruction is available via Skype or in person at each member's studio. Recognized as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists, Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort teaches all styles of guitar along with music theory and repertoire for all instruments. He helps students reach their own personal goals in music, whatever they may be, through a lesson plan customized to the student's needs. He offers private guitar lessons, music tutorials, and group classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and online. He is available to teach master classes and workshops worldwide. To contact Matthew Montfort about lessons, e-mail him at info@ancient- future.com.
Technology has had the effect of making the world smaller. It is now possible for a student to grow musically by learning music from any culture on earth. A student from America can travel to Indonesia to learn gamelan from the masters. But what if one can't take the time for a costly trip around the world? That's where world music workshops from the members of the band Ancient Future come in. Matthew Montfort, Ancient Future's leader, is the author of Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India (Mill Valley, 1985: Panoramic Press. ISBN 0- 937879-00-2). The book, which is the basis for Ancient Future's world music workshops, received rave reviews in publications such as GUITAR PLAYER, ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN, DRUMS AND DRUMMING, and the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE. Lou Harrison, prominent composer and founder of the American gamelan movement, calls the work "a very useful contribution to musical scholarship." The workshops are presented in an easy to follow, entertaining yet educational format for all instrumentalists, vocalists and music lovers. African polyrhythms, Balinese kotèkan and Indian rhythmic cycles 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, which are crucial to the success of all performers. No musical background is required, and classes can be tailored for beginning through advanced levels, or mixed groups. All three areas can be covered in one workshop, or the workshop may focus on one rhythmic tradition.