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Ghanaian Musical Instruments

Akan drums are used in the Ashanti, Fante and Akyim/Akim Tribes of Central and Southern Ghana. The different families of drums are named after their dances. Adowa and Fontomfrom share mostly the same drums as do Asaadua and Sikyi.

In West Africa; drums are not normally played on their own, but as part of an ensemble or a grroup, with particular lead drum, support drum, bass drum, melody instruments, shakers and a bell.

Adowa, the dance is by far the most widespread and frequently performed social dance of the Akan people of Ghana. It is best described in Akan as a woman's dance because they dominate the performance. This dance is mostly performed at funerals, but can also be seen at yearly festivals, visits of important dignitaries and other celebrations.

Adowa Drums:

The lead Atumpan Pair and the Support Drums Apentema, Brenko, Petia and Dondo.

Fontomfrom Drums:

Fontomfrom Pair, Atumpan Pair and Support Drums Apentema, Brenko, Petia and Dondo.

Kete is commonly found in the royal courts of traditional Akan communities. It is performed in the courts of every chief whose status entitles him to be carried in a palanquin. The music therefore can be heard on state ocassions and festivals. There are three parts of the performance: Drum Music, Pipe Interludes, and Vocal Counterpart of the Pipe Tunes. At least, eight pieces are played during a performance. These pieces are identified by the general name for the type of drumming and dancing, by name of its usual context function or general character and by name commemorative of an event.

The drums of Kete are always wrapped in red and blck cloth.

Kete Set:

Lead drum, Kwadum and Support Akukuadowo, Aburukua, Apentema, Dondo, Slit Bell and Shakers/Chekere.

Asaadua was once a popular recreation musical type among the Akan people of Ghana. Its performance is now limited to some few communities in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions. Like Popular entertainment music, which revolves from the ingenuity of some veteran traditional musicians. Asaadua started as a youth recreational music for the men of the Akan tradition. The name Asaadua evolves from the Asaa tree(Dua) in Akan. This relates to the gay and pleasant nature of the dance. The Asaa is a sweet fruit tree commonly found in the forest region of Ghana. One therefore would conclude that Asaadua is a dance for sheer enjoyment and pleasure.

Ashanti Asaadua Set:

Lead Drum Operenten and Support High and Low Tamalin, Dondo, Kpanlogo support Drum, Double Bell, Pod Bell and Gourd Shaker.

Sikyi is a recreational music and dance of the youth of Ashanti. It originated in the 1920s but became very popular around Ghana's Independence in 1957.It is performed in the vein of Kpanlogo of the Ga of Accra and Boborbor of the Northern Ewe of the Volta Region of Ghana. Sikyi is seen principally at social gatherings where the youth solely express themselves in courtship. It is flirtatious in character. Its characteristic form is the strutting and bobbling up and down and a display of theatrical elegance

Sikyi Drum Set:

Lead Operenten, Support Apentema, High, Middle and Low Tamalin, Bell and Shaker.

Just in case you are intersted in purchasing or further information about indigenous Ghanaian Musical Instruments, do not hesitate to contact us via:
Tel:+233 244 833734

Integrated Music Company Limited
Box 7041



Down on Maddy is a Dream on  New Single
Down on Maddy entices with his new single, "Titania." Showing an artist on the rise, Down on Maddy, the brainchild of singer-songwriter Patrick Kleven, skillfully crafts a hazy and dreamy sound that brings a retro flare into the mix. Kleven's voice is fitting to the piece, as it floats along the clouds and brings charming harmonies throughout that showcase his vocals. Down on Maddy has it all; his unique songwriter, captivating riffs and heaven-sent voice create an enticing combination that enlightens and delightens from start to finish. "Titania" is a fantastic piece to kick off your Down on Maddy obsession can quote me on that.
Check out "Titania" via Soundcloud:
Social Links:

One more album that proves the strong awareness of Hungarian artists and institutions of their tradition and cultural heritage


     MAGOS: Forgatós

     Fonó Budai Zeneház, 2018

Magos - Forgatos

Magos means the core. That is, at least, how Google translated it from Hungarian. Even if this was not true, we have the freedom to consider this group of excellent Hungarian performers, well established on the Budapest táncház scene, as the core, the essence of something, which can be described as the music itself or the living music tradition. Magos is making old village music alive, sounding powerful and desirable, and as the Forgatós album listener, you will find yourself in a timeless passionate embrace with tradition. Embrace with irresistible shrieking violins, warm scraping of viola, raw accordion, chatty cimbalom, sharp double bass part, melancholy flute…

The medley in the track 7, ˮVerbunkosˮ, carries some of the most exciting moments where variety of instruments are lined up and united. There is a lot of military exellence, in line with the notion of verbunkos, but also one incredibly sensual episode, during which the whole body vibrates from the power of all used strings and bows. This cannot be played by an ordinary musician. For such an authentic interpretation and rapprochement with the Hungarian sound of Romanian Transylvania, it is necessary for the ears to pass through the ground, where others have passed already (not only the famous Bartok) and recorded, immortalized their ethnomusicological adventures. And then it is desirable to let legs walk the same, parallel or transverse paths, listening, recording and absorbing local music styles and temperaments on the way. Just like Magos does.

The Forgatós album is in the shape of the beauty of field research, since it is based on recordings by various collectors of folk music. The group’s special dedication goes out to Zoltán Kallós, a great folklorist, who died three months before the release of the album of Magos, and it is interesting that in the same period, Fono label released another remarkable album inspired by Transylvania – Hozomány, by the singer Ágnes Herczku, with also a distinguished value of Kallós's name and work. But let's not wander off the Forgatós disc. In the great CD booklet we see that there was direct contact between these musicians of the younger generation with the bearers of the tradition, seeing among others the colorful face of Aladár Csiszár, an old violinist from the Mures region in Transylvania. A perfect school for those who want to learn the proper way.

That's why Magos sounds so good and could be celebrated with a performance that does not need a human voice to empower it. Could be, unless the singer is Ágnes Enyedi with her bright, a solemn vocal, able to raise a person in a spiritual way. She shines in those distinguished exclamation vocal moments in the Hungarian tradition, which transform the listener at once into a cheerful fan of village fairs. To this ambience I would like to place myself, searching for the essence and listening to Magos.


The members of the band are:

ENYEDI Ágnes, Young Master of Folk Arts, Junior Prima Award – voice
SOÓS Csaba, Young Master of Folk Arts – violin
KOVÁCS Márton, Junior Prima Award – violin
ÉRI Márton – violas
ENYEDI Tamás – cimbalom/Hungarian dulcimer
PRIHODA István – double bass, cello
Special guest: SALAMON Soma – accordion, flutes

JALEBI Music.....Celebrates .......Sri Narasimha Jayanthi !!!

Sri Narasimha Jayanthi (May 23, 2013)!


Sri Narasimha Devi   ...........3D Artist: Shyam Vyda

"Narasimha" ...........3D Artist: Shyam Vyda


Sri Narasimha Dev Ki Jaya! ...... VIDEO TRIBUTE ......JALEBI Music

VIDEO: "Namaste Narasimhaya" (JALEBI Music)

SONG......"Namaste Narasimhaya" (JALEBI Music):

What is the power of worshipping Lord Narasimha?

Lord Narasimha destroys sins, grants virtues, grants moral religious merits, grants objects of human pursuit - Puruśhartha. The lord grants ultimate peace, knowledge, and joy. He fulfills wishes for the seekers of the worldly desires.


***JALEBI Music band members:

-Shirley Marie Bradby aka MiraBai Devi Dasi (lead singer, vocals and lyrics)

-Ramananda Roy Das (bass guitar and other instruments)

-Yasoda Nandana Das (guitar, musical composition, and various instruments)


Got My Steel Pans-Musical Recycling, Is The Pan Electrified Yet???

My name is Gregory Boyd. I Rock The SteelPans. I blend the sound of The Musical Instrument known as Caribbean SteelPan with a Blues/Soul vocal to make something special for the Listener. I come from Northern and Southern USA Traditions and am related to Blues Legend Muddy Waters. As a child I spent my time in Detroit, Milwaukee and Colorado. I joined the US Navy eventually becoming a member of The US Navy Steel Drum Band. I was stationed New Orleans at age 19 where I spent my time performing with the US Navy Band learning Steel Pans and by chance meeting the Neville Brothers performing with members of this acclaimed New Orleans first family of funk. I owe part of my sound to living in the Midwest for a time as a child. “In my neighborhood as a child growing up in the Midwest it was almost unheard of to listen to anything but Rock Music. I listened to Hendrix. To me he was not rock but an innovator of music itself and I love the sound of innovation, rock music was all that was on the radio and I truly fell in love with the sound of raw guitars and screaming riffs” My first thought after learning Steelpans was that one day I will put that Rock music and New Orleans funk on my Steelpans and Electrify my Pans. My first professional session was in New Orleans with the Basin Brothers Cajun band which started a long affair with a broad plethora of music styles from Indian to Classical music, Funk and Jazz, Rock and Blues. “My goal is to move people and innovate simultaneously it always has been and until I feel that I have reached that goal I will not stop”.

I will be performing in

May 14, Los Angeles California, USA VENUE- The Whiskey A Go-Go- 08:45pm 

March 10, Hamburg, Germany Laeiszhalle Yearly Concert Hall Performance

September 4-6th Bingley Music Live United Kingdom



more dates to be announced





"I love this guy! Okay, where do I begin? He's playing steel drum and singing-how many times do you see that? It is very innovative. His improvisation is really great! I love what he is doing! Singing with his instrument-I've never seen anyone do that. It's a whole new twist!"

Cassandra Wilson- Grammy Award Winning Vocalist  Composer 

"soulful," "uplifting" and "melodically clever." 

Music Connection Los Angeles

“...with genious and aloofness of Monk, blended with the soulfulness of Al Green, coupled with the musical presence of Jimi Hendrix, Boyd can Jazz, Funk and Ring in the Blues....... 
"Gregory's playing during his time in New Orleans in the '90s really opened up my ears to what is possible on the steel pans." Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton Grammy Award Winning Musician 
Ghanaian Musical Instruments

Ghanaian Musical Instruments can be said to emanate from the various tribal groupings in Ghana.

Every tribe in Ghana from North to South, East to West can boast of a peculiar instrument to their name.

Today, i will begin with the various popular drums emanting from the Ewe tribe of Ghana.

The Ewe tribe are from South East Ghana. (Volta Region). The different families of drums are named after their dances.
The dances are divided into two, the Southern Ewe: Agbadza, Gahu, Kinka, Atsiagbekor;
Southern Ewe drums: Atsimevu, Sogo, Gbogba, Kidi, Kroboto and Kagan.

And the Northern Ewe: Gbolo and Boborbor.
Northern Ewe plays the rhythms: Gbolo and Boborbor with the drums: Vuga, Vuvi and Assivui.

The joy on achieving Independence in Ghana was expressed in various ways by the entire populace of the coountry. This "new life" envisaged, resulted in the emergence of several new musical types. These new creations relating to the "freedom" to be enjoyed through the independence have roots in the popular Ghanaian Highlife.

Boborbor is one of such musical creations of the period 1947-1957. Also known as Abeyeye or Akpese; Boborbor originated from Kpando in the Volta Region of Ghana through the ingenuity of the late Francis Cudjoe Nuatro popularly called F.C. Boborbor is presently the most popular social music and dance of the Central and Northern Ewes of Ghana and Togo. Itis generally performed at funerals and other social ocassions.

Boborbor music and dance ceremony is syncretic in character and it is performed principally in a circular formation.

Ewe Boborbor Set:

Lead Drums, 3x Vuga, Vuvi and Assivui Support Drums, 2x Kretsiwa(Pod Bells), 2x Kaye(Straw Rattle).

Just in case you need further information about purchasing any indigenous Ghanaian musical instrument, you can reach us on 

Tel: +233 244 833734;

Integrated Music Co. Ltd.
Box 7041,

Falling in Love with Daiana Segovia

Daiana Solange Segovia is a woman of many hats. She's a recording artist, composer, lyricist, writer and Psychologist originally from Argentina who is based in New York City. Her stunning and unique musical style draws from several different genres, blending soul, pop and R&B with elements of electropop, classic jazz and Latin music. Her musical influences range from Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway to Ivan Lins and Argentinian vocalist Mercedes Sosa. She moved to NYC when she got an Scholarship to study music at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and now is ready to take over the world, one song at a time. 

Daiana is currently recording her first album in collaboration with American and Latin American producers.She has toured all over the world performing at prestigious venues in Asia, Europe, South America and the US singing as a Lead for the Royal Families of Thailand and Malaysia and being the only Latin Singer at Nelson Mandela's Memorial in NYC. Recently I had the chance to speak with Daiana, in a personal interview, that takes us inside her musical musings.


Tell us about the making of "Fall in Love" and the concept behind it?

"Fall in Love" speaks about loving someone even if you are going through a very rough time. It’s about believing that the power of love can guide you through and trusting it. It’s also about sensuality and being vulnerable. I was born in Argentina, so I grew up listening to Tango music and I have a very deep connection with its romanticism, sensuality and passion. When I write, the Argentine fire just comes through me and takes over. I can’t help it! I definitely think that defines me as an artist and human being.

“Fall In Love” is also the first song I wrote when I moved to the USA The melody and lyrics flew so spontaneously and fast that I underestimated the song for a long time. It wasn’t until I incorporated it on my shows and people started saying that was their favorite song that I actually decided to record it. I feel very lucky because I had the chance to work with one of my favorite arrangers and instrumentalists in the world: Dave Eggar.

Dave is very familiar with Argentine Tango and Folk and he immediately captured my essence and made a beautiful strings arrangement for it. I recorded it at Lynn Verlayne Studios in Brooklyn. I also co-writed the song with her.

What elements influence your songwriting?

Relationships. I think they can change your life and they are like a mirror to look at yourself. Relationships are like a powerful instrument to understand the world and yourself better. They bring deep and rich material to write about and I work out my own understanding through writing. I also get inspired by nature, travelling, writing and reading poetry, dreams, languages, conversations, strangers I meet on the train, improvising jazz, listening to a bunch of music from all genres, books, dancing, taking long walks…I truly feel that being passionate about life itself and wanting to share my enthusiasm with the world keeps me open to writing new ideas and music on a daily basis.

I also have a Masters in Psychology and I have done a few internships where I got the chance to speak and connect with –what the world calls- “the different ones” or “the suffering ones” and then I discovered the healing power of music. If my lyrics or my melodies can ever touch hearts and change lives, that will give me a sense of accomplishment that it will hard to put into words.

It will be just amazing. Magical.

If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose and why?

Madison Square Garden in New York and Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Those venue are so powerful!! I actually just saw David Gilmour’s concert at MSG and it was one of the best concerts I have experienced in my entire life.

In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more?

I love them both but performing live brings an indescribable feeling. I love to genuinely connect with the audience and watch them smile or even cry –sometimes- with my songs. It’s almost like a therapeutic experience! Music has the power of releasing emotions and pain for both (the artist and audience) and it gives us a sense of hope about the future.

I enjoy the studio very much as well. Usually when I am working on a new song I take the first take home and I listen to it over and over. I usually find very spontaneous and fresh material that I keep for the final recording. I love improvising at the studio and singing my own background vocals as well.

What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?

That I can be myself and there’s no judgement. I can create my own world and play with it as much as I want. It’s a like parallel universe where anything is possible. My soul flies through my lyrics and my voice when I sing it. It’s like running naked in a huge field of endless possibilities. Pure freedom.

What songwriters and musicians do you look to for inspiration?

My top ten are Prince, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Ivan Lins, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Cuchi Leguizamon, Piazzolla, Freddy Mercury and Joe Zawinul. I play their music when I want to feel uplifted and get inspired… just listening to them takes me to another world where my mind and heart are set free.

Some of the albums and songs I play are; “The division bell” (Pink Floyd), “Innervisions” by Stevie Wonder, “Parade” by Prince, “Obivlion” by Piazzolla and “Lo cortez no quita lo cabral” by Facundo Cabral and Alberto Cortez.

What is the overall inspiration behind your songs; lyrically and musically?

I have had the chance to travel the world playing music. I have lived in India, South America, the Middle East, Europe and the USA and I learnt that music is one of the most powerful things in life. Life connects us with love, hope, grief and the most powerful things on earth and this happens beyond language, religion or cultural background.

That’s why I do music, because I love life and I love sharing my passion with everyone.

"Fall in Love" 


World Rhythms News Banner

Issue 16. Summer 2018:

In this issue:

Arabic Rhythms

Rhythm in Arabic music is organized into cycles of beats and pauses. Each cycle consists of a fixed number of metric pulses, including a hierarchy of strong beats, weak beats, and silent beats that define a groove. In performance some of the rests or silent beats may be filled in, but the underlying feel is maintained. The sounding beats vary in timbre and are described with onomatopoeic syllables. The strong beat is described using the syllable "dum" for the heavy low-pitched center sound of the drum. The weak is represented by the word "tek" for the bright, high-pitched edge or side sound of the drum and is not necessarily less loud than the strong beat. In some ways, it shares a similar feeling to the off-beat in Western music.


Drum IconMIDI. >play

Chiftitelli is the Turkish word for belly dancing. It is an 8 beat rhythm with 3-3-2 accent pattern in the first four beats that is very popular with belly dancers.

1   +   2   +   3   +   4   +   | 1   +   2   +   3   +   4   + | 

dum     tek tek     tek tek       dum     dum     tek

1   2   3   1   2   3   1   2           

Drum IconMIDI. >play

Elzaffa is a musical procession. The main pattern is 8 beats long.

1   +   2   +   3   +   4   +   | 1   +   2   +   3   +   4   + | 

dum     tek ka  tek     tek       dum     tek     tek    (tek ka)
Drum Syllables

dum (right hand clear low tone)
tek (right hand high crisp tone)
ka (left hand, sounds like tek)

After studying the traditional rhythm, check out Ancient Future's performance of Matthew Montfort's world fusion composition in this rhythmic mode, "El Zaffa."

El Zaffa on Ethnocloud
'El Zaffa' YouTube Video URL:

El Zaffa 4:26 (Matthew Montfort. © 2001 Ancient Future Music). iTunes. >YTmusic. Full version/best audio quality appears on Planet Passion (Ancient-Future.Com AF-2010) CD, $17.98 (SALE $10!): Buy CD Now.

Ancient Future Live

Concert Poster
Concert Poster
(259k pdf)

Arabic Fusion Program

This program blends the rhythms and melodies of the Arabian Peninsula with contemporary jazz and rock, producing an irresistible and exhilarating fusion that captures the essence of pilgrimage, cultural exchange, exploration and migration. Ancient Future's performance features world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort, Arabic violin virtuoso Georges Lammam, Arabic percussion master Antoine Lammam, and keyboardist extraordinaire Doug McKeehan. These multifaceted artists create an innovative musical experience that guides listeners on a hypnotic voyage through time and place.

Saturday, July 28, 8 PM
Throckmorton Theatre

142 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Doors open at 7:30 PM
Adm: $20 adv, $25 at door, $35 reserved seating
Info: 415-383-9600
Facebook Event
Listen on Spotify

Sunday, August 4, 8:30 PM (SOLD OUT!)
UCO Lick Observatory Benefit
Main Building Hall
Mount Hamilton, CA 95140
Adm: $45 general seating, $90 preferred, $199 VIP

Concert Review

"Woe, is for all of you who missed the Ancient Future event sponsored by Rhythm & Bliss. The group Ancient Future is made up of Musical Masters in their genres. The band consists of 24 musicians that come together in different configurations and create fused music. This configuration was an Arabic/Rock fusion. I have no words to describe what it is to hear live musical virtuosos. After hearing and dancing to this quality of music nothing else stirs my soul the same way. It was truly a grand evening. I was so very glad to have been there." – Mary Wheeler, The Harrakat, Eugene, Oregon

Musical Scavenger Hunt Contest

GongAfrican DjembeNorth Indian DrumGuitar Pick Carved in Bali for Matthew Montfort


13 Ways to Win

Participate in this educational scavenger hunt to win music education materials and learn about the ancient musical traditions of the world! Hunt through Ancient-Future.Com to answer the scavenger hunt questions. All of those who get any answer right win an educational digital liner note download of their choice! Get all of the answers right and also win your choice of the Audio Guide or MIDI Groove companion tracks to the world rhythms training manual, Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities.

Book Cover

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. By Matthew Montfort. Kentfield: Ancient Future Music, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Comb Bound Book- $46.95 (SALE $33.95): Buy 1 Now. New Best Buy! Book & Audio Guide/MIDI Download- $69.95 (SALE $49.95): Buy 1 Now.

Not just for percussionists, this classic "world beat bible" takes the student on a musical voyage through the ancient rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India with a series of interesting, imaginative and fun exercises for all music lovers that require no instruments to perform.

13 Scavenger Hunt Questions
  1. What rhythm was used as the basis for the fast section of the title track from the Ancient Future album Quiet Fire?
  2. Name six instruments utilized in an Eve percussion orchestra.
  3. What is the name of the more offbeat part of a Balinese kotèkan?
  4. What rhythm was used as the basis for the composition "Gamarock" from the Ancient Future album Dreamchaser?
  5. What is the name of an 11 beat North Indian rhythmic cycle that includes two groupings of 1 1/2 beats?
  6. What is the name of a common South Indian 8 beat rhythmic cycle?
  7. What is the name of the Egyptian wedding procession rhythm that is the basis for a popular Ancient Future track?
  8. What moods are associated with Rag Alhaiya Bilawal?
  9. What is the name of the second, higher part of a North Indian melodic composition?
  10. How many sympathetic strings does a North Indian sitar typically have?
  11. What are the three main schools of scalloped fretboard guitar?
  12. What instrument was traditionally made from the shell of an armadillo?
  13. Name two subjects available for study through private online lessons via Skype and other services through Ancient-Future.Com.

This scavenger hunt contest is open only to subscribers to the Ancient Future Times. If you are not already receiving this newsletter, please subscribe before entering. Entries accepted through August 13, 2018. Send entries to

Scavenger Hunt PrizesAudio Guide Tracks

A.T.F.P. Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: MP3 Audio Guide Tracks. By Matthew Montfort. Ancient Future Music (2005). New Release! Companion MP3 Audio Guide Tracks Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95): Buy 1 Now.

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. Ancient Future Music (1997. V. 4.0 2017). New Release! MIDI File Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95): Buy 1 Now.

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.

Digital Liner Notes

Seven Serenades Digital Liner Notes

Educational Digital Liner Notes. 17 page .pdf of liner notes for Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Matthew Montfort. Explains the inspirations and musical concepts behind each serenade. Sheet music is included for those who want to delve deeper. $2.98 (SALE $2): Buy 1 Now.

Yearning for the Wind Digital Liner Notes

Educational Digital Liner Notes. 7 page .pdf of liner notes for Yearning for the Wind by Ancient Future. These entertaining and educational liner notes feature cover art, musicians biographies, and detailed explanations of the musical concepts of raga and tala behind the music. $1.98 (SALE $1.50): Buy 1 Now.

Planet Passion Digital Liner Notes

Educational Digital Liner Notes. 11 page .pdf of liner notes for Planet Passion by Ancient Future. The liner notes are a digital version of the cover art and comprehensive CD booklet, which details a mythical story of love through the musical traditions of the world. $1.98 (SALE $1.50): Buy 1 Now.

World Music Lessons Via Skype

Skype Pick Icon

And Other Multimedia File Exchange MethodsPrivate Lessons with Matthew Montfort

Now you can study any of the subjects on the education section of Ancient-Future.Com through private correspondence lessons (via Skype or any method of file exchange) with Ancient Future bandleader and guitarist, Matthew Montfort. Feel free to email with any questions you may have about how correspondence lessons can help you in your musical development!

© 2018 Ancient Future Music. All rights reserved.

Ajay Mathur\'s Nothing Really Matters is Vulnerable and Inviting

Born in India and now residing in Switzerland, Ajay Mathur gives us something classic as well as unexpected. The traditional Indian elements tucked into a psychedelic/alt-rock package create a unique and inviting sound.  This blend is the perfect complement to his emotive vocals. 

The track Nothing Really Matters from his 2015 release 9 to 3 is a masterpiece of elegant darkness.  It has been nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Rock Song.  Accompanying the song is a beautiful video that is the result of a collaboration between Mathur and photographer Raffaella Bachmann. 

The black and white imagery of the video is a perfect match for Mathur’s aching vocals.  Mathur is reflecting on a long-term relationship that has fallen apart.  The heartbreak and confusion morph slowly into a numbness and a questioning of the point of existence if things cannot be as they once were.  This is a very personal catharsis but it is one many can relate to. 


Watch the video for Nothing Really Matters here:

Stream the full album here:


Image by Paul Pacitti (




New Fan Funded Tracks Added to the \'Archive of Future Ancient Recordings\' by Ancient Future

Ancient-Future.Com Records Presents
The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.)

New Tracks Added to the Fan Supported Recording Series by Ancient Future

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.

6/16/16 Update Adds Six New Pieces

On 6/16/16, six new pieces and a video make their debut in the fan funded Archive of Future Ancient Recordings, which gives supporters access to Ancient Future recordings as they are created. There are four new tracks, two of which feature two compositions, the first serving as an introduction to the second. There are now 13 tracks totaling 86 minutes and 51 seconds of music in the archive. Two of the new tracks are live versions of pieces originally recorded during Ancient Future's major label days, and two are brand new studio tracks, including Ancient Future's first ever cover of a popular song, a world fusion version of Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze showcasing Bui Huu Nhut on Vietnamese dan bau, a one string instrument with a whammy bar! The piece also features Uzbeki percussion master Abbos Kosimov, who performs frequently with tabla phenom Zakir Hussain, and it is the very first studio recording featuring Matthew Montfort on his Godin Glissentar fretless guitar.

Tres Tarantas Tres (Montfort. 4:32). Based on the flamenco form Tarantas, but with a rhythmic structure of three groups of three, this piece also makes a foray into impressionism ala Eric Satie. Lineup: Matthew Montfort (flamenco guitar).

Gamarock (Montfort. 12:10). Recorded live 4/29/15, this piece from Dreamchaser fuses Balinese gamelan with rock and roll. Lineup: Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitars), Vishal Nagar (tabla), Jason Everett (7 string fretless bass).

Prelude/Bookenka (Montfort/Doug McKeehan 6:50). Recorded 10/16/13 at the World Without Walls Reunion Concert at the Freight & Salvage. Lineup: Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Doug McKeehan (piano), Kash Killion (bass), Ian Dogole (percussion), Mariah Parker (santur), Jim Hurley (violin).

Purple Nam/Purple Haze (Montfort/Jimi Hendrix. 4:44). A Vietnamese version of Montfort's Purple Raga sets up an adventurous excursion into Hendrix's classic rock piece with Vietnamese dan bau instead of electric guitar. Lineup: Bui Huu Nhut (dan bau), Matthew Montfort (Godin Glissentar fretless 11 string guitar, fretless bass), Abbos Kosimov (Uzbeki percussion), Mariah Parker (keys).

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

30th Anniversary CD Mystery Cover

Ancient Future performed its first concert on February 11, 1979, at the Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax, California. Since then, the band has gone on to perform hundreds of concerts nationally and internationally and release seven full length recordings and an HD video that have established Ancient Future as the trendsetting pioneers of world fusion music, a term coined by Ancient Future bandleader Matthew Montfort at the group's inception for music that combines ideas from many of the world's great musical traditions.

During Ancient Future's 30th anniversary year, a new Ancient Future band project was conceived: the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.). The concept of the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings 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.

To finance A.F.A.R., Ancient-Future.Com Records has been quietly providing financial supporters access to select files from Ancient Future's archives of alternate takes, live concerts and radio performances along with new studio recordings as they are created. To date, 18% of the fundraising goal has been raised at concerts, on Ancient-Future.Com, and through the Ancient Future Times, the band's email newsletter. The full archive of recordings is available during the project exclusively to supporters, and when the archive is complete, a portion of the recordings will be selected for commercial release on Ancient-Future.Com Records.

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 and will be put to good use! There are a range of benefits for the various packages, including the A.F.A.R. email newsletter (which provides a window on the recording process as it develops), immediate access to downloads of the recordings placed in the archives, digital liner notes, limited edition CD-R's of the archives when complete with printed liner notes signed by Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort, video and 24 bit audio files for hi-res playback on computers, and a 30% discount on the advance copies of the final commercial release. Detailed information on the various supporter packages and the benefits included can be found at

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

Prelude and Bookenka 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.!

Ethnocloud Video URL:

Irka Mateo heats up Joe\'s Pub with Sizzling Performance

Last Tuesday evening (July 14th) Dominican singer, composer and arranger Irka Mateo captivated a diverse and enthusiastic capacity crowd at the legendary New York City venue Joe’s Pub as she and her band debuted her new compositions and arrangements featuring Latin American accordion styles.  Irka, as she is known to her fans, quickly proved her prowess as a top Latin world music composer and performer to both new and established fans as she and her band ignited the energetic set with a rollicking cumbia with hints of Haitian kompa “Pecao Aciguatao”.  The audience was next treated to a fresh arrangement of the tune “Liborio” in the comarca style from the southwest of the Dominican Republic, revealing Irka’s clever insertion into her compositions of her work from ten years spent researching rural Dominican folkloric music styles.

Irka and her band moved seamlessly from one song to the next, serving up innovative fusions at each turn.  Every song explored the roots and the boundaries of Dominican and Latin American music.  The first single from Irka’s upcoming release “Vamo a Gozá” established a bachata groove rhythmically, but the accordion exuded a melancholic tango melody.  “Taínos” lyrically documents a wealth of taíno vocabulary as a basis for Dominican Spanish set over the rhythm of the congos, an afro-descended rhythm which has been preserved for 500 years by the Afro-Dominican community in the town of Villa Mella.  Irka’s new arrangement of “Taínos”, a familiar song from her set list at her NYC concerts from 2010 to 2012, displayed a modern Mandingo accordion over the congos, a rhythm that has survived only in the African diaspora.  By the time the fiery accordion riffs of “Coje y Deja” revealed a Colombian puya over the Afro-Dominican sarandunga rhythm, Irka had the audience mesmerized with her vibrant patchwork of musical fusions.

Aiding Irka in keeping the flame on high throughout the set were some highly-talented musicians she has collaborated with on past projects as well as new talent brought on board for this venture.  An emerging jazz composer and performer, guitarist Yasser Tejeda, a frequent collaborator of Irka's, presided as producer and co-arranger of her new project and musical director of the show, displaying his skill and range with a simmering intensity.  Irka's most veteran collaborator, Joel Guzman, moved effortlessly between congas, guiro and other percussion instruments, adding at intervals unique flairs of showmanship.  Mary Spencer Knapp commanded on the accordion, the unmistakable backbone of the evening’s musical journey.   Kyle Myles and Otoniel Vargas also gave solid performances on bass and drum set, respectively, adding to the high quality of the band. Myles not only kept the rhythm tight, but he also demonstrated his skills melodically.  Vargas proved himself as a key new representative of Dominican drummers who translate folkloric rhythms to the drum set.

When it seemed Irka had exhausted all the tricks from her magician’s hat, she sang at ease in Portuguese as her band blazed through the Brazilian rhythms of “Magia”.  Then another unexpected twist:  Percussionist Joel Guzman picked up a chekere and suddenly, Irka and her band had the Joe’s Pub crowd seduced with the funky, full force Afrobeat “Corazon” in which the stunning singer further expanded her range as she delivered most of the lyrics as a rap.  A familiar song to Irka’s veteran fans, but with a vibrant new arrangement, “Temprano” concluded Irka and her band’s extraordinary set, followed by an extended standing ovation.  This high-octane concert whetted concertgoers’ appetite for other opportunities to catch Irka and her band live and has created high expectations for her upcoming CD, currently slated for release at the end of 2015.

Follow this link to read the review of Irka's concert in Spanish:

For more information about Irka, her website is the following:


Rebetiko - Anestis Delias - The pain of the junkie


I would like to share something which created strong feelings in me. It really moved me...

I was trying to play something on my bouzouki and suddenly I realized I was playing a melody quite known to me.

I knew this melody. I was playing it decades ago. I looked up in youtube. I found a version of the song which was performed by Payoumtzis but the lyrics was not what I could recall. “Of course”, I thought, “it is the censored version”  although rerecorded and published again during the 60’s for commercial reasons. I went on searching and in a couple of minutes I recalled the very first version. “O ponos tou prezakia” (The pain of the junkie) by Anestis Delias (

I recalled also his story by looking in several sites and remembered how he lived and how he died. He wrote this song about his own future death (31 July 1944)!

I was in the middle of a production and I thought by myself: “do not even  think about it!... No time for this now… go on with what you are currently buzy…”

I was and remained impulsive though…


Lyrics: Anestis Delias
Music: Anestis Delias
First version: 
Anestis Delias

From the time that i started sniffing the drugs
the world has rejected me I don't know what to do
the world has rejected me I don't know what to do
from the time that i started sniffing the drugs

Wherever i stand and i go they make fun of me
and my soul can't stand that they call me a junkie
and my soul can't stand that they call me a junkie
wherever i stand and i go they make fun of me

After sniffing i started using the needle
and slowly my body started to disintegrate
and slowly my body started to disintegrate
after sniffing i started using the needle

Nothing remains for me to do in this world
since the drugs made me die in the street
since the drugs made me die in the street
nothing remains for me to do in this world

Up close with ALEKO


Aleko is a budding new talent that hails from New Jersey. His gorgeous knack for writing enchanting and heartfelt music, brings an eclectic brand of folk to the world. Aleko's debut album, "Amity," is the perfect introduction to the singer-songwriter, who proves that his music is timeless, right from the very beginning. Today we speak with Aleko on the making of his debut, and songwriting. Read below!

Aleko via Bandcamp:

Tell us about the making of "Amity" and the concept behind it? 

I started this project about six months ago and the moment I had gone in to record “Let You Down” marked the first step towards “Amity’s” creation. Every song I’d written in those initial six months had either been devoted to my debut E.P, or for more work towards a full album. The concept of “Amity” and what drove me to create it was simply to let everything go that’s been on my mind for the past six months, and even as far back as the past three years for me. Although it’s only a five song EP, I wanted each song to individually display itself and carry the emotion and meaning behind them with clarity. I wanted to ensure anyone listening to “Hold on Me” or “Why am I”, for example, could relate in more ways than just simply talking can. 
What elements influence your songwriting? 
A lot of my lyrics are written in the heat of the moment, pouring my heart out based off of whatever subject matter comes to mind. Instrumentally, where most of my writing is on the guitar, I use a lot of finger-picking and percussive techniques to groove it all together. I love to put a lot of soul into my work, and just as much of it into my live performance. So, when it comes down to creating both the lyrics and the overall composition, I want my audience to feel every bit of it whether it’s from their speakers or from the stage.
If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose and why? 
Even though it’s a colossal dream, the number one venue I would love to play in after having the right arrangements and setup for it would be Madison Square Garden. Growing up, and learning how to both play and write music, I’d always watched videos of artists performing there. Watching singer songwriters transform their acts into full-scale instrumental arrangements, that sound seamless, really inspired me the most. It’s dreaming of a lot, but I don’t see any point in wanting something if it’s not the very pinnacle of what I can achieve.
In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? 
Explain your reason. I love both, but as a whole I definitely prefer performing live on stage more than anything. The songs I write are meant to be performed, and performing is just the culmination of it all after having written enough songs to complete a full set. One huge benefit of performing is being able to see the true reactions people have towards your music, to your performance, and towards your entire being. How complete strangers will address you, praise you, and connect with you after a great performance. It just brings the intimacy of it all together, and really shows that all your work has a direction. What I love about being in the studio, to keep it short, is the ability to just create material and go crazy with ideas; plus, I love working with producers and keeping an open mind to learn new methods and ideas. 
What do you enjoy most about creating music in general? 
Good music is one of the very few things, at least that I’m aware of from experience, which has the power to give someone chills and overwhelm them at the very same time. I’ve been practicing, learning, and honing in on my abilities as an artist with one of many goals being to create music that makes people feel that way. It’s humbling to hear someone tell you that they felt something when they listened to your song, and it’s gratifying to know that it wasn’t something negative. I create my music for the performance, for an audience, and for the sake of bringing every bit of my thoughts and feelings out as soulful and powerfully as possible.

** Tell us about the making of "Amity" and the concept behind it? I started this project about six months ago and the moment I had gone in to record “Let You Down” marked the first step towards “Amity’s” creation. Every song I’d written in those initial six months had either been devoted to my debut E.P, or for more work towards a full album. The concept of “Amity” and what drove me to create it was simply to let everything go that’s been on my mind for the past six months, and even as far back as the past three years for me. Although it’s only a five song EP, I wanted each song to individually display itself and carry the emotion and meaning behind them with clarity. I wanted to ensure anyone listening to “Hold on Me” or “Why am I”, for example, could relate in more ways than just simply talking can. ** What elements influence your songwriting? A lot of my lyrics are written in the heat of the moment, pouring my heart out based off of whatever subject matter comes to mind. Instrumentally, where most of my writing is on the guitar, I use a lot of fingerpicking and percussive techniques to groove it all together. I love to put a lot of soul into my work, and just as much of it into my live performance. So, when it comes down to creating both the lyrics and the overall composition, I want my audience to feel every bit of it whether it’s from their speakers or from the stage. ** If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose and why? Even though it’s a colossal dream, the number one venue I would love to play in after having the right arrangements and setup for it would be Madison Square Garden. Growing up, and learning how to both play and write music, I’d always watched videos of artists performing there. Watching singer songwriters transform their acts into full-scale instrumental arrangements, that sound seamless, really inspired me the most. It’s dreaming of a lot, but I don’t see any point in wanting something if it’s not the very pinnacle of what I can achieve. ** In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? Explain your reason. I love both, but as a whole I definitely prefer performing live on stage more than anything. The songs I write are meant to be performed, and performing is just the culmination of it all after having written enough songs to complete a full set. One huge benefit of performing is being able to see the true reactions people have towards your music, to your performance, and towards your entire being. How complete strangers will address you, praise you, and connect with you after a great performance. It just brings the intimacy of it all together, and really shows that all your work has a direction. What I love about being in the studio, to keep it short, is the ability to just create material and go crazy with ideas; plus, I love working with producers and keeping an open mind to learn new methods and ideas. ** What do you enjoy most about creating music in general? Good music is one of the very few things, at least that I’m aware of from experience, which has the power to give someone chills and overwhelm them at the very same time. I’ve been practicing, learning, and honing in on my abilities as an artist with one of many goals being to create music that makes people feel that way. It’s humbling to hear someone tell you that they felt something when they listened to your song, and it’s gratifying to know that it wasn’t something negative. I create my music for the performance, for an audience, and for the sake of bringing every bit of my thoughts and feelings out as soulful and powerfully as possible.



The Krickets Share \

My love for Americana is wide, so my ears definitely perked up when I first heard The Krickets' new single, "Cool Cool Water." The group has of recent, released their new record, Spanish Moss Sirens, which hears the group performing blissfully as one. Their vocals are harmonious and heavenly, and the overall instrumentation is an absolute delight.

 The Krickets "Cool Cool Water":

Garnering attention in the Folk music world, as they have also recently been nominated for an IMA award, the group have been on the radar of all those who listen. Give a listen to "Cool Cool Water," from the critically acclaimed record, Spanish Moss Siren, out now.



Doinique Hourani and Paris Hilton in BulgariaLebanese singer  Dominique Hourani  globetrotted her way to Europe for a lil’ mix of work and play. She inaugurated her country hopping tour with the 'Formula One' race in Italy. After watching the world’s hottest (in all meanings of the term) racers rush to the finish line, she continued on her journey to Cannes to change things up from cars to boats and yachts at an exhibition.

Dominique also got Papal with a visit to the Vatican, and took a living history lesson by touring the Roman ruins.

While she might be one of the most intriguing divas from the Middle East, Dominique made sure she met up with her American counterpart.

According to Laha Magazine, Dominique's trip also included a visit to Bulgaria where she met up with Paris Hilton. The two celebs made sure to have picture proof of their time together abroad.

Throwing a little work in to the pot, Dominique made time to hit up recording studios in Milan and looked over a number of new songs to throw into her next album.

The only downside to her VIP European adventure was getting robbed during her stay in Cannes. Her handbag and all her legal documents was stolen at one of the stores. Yikes!

Original article:

Dominique's Profile on EthnoCloud:


DaniElle DeLaite: An Australian Dream

Recently introduced to the Australian dream known as DaniElle DeLaite, we bring a little something different to the table in Ethnocloud today. Hailed as an EDM superstar, she releases her new video for "Shooting Stars," an eclectic piece that brings not only a flavor of dance, but rock and pop influences as well. 

"Shooting Stars" Video"

DeLaite who has been a global phenom for quite some time, creates an intriguing first look to U.S. fans, who may not be aware of her accolades before now. A superstar in the dance world and stage. "In addition to studying dance, performing and working on her album DeLaite also acts. She has appeared on stage performing in the plays Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oliver and Annie.She also loves jazz and especially likes to perform the songs of Cole Porter"; an impressive resume.

DeLaite says of her musical endevors "

“Essentially, though, I am a storyteller of the experiences of others, myself and imagined experiences. Music and lyric can touch the emotional core as the listener recognizes an emotion, and/or experience that has been longed for or regretted. Just as valuable is the mood created by the song or the energy stirred with upbeat songs that put people in a fun mood and may even lead to dancing!”

No matter what the mood, DeLaite an certainly lighten it!




Interview Piece: Mooji Reveals his Alter Musical Ego

Mooji is a brilliant talent that we had featured a little while back, regarding his new single "Medley," off of his new record "Double Agent." Based in Spain, Mooji started his roots out as Kramnik, a real respected and highly sought after DJ. Deciding to bring a musical twist to the table, his new music is a complete 360. I had the chance to speak with Mooji regarding his flavorful sound of acid-jazz, dub, funk, down-temp and blues, that is ready to take over the world.

Welcome, Mooji.

Tell us about the making of "Double Agent" and the concept behind it? 

For the most part, 'Double Agent' came to life in Berlin, but also during my travels to Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. I moved to Berlin after releasing 'Dark Matters' (under the Kramnik name), because I wanted to approach this album with a different mindset. The idea was to try a completely different style of music, more chilled, and definitely more organic. I knew I didn't want to make another electronic album because I had just finished one (with a lot of effort...). I was just looking for a different type of challenge this time, but had no idea where I was going. I did want some improvisation, though, so for this album I hired some studio musicians to play the guitar, trumpet solos, harmonicas, etc. I also play the drums on most of the tracks in the album.

What elements influence your songwriting?

At the time I was listening to a lot of acid-jazz and downtempo, so I think that was a big influence. But you also have some dubby stuff in there (Medley), a soundtrack (Psilo Symphony), something electro (Dont), and even a blues remix. I came across a 1935 song by Leadbelly during my time in Cambodia, and I thought it would be a good candidate for a remix (called How Long in the album). In this album I also introduce spoken voices, by people like John Lee Hooker, Lee 'Scrath' Perry, or Muddy Waters. Just spoken voices, though, not signing. I like the effect it has on the music.
If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose and why?
Probably Albert Hall because it means you pretty much made it. And also because it's a venue that represents quality music. But this album is very chilled and has no band behind it, so I still have to figure out how to perform it...
What is the meaning behind “Medley”? How did you create the track? What was it’s inspiration?
I wrote Medley in Berlin, and it's my first attempt at something dubby (or anywhere near that genre, really!). The name comes from some bagpipes I warped for the track, which is actually two songs joined together. I thought featuring Lee Perry would add a nice Jamaican touch, so he talks about the responsibility of leading other musicians during his college years. I hope to come back to this genre in the future, which in the studio we jokingly called HumStep, ​ because I 'hum' towards the end​ of the track (LOL...).
In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? Explain your reason. 
'Double Agent' hasn't been performed yet, because of the challenge in going live with such a chilled album, so for now I'll go for the studio. That's where all the magic takes place, and where you create a special bond with the music. For me it's a very scientific approach of trial and error, where sometimes the errors have the best results
What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?
For me making music is like a pilgrimage. It's more about the process than the finished song. And when it's finished, I normally don't like to hear it again because I want to change everything... So making music is like breaking a relationship. You develop a very strong bond with the song, and then it's very hard to let go. 
What made you decide to switch from a producer and DJ background to one focused on jazz, blues and funk?
Growing up I had the dream of making an album-mix, but I think this was a bit too challenging for a debut album... Making 'Dark Matters' with no production skills was not very easy, to say the least (which I released as Kramnik). I just had to learn as I went along, even though some of the early songs ended up later in the tracklist. But because 'Dark Matters' was designed as a mix, the tracks were made for DJs (as opposed to the general public). Plus it was very dark and experimental. So this time, instead of another electronic album, I wanted to make something beyond the dancefloor, something that could be shared with friends. The result is a more chilled, listening album, but touching on different genres. So chilled, in fact, that I've had to release it under a brand new name (Mooji). I was looking for shorter, more organic songs, but also with live instruments (including me on drums). I also introduce human voices in this album, which was lacking in 'Dark Matters'.
Nandan Gautam Tells Us His Story
With an incredible track record both in the music and writing realm, artistic nomad Nandan Gautam brings to the world a bold and epic sound that is alluring from beginning to end. The sleek, sultry and ambient “Hold On To Your Sails” soars with melodic lead vocals, uplifting ocean imagery, infectious beats, and ethereal electro beauty. Nandan composed, produced, handled all the voices, spoken word, and played keys and programmed all drums and synth baselines on the song which made us want to dive in deeper. This Summer we caught up with Nandan for an interview that details his creative process. Let's begin, shall we?
When you are writing music, what comes first, the music or the lyrics?
A: I wish there was an easy answer. Sometimes the music comes first. Sometimes everything comes together. Making music is a magical process. I don't think I'll ever understand how it happens! We try to put down a process, but in truth, there isn't. I couldn't repeat my own formula, even if I wanted to!
What is the inspiration and aspirations behind the latest single release?
A: When we think or speak, there are many things we want to say together. They might even contradict each other. We can feel a sense of hopelessness and incredible strength, or freedom and isolation... all at once. I wanted to convey this sense of falling, along with a sense of rising. This song is about how these opposites can exist and express themselves together very cohesively even though it wouldn't seep easily possible. Not only within the lyrics... even the melodies I've come up with are both western and eastern sounding, but they co-exist very harmoniously. That was my aspiration. I hope I managed to come close! 
Can you tell us about the new record? How did the concept come to life?
A: I've been working on my novel, The King of the Sea, for the last 4 years. Two years ago when I began to make music I realised how perfectly my music captured the emotional thread of the novel. It was much more than a soundtrack in the conventional sense. It was a true companion to the book I was writing. That's how the concept was born. With this record the goal was always to serve the narrative of the novel. To make the reader really dive in to the world I was creating. It was all about creating a completely immersive experience - a sort of virtual reality, where the listener/reader's imagination was the canvas on which it was all happening, and not some special goggles that you had to wear!
What is the ultimate inspiration when penning the tracks, especially on the new record?
A: Inspiration happens out of time. It doesn't happen in a linear fashion. If you're in the right frame of mind then anything you do will come from there. It's not an object that's in front of you, or a thought about something that inspires. It's the very source that you're trying tot tap into. It's the state of mind that you're in. In my case I don't think I can even bring myself to that state of mind. I just have to stay open to it and mainly recognise it when it happens. I found that it wasn't so important to put in the hours, but rather find those moments that felt pregnant. I knew something special would emerge at that point. 
Do you produce and record your own records, or do you head into the studio? 
A: So far I've been producing and recording on my own, with a few exceptions. But I'll probably head to the studio in the future.  I'm very clear what kind of sound I want with each track so I do the mixing myself. For the mastering, I have a great guy in New York City, Alex Sterling who is patient enough to work with my constant revisions and last minute changes. He has taught me a lot about sound.
What are your key musical goals for the end of the year?
A: My next album, The Divine Flaw, the second and final volume of music to accompany my novel, will be out by the end of the year. After that I plan to do something quite different on the third album. I'm still a believer of the album. For me, a single is like a single chapter of a book. It's just not enough! Especially if you're onto something!
Mezmerizing Chill Lounge Track Distorted Time Feat. EMILIA LOPEZ-YANEZ from SAN DIEGO Mind Blowing Chill Lounge Track Distorted Time Feat. EMILIA LOPEZ-YANEZ from SAN DIEGO
Mind Blowing Chill Lounge Track Distorted Time Feat. EMILIA LOPEZ-YANEZ from SAN DIEGO


We live in a world where humans strive to accomplish more and more tasks in a shorter amount of time.  Sometimes it just feels like time is “flying by.” Albert Einstein explored this, and theorized that the world around us is actually speeding up gradually. Side effects of this stretching and bending of time cause many of the issues we face in our day-to-day lives.  Distorted Time is a musical reflection of this process. 

The song infuses world instruments from Turkey, Persia, and India and combines standard, jazz, pentatonic, and non-standard semi-tone scales.  Our hope is that this 3- minute track will bring you back to your roots, cause you to pause and take a deep breath, and help you to shine your light on all that is real and true within yourself. We hope you enjoy this track and thank you for supporting our project!

Expected release: February 11, 2017

Art Tawanghar’s latest musical gem grew out of his collaboration with composer Ruth Weber.  The two wanted to create a never-been-done before duet for the Oboe and Duduk.  Tawanghar “distorted “ the original four-four meter of Weber’s beautiful classical melody and melded in elements of jazz and middle-eastern music to create this wonderful hybrid.  The warm romantic tones played by oboist Emilia Lopez-Yañez are sure to weave their way into your heart. Art's Official Soundcloud Page


She is an up-and-coming artist already sharing her music on the international stage.  After graduating with a degree in Oboe and Voice from Chapman University, she performs on both instruments at concerts and festivals while completing her Masters degree in music at USC.  Emilia's Official Website


Received her Bachelor of Music degree from San Diego State University and her Masters of Music degree from California State University Northridge. She has performed internationally as a pianist/accompanist, as well as with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, Opera Aguascalientes, The San Fernando Valley Men’s Choir and as a recording artist on the Music-Minus- One CD’s put out by the Marantz Piano-Corder company. Ruth’s songs have won many prestigious competitions including the New York Pro/Am Songwriting Festival, The Music City Music Festival, The John Lennon Songwriting Competition, The Shalshelet Music Festival, The Global Music Awards, and The Akademia Music Awards, to name a few. Ms. Weber is the director of the award-winning San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir, and is on the music faculty of Palomar and Miramar Community Colleges in San Diego, CA.
Ruth's Official Website



Chill, Lounge, New Age, Classical Crossover,  Jazz Fusion 
Sub Genre's: 
Contemporary Instrumental, Indie 
Oboe, Duduk, Vocals, Soprano, Drums, Loops, Strings, Synths, Cello 
Rhythm and Tempo
Additional Descriptors: 
Laid Back, Dark, Middle Eastern, Romantic, Relaxing, Mysterious, Easy, Flavorful, Cool, Hip, lounge, Sensual.
Oboe, Romantic Music, Jazz oboe, Duduk, Jazz Fusion, Classical Fusion, Valentine's Day music, Soaring Vocals, Angelic Vocals, 
Oboe and Duduk Duet, chill, lounge, middle-eastern,  middle-eastern fusion, instrumental, instrumental music, Emilia Lopez-Yañez, Ruth Weber, Ruth Hertz Weber, Emilia, easy listening, jazz alternative, Art Tawanghar

Copyright ® 2016 • Email: • Phone: 858.717.0799
Po Box 27803 • San Diego • CA 92191


Chatting it Up with New York Staples, MAKAR

MAKAR is husband-wife duo Andrea DeAngelis, and Mark Purnell. Creating glorious Anti-Folk sounds throughout New York City for a number of years, the group are getting ready to release their latest endeavor into the world, Fancy Hercules. MAKAR first caught my ear with their most recent record, Funeral Genius, which saw the light of day a couple of years ago. DeAngelis honest and haunting voice is accompanied by Purnell’s prominent backing vocals. Usually armed with a guitar and piano, the duo bring new life into the genre, and expand their horizons far beyond. I had the great opportunity to speak with Andrea and Mark from MAKAR, in anticipation of the upcoming Fancy Hercules, due out later this year; which you may read below.


When you are writing music, what comes first, the music or the lyrics?

Mark: Andrea is a published poet and short story writer, whose work has appeared in Tin House and many other amazing publications. She’s also working on getting her first novel, Pushed, published, so we mine her beautiful words quite heavily. Everything we do is a full on collaboration as far as music and lyrics, but many times we’ll start at the well spring of Andrea’s literary proclivity and go from there. We’ll either be inspired by a poem and then write the music like Erase Face or After Autumn from our debut album, 99 Cent Dreams, or more typically, be horsing around cannibalizing our own song chords during rehearsals and come up with an entirely new song, with the words being inspired by the chords. This stems mainly from my desire to have one song transition seamlessly into another and yet be completely different. We don’t like any song to sound the same as another, but we do want a unified album and sound for the band, a unique mix of our interests and inspirations that can only be found in Makar tunes. Recently, during a rehearsal, Andrea was singing a melody, but didn’t have the chords for it. I was horsing around cannibalizing a song from Fancy Hercules and the chord progression and key fit perfectly with what she was singing. Within minutes we had a chorus and verse section which we are very excited about for a song called, I Want To Be Loved, which will either go on the next album or may even make it on Fancy Hercules if we finish it in time.

Andrea: Lately, the music and lyrics are originating in a more intertwined process, less of a hammering of parts together separately, less of building from words in poems to lyrics and then to music. Now the music and lyrics tend to grow from each other. Not that one way is better than the other, just different ways to approach songwriting in our repertoire.


Is your upcoming record, Fancy Hercules, a continuation of your signature sound, or is there a different route or approach you are planning to take, musically?

Mark: The similarities between Funeral Genius and Fancy Hercules can be found in Makar’s usual poet, pop, folk, rock, blues, punk mix, but Fancy Hercules definitely veers into weirdest album yet territory with the addition of whacky musical theater musings, songs about insomnia, depression, brain tumors, the meaning of time, family problems, the old ball and chain, a reworking of "Devil in a Dream" and very strange horror film/Mars attacks type chords. Not to mention an examination of the myth of Hercules and how he slaughtered his whole family as our title track. We’re also planning on doing this album acoustically. No drums, no bass, just piano, guitar and vocals, so that’s a huge and exciting departure for us. It’s Makar stripped down to the bare essentials, which is scary because you wonder if radio will care that there is very little production, but it’s just how we want to record this one, especially the song, "Devil in a Dream," which has been reworked with a big chorus and more structure then the first time around on Funeral Genius.


Andrea: I’m especially excited about revisiting Devil in a Dream. We’re going to call the new version – Devil in a Dream, Part II. On the Funeral Genius version, I was just messing around with fingerpicking on my guitar and a capo and Mark started singing over it. We captured it on a low-fi hand-held tape recorder just so we could have a recording to work with. But we liked the old dusty sound of the tape so much that we left it as is, untouched. And all of our attempts to duplicate the song didn’t have the same feel. So when we finally started playing Devil in a Dream out live, it became a markedly different entity from that hand-held intimate recording. Hence Part II. We’ve been debating recording this revisit in my parent’s third floor bathroom because the acoustics sound amazing and haunting and we recorded the outtake on the third floor originally.


Being involved in the music scene in New York, how would you say the scene has changed over time since you started performing in the area, to the current day?

Mark: The biggest change to the scene is that so many venues have closed as the rents in NY have gone insane. Our dear friend just lost her wonderful tapas bar restaurant out in Williamsburg when the landlord raised her rent from $7,500/month to $23,000/month, destroying an incredible local hangout and a livelihood she had built over the last ten years. The landlord didn’t even have a replacement yet, just did it out of blind greed. Seeing CBGBs close and become a clothing store was also very hard to take. Passing by would send waves of nausea crashing down over Andrea and me because we played there several times and it was like the mecca for so many musicians to come and drink of its essence and authenticity, an intoxicating mixture of so many musical styles. Of the venues still around, we dig playing at Pianos, Knitting Factory, Pyramid Club, Freddys Backroom, An Beal Bocht, Local 269, Leftfield, R Bar, Lovecraft. Other places that closed that we loved either playing or going to hear bands at besides, CBGBs, were Galapagos, Bar East, The Hook, Kenny’s Castaways, and Luna Lounge. Some re-opened in other parts of the city but some are gone for good which is both good and bad. Good because nothing stays the same and change is always refreshing and exciting, but bad because you get attached and it breaks your heart to see beloved places move on to new spaces or just end.


The name Fancy Hercules is surely intriguing! (And awesome!). What is the meaning behind the title?

Ah, Hercules, so strong, so fancy, and yet no one focuses on the fact that he slaughtered his entire family. Yet Hera put a spell on him that made him go crazy and do just that. Our album title and title track, Fancy Hercules, is a re-imagined Hercules in a blues song living as a hobo/vagrant tramp following the train lines, trying to come to terms with what he’s done, circling the void, which is illustrated by the weirdest chord in Makar history D7b5th, rarely used in music at all, but of course Makar had to bring it out of hibernation. The train is gonna come means he’s going to pay for his crimes and penny on the track felt like a natural addition, an urban legend that a penny placed on the tracks will derail a train. It doesn’t but still seems to be a potent part of modern mythology. Fancy Hercules is not a concept album, but strangely, many songs can be seen as an extension of Hercules’ tormented psyche. I’m Alright is a song about insomnia which he undoubtedly suffers from, living with the guilt of his actions. Devil in a Dream could be seen as the harpies on his trail much like the hellhounds on Robert Johnson’s, Devil Don’t Do Me is about depression which he feels over losing his family. Time Flies is the first song Makar ever wrote and talks about the void again and wanting to see the end of night, which surely Hercules hoped to see after his 12 labors were completed. Ridge Rider is about a fictional character riding along a mystical and haunted ridge in search of meaning and redemption, but could easily be Hercules doing the same, all inadvertent, yet subconscious connections, which aided in choosing the songs for this album.


Andrea: I have never seen it this way, as an extension of Hercules’ psyche. It might be a stretch but I’ll let Mark stretch it. It is a very emotional album for sure. One of the songs, I’m Glad, is about my relief that my mom recovered from a brain tumor. But the album title came from a strange place, a grocery store on the lower east side. It was named Fancy Hercules or at least that’s what I read, sometimes I misread things. [Like a sign in an antiques store in New Jersey that said ‘We Buy Antiques’, I misread as ‘We Buy Angels’. So the title of the album came from that misseeing. For the longest time we only had the music for the song. Then the words came from the title. It’s funny our first album, 99 Cent Dreams, was inspired by a store name in Hackensack and that title track sprang up around the same. Sometimes a title is all you need to inspire the lyrics. I guess poetry works like that.


What do you hope to accomplish musically with the new record?


Mark: We hope to create a powerful album that connects with listeners on many levels and gets them thinking in different ways, and to do that with just piano, guitar and two vocals. We’ve never put out an acoustic album before, and even though we’ve been playing out acoustically for the past few years, I still think of us as a full on rock band with drums and bass. It’s like we’ve been moonlighting as an acoustic duo or going solo from our own band even though Andrea and I are the band and now write all the songs. It’s nerve-racking to be so exposed, to not have the power of the drums and bass and all the cool sounds and musical lines they add to our songs, but it’s also been a growing experience for Andrea and me as we have to rely on ourselves and fill in all that space that was formerly inhabited by the drums and bass…or not. Like a very wise person once said music is what’s between all those notes man.


Andrea - You are also known for your poetry and writing work. How do you incorporate those writings into Makar's lyrics?

Andrea: I think as a poet, you become used to phrases floating around in your head or fascinating you as you drive past a store with a name that snags your vision. I think I will always consider myself a poet first because that’s how my mind works. Even though I think it’s how most people’s minds work because why have so many people written poetry at some point in their lives? Because it’s natural and I think it’s the language of the present. Poetry records a moment, a feeling more so than any other written medium in my humble opinion. And songwriting is a natural offspring of poetry because when I’m writing poetry I also think about how the words sound and that’s musical as well as rhythmical even if it isn’t a poem that rhymes.

My most successful poems also contain a strong visual element so when I write lyrics I try to see the story. But lyrics and poetry can also be very different and almost oppositional to each other. Like I’ll just go off on a tangent and Mark definitely uses his keen editorial eye and red pen machete to shape and chop down my song ideas. Sometimes I think of songs in a too non-structural way like forgetting a chorus and Mark has to reign me in.

Fiction wise – I definitely based our song "Damion Day" (from our first album 99 Cent Dreams) on a conflicted character in my novel-in-process Pushed. So writing does feed my songwriting but not as much as it used to. Songwriting is becoming its own separate entity.

I’ve always been interested in folklore and mythology and some of those themes and stories are now working their way into my lyrics.


Does the band produce and record their own records, or do you head into the studio? How did you record (or are recording), Fancy Hercules?

Mark: We record, produce and mix our own albums. We usually go into a professional studio with an engineer for a day to get the bass and drums down (which we can’t do in our apartment) then take the tracks home to add the vocals, guitar and piano parts, but this time around because we’re going completely acoustic, no bass, no drums, we’re probably going to do everything at home using our Digi 001 Pro-tools setup, which we’ve used to record 99 Cent Dreams and Funeral Genius. Once everything is sounding how we want it to, we have it mastered and manufactured at Discmakers. We create all the album artwork as well then send it to Discmakers to include during the manufacturing process.

Andrea: As an indie artist, you always have to think about how can we record this album feasibly? And unfortunately bandmates drift apart, life gets in the way and we’re just left with the core of ourselves. One thing we’ve been unconsciously fighting is that MAKAR is really just us – Mark and me. We can depend on each other. Everyone else has been transient in hindsight. So we’re going to try to record that way for the first time. It feels especially vulnerable but also so honest.


What are Makar's key musical goals for 2016? (It seems like you are off to a great start!)

Mark: Thank you! In 2015, we received a very positive response to our second album, Funeral Genius, whichwas called “essential” by Rust Magazine. It got us featured in M Pire magazine, interviewed in Vents, No Depression and Independent Artist Buzz, and earned us a top 10 spot on The Deli Magazine’s Top 300 Best NYC Indie Pop Bands along with Vampire Weekend, Fun., MGMT and Santigold. We played CMJ’s music festival at the Pyramid Club, were named Rust Magazine’s Critic’s Pick and have had continuous airplay across the United States, Canada and the UK, on such stations as WROM, CIUT 89.5 FM (Toronto), CKRL 89.1 (Quebec), Radio Alchemy, The Waiting Room (UK), Rutgers Radio, Hub Radio and Insomnia Radio’s “Daily Dose.” Makar was also included on The NBTMusicRadio's Top 100 Tracks/Singles and Top 100 Albums ahead of David Byrne, Sigur Ros and St. Vincent and we charted ahead of Rush on the US College Radio Charts, which warmed the prog rock hating cockles of Makar’s indie folk pop rocking souls.

Most of this attention has been a result of a lot of elbow grease, sending CDs out, and making friends with a lot of cool bloggers, DJs and music lovers in the indie world, but is also due to our amazing publicist, Melissa Nastasi, who signed us to our first record deal with her then label, Sizzleteen Records. We can’t wait to drop our third album, Fancy Hercules, Fall 2016! It’s going to be very exciting to see what happens, and some amazing DJs that we love are waiting to play it in the US, UK and Canada! We’re just a little indie band from New York doing what we love and sharing that with whoever else loves it. And that’s pretty much what we’re going to continue to do this year and every year after that until that cold black cloud comes down and we knock on heaven’s door. Peace and love.

“Tidak Hanya Hyena, Bayawak Pun Kami Punya!”

Bagi band ini, kreatifitas adalah tujuan sekaligus perjalanan, ujungnya entah ada di mana.

Kota Bandung melahirkan sebuah unit pedestrian music dengan komposisi instrumen unik: guitalele dan gitar elektrik memainkan pola kotekan Bali, biola dan bangsingSunda memerankan skala nada gamelan, upright-bass dan cajon memberi nuansa akustik-folk yang kental, sedangkan vokalnya bernuansa musik Indonesia akhir era 90-an. Kombinasi bebunyian itupun mereka namai ‘sounds of Parahyena’. Band akustik ini juga seringkali menyelipkan sesi tatarucingan dan humor jahil di setiap panggungnya. Bahkan tidak jarang sang vokalis tiba-tiba mengajak penonton ‘berdoa’ bersama, untuk kemudian ‘dibohongi’ dengan berkata bahwa minggu depan sang penabuh cajon akan menikah. Cucuran canda tawa pun seakan menjadi ciri khas area panggung Parahyena.

Siapakah Parahyena? Line-up mereka berisi Sendy Novian (main vocal, guitalele), Radi Tajul Arifin (lead guitar, backing vocal), Saipul Anwar (upright-bass), Cep Iman (violin), Fajar Aditya (cajon), dan Fariz Alwan (bangsing). Mereka semua berasal dari kampus Institut Seni Budaya Indonesia (ISBI) Bandung. Berdiri sejak 11 Juli 2014 silam, Parahyena mengantongi sebuah petuah berbunyi “seni berpetualang, berpetualang seni” – meminjam jargon milik UKM pecinta alam Arga Wilis, yang menjadi basecamp mereka. “Yang bisa naik gunung belum tentu bisa naik panggung, yang bisa naik panggung belum tentu bisa naik gunung. Beruntungnya, Parahyena sudah bisa menunaikan keduanya,” canda Sendy memulai celoteh sore itu.

Karya dari beberapa band seperti AulagaFolk dan The Cake adalah inspirasi musik mereka, di samping minat terhadap karya musisi/band Indonesia seperti Sweaty Family, Netral, Bing Slamet, R. Azmi, Gamelan, dan Mr. Sonjaya. Sejak setahun berdiri, sudah ada 2 single yang Parahyenabagi kepada kita semua, "Penari" dan "Ayakan", yang tersedia di situs Dan masih ada 11 lagu baru yang sudah mereka siapkan untuk full-album perdana untuk rilis akhir 2015.

Dahulu band ini sempat bernama Cucu And The Tangkal Nangka, sebelum akhirnya nama Parahyena dipilih karena dianggap cocok mewakili warna-warni selera musik masing-masing personilnya. Filosofi nama ini diadopsi dari karakter hewan hyena yangpunya kebiasaan memakan bangkai bekas santapan sekelompok singa di sebuah savannah. Kemauan untuk memberdayakan hal-hal yang dianggap sudah ‘basi’ inilah, yang menjadi salah satu kekuatan Parahyena untuk terus hidup.

“Dalam musik dan kesenian, ada sisi-sisi yang menurut trend modern sudah basi, namun bagi Parahyena hal-hal itu justru menjadi aset tersendiri untuk inspirasi berkarya,” beber gitaris Radi Tajul seraya bercerita tentang lagu ‘Ayakan’. Lirik pada single kedua ini berisi sisindiran dan paparikan, sebuah seni sastra Sunda, yang berkolaborasi dengan Dimas Wijaksana, vokalis band Mr. Sonjaya.

Single pertama mereka, “Penari”, bercerita tentang daya tarik visual seniman tari yang menyuguhkan alunan gerak, kerlingan mata, dan lentik jemari. Pada lagu lain Parahyena, pattern musik tradisi sengaja mereka transpose sedemikian rupa ke dalam pola instrumen modern. “Sehingga bagi Parahyena, keberadaan seni musik tradisi justru menambah fleksibilitas naskah musikalitas kami, walau musik Parahyena tidak pure berwarna tradisional,” Radi menambahkan.

Bagi Fajar Aditya, mengadopsi unsur musik tradisi ke dalam konsep modern sama sekali tidak mengurangi kenyamanan dari bermusik itu sendiri. “Rasa nyaman dalam bermain musik tidak akan berbeda karena musik yang dimainkan itu modern atau tradisi. Justru nilai plusnya adalah adanya rasa bangga. Untuk saya pribadi, musik Parahyena tidak hanya untuk dimainkan dan dinikmati, tapi menjadi sarana menambah pengetahuan baru,” ujar alumnus Jurusan Film & Televisi satu ini.

Uniknya, Parahyena membuktikan bahwa terlibatnya unsur musik tradisi, tidak lantas membuat musik terdengar ribet, dan tetap jadi komposisi lagu sederhana. “Bagi banyak kalangan, konsep kolaborasi musik etnik dan modern biasanya harus dilakoni lewat big-band. Maka, kami mencoba dengan format band yang skalanya lebih sederhana. Dan ternyata sejauh ini kami bisa. Karena yang terpenting adalah menjaga konsep harmonisasi lagu, agar musiknya tidak terdengar ‘reunceum atau ‘giung’,” ujar Sendy perihal tantangan inovatif yang Parahyena tengah hadapi.

Sambil menyelesaikan proses garapan album perdana, Parahyena juga sedang menjalankan sebuah program unik, yaitu "Tur Pedesaan" di Kecamatan Rancakendal, Rancaekek, Kabupaten Bandung. Rencananya akan dilaksanakan pada 25 Agustus hingga September 2015. “Kami punya impian besar untuk mampu tur provinsi atau bahkan tur nasional. Sebelum ke arah sana, alangkah baiknya kami mencoba dulu dari hal kecil yang sederhana seperti ini. Karena kami juga bertujuan memperkenalkan musik Parahyena ke lingkup masyarakat pedalaman yang masih perlu banyak edukasi,” beber Radi.

Sendy juga menambahkan bahwa Parahyena punya plan untuk "Canteen to Canteen Tour" di kampus-kampus se-Kota Bandung. “Konsepnya adalah latihan ngampar yang dikemas ala pengamen pedestrian. Sepertinya hal ini masih sangat jarang ada di Bandung,” tutur vokalis kribo satu ini.

Kreatifitas, produktifitas, dan eksistensi yang diiringi kesederhanaan juga sikap humble, menyebabkan pendengar Parahyena merasa punya kedekatan tersendiri. Di usia 1 tahun, Parahyena sudah punya fans-club bernama Parahyedirin. Didirkan oleh anak-anak jurusan film, untuk merespon dan memberitakan aktivitas Parahyena via media sosial. Walaupun masih berjumlahnya puluhan orang, excitement Parahyedirin ternyata sukses ‘membelah diri’ dengan melahirkan kubu fans club kedua, yakni Parabayawak: sebuah band parodi yang manggung membawakan lagu-lagu Parahyena. Para personil Parabayawak sengaja berdandan dan beraksi meniru personil asli Parahyena.

Sesi akhir wawancara berisi sebuah pertanyaan penutup: di hari tua nanti, nama Parahyena akan mereka abadikan sebagai nama apa? Fajar pun menjawab akan mengabadikan nama Parahyena sebagai nama 4 buah gang di daerah rumahnya. Sendy ingin mendirikan Rumah Makan Parahyena, sedangkan Radi malah bernazar bahwa suatu saat akan menjadikan Parahyena sebagai brand badan usaha yang bergerak di bidang katering, paket hewan ternak, dan sewa sound-system. “Supaya kalau nanti ada event, mulai dari sound, konsumsi, sampai guest-star, semuanya dari PT. Parahyena”, celetuk Radi sambil diiringi gelak tawa semua personil.




Getting to Know San Francisco\'s Sit Kitty Sit
Sit Kitty Sit crosses rock and pop, with piano laden elements, creating a vibrancy and burst of light in the San Francisco scene. The duo of Kat Downs Gaudette and Mike Thompson provide a strong and powerful sound that is energetic and endearing. Their latest record, "Everlasting Fire," has been a steady favorite of mine. With Kat's gorgeous and in-your-face vocals and piano skills, she works in perfect unison with Mike's heavy-hitting yet intricate drumming. Kat and Mike speak with us today about Sit Kitty Sit, which is an interesting read you will find below.


What is the meaning behind the name Sit Kitty Sit?

Kat- The name is actually making fun of me.  The way I bounce around in my chair when I play, legs and hair flying everywhere.  My friend saw me and said “Sit, Kitty! Sit!  Good Kitty!”  And the name was born.
Tell us about the making of "Everlasting Fire" the concept behind it?
Kat- Everlasting Fire tells the story of Dante’s Inferno.  The songs follow Dante through each level of hell and depict what he experienced there.  This was an incredibly fun project to work on. I wrote full scores for a few of the songs, and incorporated instrumentation away from the standard piano and drums.  We got to do a lot of research and stretch way outside the normal boundaries of a rock album.  For instance, the song "The Abyss” only uses found household type items for all of the percussion.  No actual drums were used.
You seemingly crossover genres within the new record. How did this come about?
Kat-  Instead of forcing the story to fit inside of a specific genre we decided the story should choose what best represents it.  So, Lust is a tango, Anger is a blues tune  and Greed is an “organ” that is actually composed of four flutes and four voices.   The subject matter really let my imagination go wild when it came to the compositions and lyrics.  
Mike-  Right.  We tried to write in different styles to match the different circles of hell, so you'll hear everything from jazz, blues, pop, ethereal & even metal. 
If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose?
Kat-  The Greek Theatre on the UC Berkeley campus.  
Mike-  Hmm, that's a good one.  The Greek is amazing.  Madison Square Garden comes to mind pretty quickly.
In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? Explain your reason.
Kat-  I always prefer performing live on stage over recording.  To me songs are never more alive than they are on stage.   All you have is that present moment, one shot, and there’s something about that energy that breathes extra life into that song at that moment.  And I’m not playing the song, the song is playing me.  It’s like nothing else on earth.  Studio recording is a balance between playing perfectly and capturing the energy that correctly represents the song.   And that means you might need to play that song 5 times in a row to catch it.  Live versus studio are two completely different creatures.  
Mike-  Couldn't have said it better myself ;)
What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?
Kat-  Music encompasses many different art forms to me, which is why I love it so much. Music tells stories, paints pictures in my head, forms shapes and has personality.  I love that sound can make me hyper or calm or make me cry or laugh. Getting on stage and feeling Mike’s kick drum in my chest and the vibration of the piano up through my hands is just about the happiest place on earth for me.  I have a big grin on my face just thinking about it. 
Mike-  Agreed.  I feel making music is really our way of contributing something positive to the world.  When I see people getting as high as we do off of what we create it's just about the best feeling on the planet. 
The Soulful Sounds of Serengety

Serengety enlightens with her latest track “Go,” off the new EP, “Metallic Clouds.” Serengety is an empowering woman, who has a strong soulful voice that does not hold back its emotions. Producing and writing the record herself, Serengety leaves an impressive taste on the musical palette. Each song on the record provides to be as genuine as the next, as it takes you away to a magical place.

“The title refers to being under dark clouds that drench you with something heavier than rain,” she explains. “The message of the album is about overcoming and self-improvement. Writing this was like therapy for me," says Serengety.

Serengety has been writing songs since she was a young child, first starting with poetry. Over the years she has crafted her songs into beautiful, well-written pieces that will appeal to listeners throughout the world. Her resonating vocals are carefully written which makes sure each song tell a story; one that will have you taken away on the musical landscape and into her tales. Serengety proves to be a prominent name to watch for in the soul world, proving that her talent is going to go a long way.

Video: Serengety "Go"


Following some discussions on Facebook over the last few days about ‘mbira and authenticity’, I went online seeking what others think about issues of authenticity in other types of music. I came across this article that I found rather interesting because it asks questions that are very relevant to mbira and have been asked before in mbira circles. I hope you find it interesting so that we can continue having conversations on mbira and authenticity. Happy reading!

Mbira, mbira lessons, mbira uk, mbira london


Published 2010 by Kirk Ward : Worship in the City


What is authentic music?


How do we determine what makes a song or a performance or worship experience authentic instead of commercial, fake, entertainment, showy, etc? This seems to be a very important question especially to the marketing-savvy PoMos out there who are looking to “emergent” styles of worship. We want to be involved in real worship experiences that are not contrived from an attempt to force a worshipy moment to occur. This issue was the driving motivation behind the “Contemporvant” video that made the rounds a few months ago. Are we just faking it every Sunday? What is the culture looking for in our definition of “authentic” in worship?




Who defines authenticity?


This is the first question that we need to ask ourselves. Is folk music authentic? Does unplugging make things more authentic? What if you are playing Contemporary Gospel music? Is is more authentic to unplug then? Does informal attire, a lack of worship order, or popular style music define authentic? Does ancient prayers, iconography, candles and incense create authenticity? My questions should be leading you to see that the problem lies in the fact that “authenticity” is culturally determined. It’s not as easy to talk about what’s authentic when you are bringing many different cultures into a room. In the end, it’s always going to feel “faked” when a white dude like me attempts to lead a traditional black gospel tune. I’m not the “real thing”. Authentic gets determined by the culture in which the expression is coming from.


What about commercialism?


So another problem that comes up is the power of the almighty dollar. So much music is created just like any other commercially distributed product, with the bottom line as the primary motivation. If I write a song that sounds like Chris Tomlin, I will sell a lot of records because people want to buy more of what they already like. So, what might have been created (maybe by Chris Tomlin) as an authentic expression of an artist goes out into the world and becomes cloned by the business into a thousand versions of “How Great Is Our God”. This effect happens in every market on the planet. There is no musical genre or tradition that is immune to the power of the dollar to create clones. For every “The Beatles” there’s “The Monkeys”. This effect is even seen in the genres that people run to in order to get away from commercialism: folk, country, bluegrass, classical, hymns, jazz, blues, jam bands, punk, indy, metal, thrash all have bands or artists that are sell-outs and poseurs. What do we do to escape it? Do we reject any form of art that has any kind of market drive or value? How does a Christian artist both make money as a craftsman and at the same time preserve artistic integrity? How do we as worshipers choose music to use in our liturgies without just becoming the equivalent of a Top 40 radio station for our particular cultural predispositions?


Where does skill enter in to worship?


Here’s the place where skill starts to get tossed into the mix. Music that is performed with skill is by it’s nature commercially valuable in the same way that a well built chair or car will have value in a market where chairs and cars are in demand. A well written song or a skilled performer will be a commercial commodity. We all hate to see bad musicians become successful because they look pretty, and yet when a skilled musician plays in church, that can sometimes come off as too “showy” or “commercial” because they are playing at a level equivalent to that which we hear coming from the mass media. We might all agree that skill is good in God’s eyes, but in the practical execution, there seems to be an implied expectation in a lot of churches that a display of skill takes away from the glory of God some how. Many musicians adopt an “indy” or “hipster” aesthetic in order to reject what they deem to be commercial. They play songs without skill (simplistic harmony, minimal instrumentation, limited vocal range, intentionally bland vocal style, casual style presentation). I find it comical that there appears to be a hipster backlash that is sweeping the web and I supposed the culture in general. People are starting to see this as just another culture with the same rules of assimilation, popularity, and commercialization that go in to the formation of a tribal identity. But that’s a tangent…skill as it relates to authenticity is determined by the culture. There’s ebb and flow within the culture as well as generational and class differences are taken into account.


Authentic vs. Accessible


In “Gather Into One”, C. Michael Hawn presents the problems of authenticity in relation to cross-cultural ministry. If I want an authentic experience of my worship music, I need to go to my tribal church. When I attend the church of a different tribe and they attempt my music, they will fail. Have you ever heard a traditional organist play a modern worship song? It always sounds lame (meaning lacking authenticity)and that’s not even a ethnic difference. So, when we blend tribes into one congregation, how do we create an authentic experience? The sending culture (let’s say Black, Pentecostal) has to adapt a song in order to make it accessible to the receiving culture (White Presbyterian). So what do we change and what do we keep? In the end, each culture has to sacrifice the right to authentic worship music in order to have something better: authentic relationships.


I rambled a lot and didn’t answer most of my questions. Can you help me to process this? Did this create any questions in your mind?


What is authentic music? | Worship In The City.


I hope you found the questions raised in the article applicable to the mbira scene. Of course we need to ask more questions that are very specific to the mbira scene and continue to discuss, enrich and grow the mbira community.  Later

Endangered Frogs, Endangered Ways of Life, Endangered Art

In 1980, Ancient Future founding members Matthew Montfort and Mindia Devi Klein went to Bali to study gamelan. They saw paintings of frogs performing gamelan music, and were inspired to go out into the rice paddies at night and jam with the frogs, which resulted in this cross-cultural and interspecies piece that was released on Ancient Future's second LP, Natural Rhythms:

Frog Orient Chance (Play on Ethnocloud)

Bali was a magical experience for them. They lived in a village without electricity and walked through the rice paddies to their morning lessons with their gamelan teacher, I Madé Gerindem. It was an almost ideal peasant society: the people owned their ancestral land plots and were able to make a living by farming rice. This took a few hours a day, and the rest of their time was spent on family, art, music, and ceremony. At that time, those who were part of the tourism economy had modern conveniences like electricity and motorcycles. They were increasing their material wealth, but had no time for art or music. It was obvious that modern technology, which was supposed to save time, was actually having the opposite effect.

Today, Bali is experiencing a real estate boom that is enticing people to sell their land for development. Once they trade their land for money, do they have more time for art and music? Is the future more secure for their children? Meanwhile, the remaining rice paddies are suffering pollution due to monoculture crops that require pesticides and chemical fertilizers, which does not bode well for the people or the rice paddy frogs.

This is a good lesson for us all. The promise of modern technology is to free up time for other pursuits. But, what actually happens with every advance is that a few people benefit financially, while the rest are forced to work longer and harder. The technology itself has a way of sucking up time (how much time do you spend on social media?), and even those benefiting financially are very busy managing their assets. And all the while, we are destroying the environment. Clearly, we aren't going to be giving up on technology, but we need to find a way to use it in a way that sustains life and culture, rather than disrupts it, to use the current buzz term of those profiting in the tech boom.

Rather than disrupt creativity, culture, and the environment for quick profits, we need to value the actual cultures and ecosystems that sustain life. We need organizations such as Sawah Bali, which is working to conserve Bali's rice paddies, return to sustainable farming, and create new markets for farmers, which will certainly have a beneficial effect on rice paddy frogs as well as Balinese culture. In the digital economy, we need organizations like the Content Creators Coalition, which is working to increase the value of art so that creators can sustain themselves.

 Ancient Future Circa 1981

Photo of Ancient Future in 1981

Pictured: Mindia Devi Klein (silver flute, bansuri, Balinese gangsa), Benjy Wertheimer (tabla, esraj), Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar, sitar, Balinese gangsa)

Well-Known Strangers Bring a Surprise from the Mid-West

Well-Known Strangers are a delightful band I have recently discovered who bring the Mid-West to life. Originating from the creation of musician Joe Adamek (guitar/lead-songwriter), he is joined by additional songwriters  Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Ted Koth (lead guitar, and John Kulas (bass guitar).


Adamek, the creative spark behind the band, gudes the band's artistic direction into the new musical world. Ade brings her creative songwriting into the light, with rich lyrics that brings the songs to life. Ade's vocals are a ray of sunshine that fits each song like a glove. Well-Known Strangers newest release "Found" has become an instant classic in my collection. The hardwork of the band has definitely paid off, as the band has played over 250 shows on North American turf.  The group mines a sophisticated but accessible sound that recalls Goo Goo Dolls, 10,000 Maniacs, Annie Lennox, and Matchbox 20. Distinguishing Well-Known Strangers from those bands are the one-two punch of Betsy’s vocal power, sass, and swagger, and Sacia’s classically trained cello playing.

Well-Known Strangers - "Another Sun"


Paulo Franco Debuts \
This weekend was quite an eventful one for singer-songwriter Paulo Franco. With a release show and his newly released record, "The Last Card," he has been making quite an impression on the ears of music listeners. The charming record goes beyond Americana and Alt-Country, to bring life into his own eclectic vision.
Earlier this Summer we saw Franco release the hit single, and The Boot approved tune, "Leaving the River City." This was only the start of what Franco had to offer us, as when you dig deeper into "The Last Card," you get a better sense of Franco as a songwriter, and on a personal level as well. He pens heartfelt songs that have made writers and listeners take note, as the subject matter and delivery go above and beyond to create music that truly stands out from the rest. With stunning vocals, an all-star backing band, and a brilliant collection of songs, Franco is ready to take the world, head on.
Be sure to pick up "The Last Card," on multiple outlets here:


58th Grammy thank you FYC!

Africa album made it to 1st round of Grammy ballots for Best World Music Album category and ''Mázui (voices)'' Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocal. Thank you For Your Consideration!

Ancient Future Times

April 2015 Issue:

The Ancient Future
•When Matt Met Mindy

Ancient Future Reunion Concert
•First Performance by the Original Line-Up This Century!

Enhanced 'Visions of a Peaceful Planet' 
•2015 Reunion Concert Edition With Long-Lost 1978 Video

Ancient Future Pacific Northwest Tour
•Featuring World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort and Tabla Virtuoso Vishal Nagar with Special Guest Seven-String Fretless Bassist Jason Everett

Acoustic Guitar Summit
•Featuring Teja Gerken, Tim Sparks, and Matthew Montfort

When Matt Met Mindy

By Mindia Devi Klein

Picture of First Ancient Future Line Up

Ancient Future Circa 1979. Shown: Benjy Wertheimer, Phil Fong, Mindia Devi Klein, Matthew Montfort

When Matt, a serious guitarist, met Mindy, a jazz flutist, it was a very windy sunny day. Both had come to Muir Beach, a famous (back-in-the-day) Marin County nude beach, to meet up with a mutual friend (a friend whose father coincidentally happened to be Sam Keen, an icon of the very influential human potential movement of the times). Of course this was before the Ancient Future (and) before Mindy had become Mindia. Read the full story.

Mindia Devi Klein

Mindia Devi Klein is a musician-composer-educator and writer who, like Matthew Montfort, often prefers to refer to herself in the third person when writing about the music she creates.

Ancient Future Reunion Concert
First Performance by the Original Line-Up This Century!

Ancient Future Circa 1981 with Mindia Devi Klein, Benjy Wertheimer, and Matthew Montfort

Ancient Future Circa 1981. Shown: Mindia Devi Klein, Benjy Wertheimer, Matthew Montfort

Sunday, April 19, 7:30 PM
Throckmorton Theatre

142 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Doors open at 7 PM
Tix: $20 adv, $25 at door, $35 reserved seating. Advance tix at
Info: 415-383-9600
Facebook Event (please invite your friends!)
Press Release

Enhanced 'Visions of a Peaceful Planet'
2015 Reunion Concert Edition with Long-Lost 1978 Video

Visions of a Peaceful Planet LP Cover Art

Visions of a Peaceful Planet by Ancient Future (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2004) Audio/Video E-CD-R: $19.98 list. StreamBuy E-CD Now.

Marin IJ Press Play: Ancient Future's 'Peaceful Planet' reissue contains a long-lost video

"This reissue of Ancient Future's 1979 debut album, "Visions of a Peaceful Planet," contains a recently unearthed gem from Marin's musical history — a long-lost first video of the pioneering world fusion music band shot in late 1978 at College of Marin.

"The multi-camera shoot features then young Ali Akbar College students Matthew Montfort, guitar; Mindia Devi Klein, flutes; Benjy Wertheimer, tabla; Phil Fong, sarod; Yusef Ali, rebab, harp, percussion; and Kathak dancer Shoshona Frisch, a student of Chitresh Das, performing a couple of original compositions.

"Snippets of this buried treasure have been shown occasionally on Marin community television. But no one had been able to find the master. That is until Jonah Nickolds and Mariposa de Los Angeles of Marin Artists International heard that members of the original Ancient Future will be reuniting for a 7:30 p.m. concert on April 19 at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley. That inspired them to dig deeper into the hard drives at the Community Media Center of Marin.

"Their archeological effort paid off with the discovery of this rare footage. Of surprising quality, it provides a fascinating look back at the early influence the late Ali Akbar Khan of San Rafael had on young musicians, teaching them the intricacies of North Indian classical music.

"In this video, shot months before Ancient Future's 1979 debut concert at the original Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax, you can see how Khan's Marin County disciples took his training and exotic music and created something new and fresh of their own from it. Today, Ancient Future bills itself as the first and longest running band dedicated exclusively to world fusion." - Paul Liberatore, Press Play, MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL, 4/10/15

Short Clip from Recently Unearthed Gem

Original Ancient Future Video on Facebook

Please share this short video teaser of Ancient Future Circa 1978. Shown: Matthew Montfort, Yusef Ali, Mindia Devi Klein, Phil Fong, Benjy Wertheimer

Ancient Future Pacific Northwest Concert Tour
Featuring World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort and Tabla Virtuoso Vishal Nagar
With Special Guest Seven-String Fretless Bassist Jason Everett

Photo of Matthew Montfort and Vishal Nagar

Tour Press Release
Tour Poster

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 7:30 PM
The Royal Room

5000 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
Tix: $15 adv/$18 door. Advance tix at
Info: Call 206-906-9920, email, or visit
Facebook Event (please invite your friends!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 8 PM
Vashon Theatre
17723 Vashon Highway SW
Vashon, WA 98070
Tix: $15 adv/$18 door. Advance tix at
Info: Call 206-229-8491 or email
Facebook Event (please invite your friends!)

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 7:30 PM
The Conway Muse
18444 Spruce St.
Conway, WA 98238
Sponsored by the Rick Epting Foundation for the Arts
Tix: $15 adv/$18 door. Advance tix at 
Info: Call 360-445-3000, email or visit
Facebook Event (please invite your friends!)

Saturday, May 2, 2015, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Moscow Renaissance Fair
Main Stage
East City Park, Third and Monroe Streets
Moscow, ID 83843
Tix: Free admission.
Info: Visit

Tour Announcement Video

Video of Yearning for the Wind by Ancient Future

Please share this video about Ancient Future's Pacific Northwest Tour. Shown: Matthew Montfort, Vishal Nagar, Jason Everett

Acoustic Guitar Summit
Featuring Teja Gerken, Tim Sparks, and Matthew Montfort

Thursday, May 7, 8 PM
Throckmorton Theatre
142 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Tix: $18 advance/$22 door/$30 reserved seating. Advance tix at
Info: 415-383-9600
Facebook Event (please invite your friends!)

With styles ranging from world fusion to folk, jazz, and classical, Teja Gerken's Acoustic Guitar Summit is certain to be a joyous tour de force of solo and ensemble performances and a Bay Area guitar concert highlight of the year.


Songstress Myriam Phiro Channels Edith Piaf & Talks About \
Myriam Phiro is a stunning songstress that sings remarkable standard-style songs, with the voice of an angel. Her newest record "Voyages," is available now online. The album includes pieces that somehow outdo themselves within every listen. This weekend, Phiro brings a treat to New York City as she performs a stunning tribute to Edith Piaf. Titled "Edith Piaf at 100," she will take to the stage with a cast of perfomers, with a mid-day celebration at The Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. I had the chance to speak with Myriam regarding her music as well as the eccentric show which will take place this weekend, which you can read below.
Show Details and Tickets can be found here:
What inspired you to come up with the tribute to Edith Piaf on her 100th Birthday? 
I've been singing her songs for so long that it just made sense to make this big celebration around her Centennial. Being an actress, I find it so important to convey the message and stories of the songs and artists that inspire me to the audience. The show is an assortment of various stories about her personal life & career, 14 songs and a few variety acts to re-create some aspects of her fascinating universe.
How has Piaf inspired your music and career? 
Edith Piaf is my greatest inspiration in becoming a performer. I've been singing her songs since I'm a child, as my mom used to play them on the radio and I would just sing along, not really knowing the depths of the lyrics and/or sometimes the tragedy in the meaning. I later took interest in her life and career and I became fascinated. A bit like most artists, but probably more intensely, performing was a question of life or death for her. The songs she performed were actual excerpts of her life and it makes everything so much more truthful. When she sang about poverty and hardship, she truly experienced that. The same thing about "love", which was the most important thing in her life, after music. She was just a very authentic and powerful artist, and that to me, is very inspiring. 
How did you come up with the story, as well as the entertainment for the celebration? 
She was partly raised in a brothel and her dad was a circus street performer (most people don't know that). I wanted to re-create some important aspects of her upbringing, the which made her who she was. We all know the songs, the tragedy, but what interested me most in writing the show was the "how"; what made her so special, so unique. So I came up with this concept, held auditions and gathered a cast of amazing musicians and performers and have been performing the show in the city since June.
Do you channel Edith's music at all when creating your own? 
I'm mostly an interpreter. I do write some translations some times, and I do write texts but I've yet to experience the "creation" aspect of things before I can comment on this. To be followed... ;)
Your latest album "Voyages" is a gorgeous piece of musicianship. What was the inspiration behind creating the songs on the record? 
Thank you. However, the songs are all Jazz-standards, written for the most part between 1930 and 1950. Helped by Vinny Raniolo, the musical director on the album, I re-arranged them and gave them a personal and more modern twist; they became "à la Myriam Phiro" if I may say. I also very carefully selected the musicians, which makes a huge difference as well.
Your vocal work throughout the record is beautiful. Were you classically trained? 
Yes, it is indeed a big part of my training. Although I rarely sing classically in public, I think this is the most natural way to train the voice, as well as the strongest technique. It's like ballet for dancers. It just gives you [almost] all the tools you need. However, my training also involves Jazz stylings and musical theatre components.
What is up next for Myriam Phiro in 2016? 
Following the release of "Nature Boy" (the first music video attached to "Voyages"), I'll release the music video to "It Had to Be You" and work on a third and fourth ones. I've also been selected to compete as a vocalist in the American Traditions Competition, which will be held in February in Savannah (that's really exciting!) I am also planning to write a new cabaret show and will continue performing in and out of town, at festivals and Jazz Clubs for "Voyages". Towards the end of the year, I will start planning for a new album, which I will be recording in early 2017. Lots of exciting projects coming up!! 



Nading Rhapsody portrays the Iban ethnic’s mythical story of an extraordinary role model. According to the long saga of Dayak tribe, Nading was a legend god of a place called “Panggau Libau.”

Nading Grasi was Keling’s uncle, the Iban master hero. Due to his aggressive nature and curiosity, Nading Grasi was asked to leave (expelled from) Panggau Libau (Heaven). After leaving Panggau Libau, he started living life as a normal human being on earth which is known as Borneo. Nading has visited many places, and has seen many things. Through folktales, he shared stories of the life of people in places he visited. He had a strong philosophy and different methods or ideas of ‘heroic act’. Soon after, his life journey has been forgotten as years passed by the local community.

However, its cultural legacy always remained in the hearts of the ancestors in Panggau Libau. Inspired by Nading’s journey, a new generation band called “Nading Rhapsody” made up by young musicians of various ethnic backgrounds, are determined to bring back the distinctive spirit of ethnic folktales and songs that has been adapted to suit the demands of contemporary music.

Nading Rhapsody is an Avant-Garde Borneo Ethnic Music band. The young musicians are Boy Keevin (Composer / Bass Guitar), RaWa (Ruding / Acoustic Guitar/ Sape’), Yen (Percussion / Gendang Melayu), Ujang (Percussion / Bedok), Roy (Lyrics / Vocal / Chants), Christ (Vocal / Gong/ Dance) and Opah (Vocal / Chants).

Their music presentation is a unique adaptation of  ritual chanting, old lullabies, folk songs, myths and stories of ethnic groups in Sarawak. They also present a different arrangement of cross-cultural element with Contemporary music. The band has also composed a few original songs.

Nading Rhapsody has a unique approach of expressing their love to revive the old legacies in Sarawak.  Their piece resembles the origins and cultural roots of each band member. They are often experimental, radical and provocative; both in their songs arrangement and their image.


Bungai Terung

Up Close and Personal with Bluesy Rockers, YEAR OF OCTOBER
Year of October have been breaking new ground in Nashville with the latest record, "Golden Days." They're a little bit country...and a little bit of rock n' roll, mixed in with a whole lot of the blues. Started by husband-wife duo Phlecia (vocals) and Josh Sullivan (guitar / bass), the group take on the world with the help of drummer Greg Diamanti. Straight from the heart, the group provide a soulful and powerful sound that surely makes Nashville proud. Josh Sullivan speaks with us today about Year of October, which is an interesting read you will find below.
What is the meaning behind the name Year of October?
It was just me and Phlecia playing acoustic when we started.  We were writing folk songs and it felt like the kind of stuff you would play around a campfire.  October is a great month to have a campfire, and Phlecia came up with the idea that it was like our music kind of took that feeling and made it year round. We had come up with so many different names and none of them seemed to fit until Year of October. We don’t have that same sound we had at the beginning, but the name had already stuck.  
Tell us about the making of "Golden Days" the concept behind it?
We wrote the songs over a two year period after the release of our first record "Stories" in 2012.  The actual recording of "Golden Days" started in December of 2013 and finished in May of 2014. Some of the songs weren't fully developed when we started recording but they really took shape during the recording process.  It was a different record to make for us because we had Greg playing drums full-time and it was great to have his input on songs.  We were able to really take our time and feel out certain sections of the music and also get the takes that we wanted. 
We really wanted to make something that we would want to listen to.  Each song is unique but we wanted them to have a unified feel. I think we achieved that and the record tells a lot of different stories. These stories pull the listener in many directions and there is quite a bit to chew on lyrically.  One of my favorite stories on the record is with a song that we often close with, "You Were Mine."  It's a western about a woman who wakes up to find that her husband never came home the night before.  She knows where he is and who's he's with and the story continues with her getting her gun and riding into town to confront him.  I won't spoil the ending but I will say that it's explosive. We really worked hard on that song to get the music to fit with the tone of the lyrics. 
You seemingly crossover genres within the new record. Blues, rock, a little soul. How did this come about?
When we write songs we really don't think about what genre we are writing in.  We just write what we feel and blending all these different styles is what comes out. We all like different kinds of music and listen to a lot of different stuff and that really comes out in what we play.  I think it's important to listen to all kinds of music and expose yourself to things that you wouldn't normally check out.  We are also influenced by other mediums than music as we are influenced by books and films. 
If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose?
I would have to say that Red Rocks in Colorado, would be a great place to play.  I've been there a few years back but just got to take a tour of it. It would be incredible to get to play there. 
In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? 
That is a very tough question because I really enjoy doing both. I would say that I probably prefer the studio. It's more frustrating for sure and can definitely be a grind, but when things go right in the studio it's the best feeling.  I love the endless possibilities in and every song is a new adventure.  Sometimes that adventure doesn't go where you originally intended but that's part of the magic of it.  "Golden Days" was originally going to be 10 songs but we worked up our single "Gone" in the studio last minute.  It's exciting when things like that come about.  
What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?
I love the process of creating songs.  It's one of most frustrating, and yet at the same time, glorious experiences.  You can spend days hammering out parts on guitar trying to figure out a chorus, or a new part of to a song, when all of sudden the right part hits you. It's a wonderful feeling and I really enjoy the trudge and grind of working on a new song.  Some songs take just minutes to write, while other ones take days, weeks, or even months.  It's funny, our shortest and most simple song on the record, "Spell On Me," took the longest to write.  It took us about 6 months to figure out what was "right" for that song.  We figured out it needed to just stay simple, and I think that it works best for that song.  One of our more complicated songs, "Winter," only took about an hour.  Writing music is a very humbling and gratifying experience and I love it.  
The Manimals Unleash the Prominent \

Game of Thrones fans unite! The Manimals are here from Brooklyn for an enchanting new take on the hit series by R.R. Martin. Late last month we saw the band releasing their album SEVEN which is a take on the show's brilliant Season 6. Led by Brooklynite Haley Bowery, the band brings the album to fruition with each song on the record acting as it's own chapter. SEVEN has the feel of a well-written novel, where every word is carefully planned.

Bowery, which appears to be one of the driving forces behind the storyline, brings each track together with her stunning, and catchy vocals. The Manimals as a whole deliver a record that is a must listen for 2016, as they dive deep into the characters that bring Game of Thrones alive. The focus single, "Talk," is the first being shared, as it springs to life with the character, Tirone. With a sassy video accompanying the song, we get the full view of The Manimals, in their Game of Thrones inspired world, and their Glam Rock glory.

It is safe to say I've found my favorite new band for 2016.

"We don't get to choose whom we love."

 "Talk" by The Manimals:

Sit Kitty Sit is on The Road Again

San Franciso's Sit Kitty Sit are back on the road this Winter, with a handful of dates; making their way around the West Coast. An early 2015 treat, the duo of Kat Downs and Mike Thompson will bring their heavy-hitting brand of rock from the albums to the stage. Quite familiar with their newest release, 2014's "Everlasting Fire," filled with inspiration from "Dante's Inferno," Downs and Thompson captivate audiences with the help of pianos, drums, and alluring vocals. Their chemistry on their albums and onstage is impeccable, with their music being described as Dresden Dolls mixed with King Crimson, & Fiona Apple; their live energy an explosion of sound. Are you sold yet?  Below you will find their latest tour dates. Be sure to catch them on the road while you can!

Sit Kitty Sit's sound proves to be an unstoppable force. One note at a time. 


Watch: Sit Kitty Sit “Birmingham” Video


Tour Dates:

March 7, 2015 (Saturday)
Bossanova Ballroom – Portland, OR

March 8, 2015 (Sunday)

Admiral Way – Seattle, WA 

March 9, 2015 (Monday)
Checkerboard Bar – Spokane, WA

March 10, 2015 (Tuesday)
One World Café – Moscow, ID

March 12, 2015 (Thursday)
The Sidewinder – Denver, CO

March 14, 2015 (Saturday)
Sister – Albuquerque, NM

March 24, 2015 (Tuesday)
Hardhat Lounge – Las Vegas, NV

March 27, 2015 (Friday)
Milk Bar – San Francisco, CA


Swedish Folk: Tom Levin


Folk from Sweden is always a treat, and Tom Levin is no exception. The prolific singer-songwriter is currently promoting his new album "Them Buffalo," which is the second in his 2014 series. The singer has released his debut U.S. single for "Mind's Eye," and has been garnering quite a bit of attention. Levin has a remarkable knack for building foot stomping tracks, that bring his latest release to fruition. For his latest single and record, Levin called upon The House of Songs, which is a project that involved musicians from all over the world and genres, collaborating on new music. This makes the record extra magical and a change of pace from the rest. Tom's voice is powerful and charasmatic as it glides through each piece. "Mind's Eye" is a superb example of this with uplifiting undertones and glorious stings.


Happy Birthday Vivalda Dula

Happy Birthday Vivalda Dula. We wish you all the best!

TradInEtno festival 2015

TradInEtno is world music festival with dance and music workshops, lectures and free concerts situated in Pazin (croatia) in medieval castle above the Pazinska jama/Pazin abyss.

Pazin is a town of long and rich tradition. It is situated in the very centre of Istrian peninsula, only 30 km away from well-known tourist centres. More about Pazin you can find here:

Artist and performers who is on tour from 17th to 25th of july contact us via e mail: and for more informations visit our official webpage



The workshop is international, and that means that you, as a participant, will be able to share experience and learn a lot about different cultures. It is important to say that there will be some extra activities during the workshop, but we will keep it as a surprise for you.

Participation fee is 100$ Accommodation and food is covered by the organizer of the festival!

The number of participants for this workshop is limited so it is important for you to apply as soon as possible.


More info soon...

Godfather of Bahamian music release Greatest Hits CD!

Music pioneer and icon Ronnie Butler, has penned, performed, and recorded many widely popular songs that have come to define indigenous Bahamian music. 

As a part of our The Bahamas' 40th Independence celebrations, the Greatest Hits CD was release released today. The digital album is available for purchase on iTunes, CDBaby, Google Play and Amazon mp3 for just $9.99. 

For the first time ever, fans living abroad will be able to purchase a complete Ronnie Butler album online. The digital release features 13 of the legend's greatest hits including "Burma Road", "Age Ain't Nuttin But a Number", and "Bahama Rock" plus two bonus tracks - the popular "Look What You Do" and an early recording of traditional calypso tune “Big Bamboo”. 

Ronnie's greatest work, spanning over 15 records, is finally available on one must-have album! For 10 years, starting in 1973, he played  Ronnie's Rebel Room at Anchorage Hotel. Many of the same hit songs featured on the digital album were performed in front of audiences from around the world. Some have also been featured in films including Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too. Distribution for Ronnie's music, known for its goombay, calypso, latin, soul and junkanoo fusion, has evolved alongside music technology, making the shift from physical CD units to electronic albums. 

This special collection, a celebration of music evolution and appreciation, is a timely gift to the Bahamian people at the time of our 40th Independence celebration. Greatest Hits is the ultimate collector's item, Bahamian music album, and Independence soundtrack. The digital album booklet can be downloaded at any time from

American World Music Group Atlas Maior Announces Istanbul, Turkey Tour

Austin, TX
August 13, 2013

Austin, Texas-based world music group Atlas Maior to perform and study traditional and contemporary Turkish music. Group launches Indiegogo campaign to support their Istanbul, Turkey tour

The world music fusion group Atlas Maior will travel to Istanbul, Turkey September 9-22nd, 2013 to perform and study traditional and contemporary Turkish music. In addition to performing at a variety of venues in the city, Atlas Maior will be learning performance practices from Istanbul musicians, and analyzing applications of Turkish makam music theory. Atlas Maior is taking their project to Indiegogo to seek support for costs of the tour:

Atlas Maior maps diverse musical traditions by placing Middle Eastern, American Jazz, and Latin American musical idioms in dialogue with one another. Diverse in sonic textures and musical styles, this emergent Austin world fusion group highlights a variety of musical traditions while balancing intimate moments of sincerity with powerful cinematic melodies and incendiary rhythmic grooves. The group is an integral piece of the emerging and vibrant world, traditional and international live music scene in Austin, TX, and is actively performing in Central Texas, San Antonio, and Houston. Atlas Maior’s music is a medley of both soulful and driving melodies played by Charlie Lockwood on the ‘ud (Middle Eastern lute), Joshua Thomson on alto saxophone, and joined by drummer and percussionist Theodore Camat. This sound has brought the band recognition on KUTX 98.9FM’s “Austin Music Minute”, World Beat Online (WOBEON), The Austin Chronicle and Qué Pasó Paisano! Magazine. The group’s 2012 Four Shades album has received radio play on Austin’s KUTX 98.9FM, KVRX 91.7FM, KRTU 91.7FM San Antonio, KCSZ Santa Cruz, CA, and WEMU 89.1FM Ypsilanti, MI.

According to Atlas Maior’s Charlie Lockwood, “This tour provides an opportunity to promote intercultural musical education, dialogue, exchange, and further develop music industry relations between the U.S. and Turkey. Austin, Texas and Istanbul are centers of artistic creation and musical activity, and we’d like to help highlight this commonality. We would be honored to serve as cultural ambassadors on this trip”. The group is finalizing performance dates with a variety of music venues in Istanbul, including Kaset Bistro, Babylon, The Jazz Café, and Arka Oda, is receiving housing from the American Research Institute in Istanbul Hostel, and has confirmed music lessons with musicians from the Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory, 'ud master Necati Çelik, multi-instrumentalist Sinan Erdemsel, violinist Husnu Tuzsuz, clarinetist Ramazan Sesler, and ney player Eymen Gurtun. Atlas Maior will be working with these well-respected musicians to establish collaborative performance opportunities while in Istanbul.

The group invites further assistance with booking performances in Istanbul, providing cultural and educational opportunities, and communicating with Turkish music ensembles, music venues, and research centers. Current sponsors of this tour include: The American Research Institute in Turkey, Texas Folklife, Turkish Raindrop House of Austin, MetaHara Productions, La Mancha Graphics, TexStyles Designer Fabric Showroom, and Blue Moon Apparel Manufacturing Services.

Atlas Maior’s Indiegogo campaign aims to reach a fundraising goal of $2,500. To follow their project, find them on Twitter (@atlasmaior) and Facebook and spread the word to your social media networks. Consider donating as little as $10 to help make their tour a success. If you decide to donate, you will be among those receiving some special Indiegogo perks from the group’s journey to Istanbul.

For more information, promo requests, or set up an interview, please contact: 
Joshua Thomson, Silver Phantom Booking 

Indiegogo Campaign:

Charlie Lockwood studied Ethnomusicology (M.A.) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he played the ‘ud (Arab short-necked fretless lute) in the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, directed by Dr. Scott Marcus, one of the foremost scholars of the Arab maqamat system. In July 2010, Charlie traveled to Cairo, Egypt with the UCSB Middle East Ensemble to play a series of concerts at the Cairo Opera House. He currently serves as Development & Program Associate for Texas Folklife, the National Endowment for the Arts designated Folk & Traditional Arts organization for the state of Texas, and teaches ‘ud at the University of Texas at Austin. Joshua Thomson. a native of Detroit, Michigan, has performed, and studied music in The U.S., Canada, Dominican Republic, and Spain. Studying sociology (B.A.) at the University of Michigan, Thomson conducted field research in the Domincan Republic in 2005. While in Detroit, Thomson co-lead jazz fusion groups Aashram and Timecube. Thomson founded the jazz group Silver Phantom Quartet and co-founded Atlas Maior in Austin, TX in 2009. Thomson has collaborated with a variety of national and international musicians, including Boubacar Diebate (Senegal), Guillermo Anderson (Honduras), Marco Minnemann (Germany), Victor Murillo (Ecuador), and Joe Deninzon (New York). Theodore “Hollywood” Camat, brings his extensive experience in classical, jazz, funk and Afro-Brazilian percussion to the group and adapts traditional Middle Eastern rhythms to drumset. Camat is a full-time drum instructor at Capital Music Center and The Oak Hill Drum Studio, and student of the “Samba do Malandro” dance style. He emphasizes a vibe that is engaging, danceable, and thus, widely accessible to both new and experienced listeners of Eastern and Western culture.

The group’s international performance experience, emphasis on education and intercultural musical collaboration leaves them uniquely positioned to serve as cultural ambassadors in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Atlas Maior Band Photo 

Charlie Lockwood - 'ud
Joshua Thomson - alto saxophone
Theodore Camat - percussion
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SXSW Tour Diaries: Part 1 (Sit Kitty Sit, Citabria, ruido/mm)

This year SXSW was no less than spectacular. As usual, hundreds of bands flooded Austin, Texas, bringing to the table their unique and prominent sounds. A select few certainly caught my attention this year, carrying a musical flag of their own. With no further ado, here is the first installment of the bands that perked my eardrums during SXSW, as they share with us their experiences at the legendary festival...


Kat Downs of Sit Kitty Sit shares the band's SXSW experience with us in the form of a video. Get to know the brilliant duo, and see their tour antics in real time!:


Citabria "takes our hearts" at the festival this year and share their SXSW adventure. Here is their SXSW Tour Diary written by drummer Kevin Azevedo:

Walking out of the air-conditioned Austin International Airport, and into the gorgeous but extremely humid 94° heat, intensified the excitement brewing in my blood. The whole voyage from the Bay Area to Texas, I debated with myself. "Did I bounce out the right samples into the SPDX? Did I bring any shorts? Maybe Edgar brought an extra pair. How far am I going to have walk with this heavy ass gear? Should’ve packed lighter, this case is like 137 lbs. Fuck it.  I’m strong."

Since it was Citabria’s first time at SXSW, our manager Barb Rocks was giving us the run down on the regimen, as she drove the rental van into downtown. Our first show was on the rooftop of Handlebar. Off the bat we realized we needed dollies to roll our gear. Then I realized I can do without my electronic sampler because it just takes longer to setup and most stages won’t have the extra space. Then the amp Leo (vocals/guitar) was using blows, which forced him to connect direct into the PA (that’s always shitty).

My mind was racing again. "Am I playing too loud? Shit!! Did I count the song in right? Why does Nate look like he’s about faint?" I had to remind myself, these people will most likely never see us again, so might as well rock the f--- out and walk off the stage knowing that I gave them all I could. We performed good and the crowd definitely dug what we brought.

As I was watching the rest of the bands and talking to Nate (guitar), I had another realization. As good as these bands sound, I don’t know what their name is. Nor do they mention their name clearly or enough times for me to remember.
Let’s make a big poster tomorrow with our name on it.  And so we did after we bought dollies at Home Depot.

We sounded progressively better after every show, but there was one show in particular that was revelational. Edgar (bass/synths) is allergic to cats and couldn’t be at the Blue Cat Cafe where our buddy Lucas Gordon was performing his first show.  Therefore, Edgar discovered this lot that had some great bands performing that was giving out free beer thanks to Green Flash Brewery. We all joined him after Lucas’ performance and had a blast watching Andy Frasco and his freaks turn the crowd into a crazy dance floor. Andy mentioned something about doing whip-its at 7am so it kinda made sense. We ate pulled pork sandwiches and walked through a mucky thunderstorm to Cheers on 6th St. It was on the rooftop of that bar that I played my favorite show. The drum kit I had to use was a piece of shit. The hi hat stand wouldn’t go higher than my snare. The carpet was so small, it barely fit the bass drum on top of it.

As I played, the whole drum kit kept sliding away from me, and I was having to grab the drums before they’d get too far to hit. During the intro for our song "Hey Now" I look up at the crowd and everyone is engaged. As I start playing the pre-chorus, I look up at the night sky and smiled. I didn’t care anymore if the toms were hurtling away from me. I didn’t care about anything that could go wrong. I was on the rooftop in the middle of a bunch of high rises with my brothers playing the fuck out of this small stage for these awesome humans that chose to stick around for us. That was true joy.

ruido/mm hails from South America to bring an inspiring new look into the festival. Here they share their first SXSW experience! 

1- Is this real life?: We were having a blast after our dubut gig in the us, in the backyard of one of the most bizarre venues we've had ever laid feet on. As we lost ourselves among bad beer and weird conversations D.O.G ( dildo of god) was starting to play inside the the large ( and empty ) room of the weird hyppie place Super Happy Fun Land in Houston, just like we did.That was our first encounter with D.O.G members whom we would latter meet in my best sxsw experience (#3) . Right then seeing DOG performing so freely i remembered that you've got to have fun in the stage , don't matter for whom or how many people youre playing for, and thats what you want to do.
* Big thank you for Ultraviolent Ray for the good music and for the bass amp. <3

2 - The Hideout Experience-Our official gig in south by was at the small theather Hideout, just in the back of a nice coffehouse. There is something special about playing in theathers, for instance you know everyone thats in the audience really wants to be there FOR the music. And ,to our susprise,  we had a good audience and, lucky we could play for some "good ears" we were expecting to.
** Big thank you to Tom Laird for the support and the pictures.

3- Hotel Vegas Keeping it Real: We did have a ball before entering Hotel Vegas , Rafael and I,for our final night at south by. The place is kind of away from the "networking and playing cool" vibe you can find in convention center near bys, and finally i could say i had a sense of belonging & sharring  something a bit more truefull a bit more essential. There were people crowdsurfing, crazy fans shaking their heads and just a real nice mood sorrouding the air.
And the soundtrack for all that was two great concerts one with Dressy Bessy post punk act and another with the young, cute and noisy Cosmonauts.
Just the perfect end to swsx for me and Rafa aswell. The next day we headed to Houston to our last concert at the beautifull Cactus Store where i can honestly say we rocked.In the end all i can say is : dear south by , we are comming back for ya.

Shelby Merchant, a young, up and coming pop-folk artist, just dropped her first single, “flammable” off of her upcoming album, way past seventeen. At seventeen years old, Shelby’s music is inspired by her experiences of hope and heartbreak as she navigates the ever-shifting way of life that is growing up. She sings with a rawness beyond her years, putting words and passion behind blazing emotion.

“flammable” opens with Shelby’s mature voice, building energy swiftly as the chorus rises with a rush of electric guitars and a driving drum beat. The track is suggestive of what the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus might have produced as they were just starting their careers -- and is an exciting taste of what to expect off of Shelby’s first record.

Listen to "flammable" on Spotify now:

Connect with Shelby Merchant:

Thanks to all fans and listeners on the net and in the world!

First Place for Migala with track "Pizzingara" in World Music Charts by Ethnocloud - February: East European

Starting with a classic citation ( the opening of the Zigeunerweisen De Sarasate ) the first part is steeped in the music of Eastern Europe, especially the gypsy tradition. The second part is a “pizzica”, sung this time not in the dialect of “Salento”- as usual - but in the dialect of “Andria”. In the final part there are changes of structure of musical rhythm: a transition in reggae sound, a bit of folk- prog and “pizzica”, to end up again with the Balkan music.


Ioië veleivë chess menne tutt chioinë dë chëliur
ma, u cille iè tutt grigge, i me veinë l’appëchendròië
preparoimë r’ valigë, scappòimë nande a chessa mortë
stattë sëchiurë ca nisciunë t’aprë r’ portë

I na portë ca nan si aprë, iè cumà nu cunfinë
pe furzarlë me servë na mòinë, ma nzimme a mà nge stè nisciunë
i rèite nu pizzë stè nu vecchiariddë assettoitë
i deceivë me canesceivë, i tenèivë na chioivë ‘n cann

“Uè chembèire moië, chessa chiovë a crò t servë?”
I u’ vecchj me respennòië “T’aprë la chèip, i t’apre u coure!”
“Dimmë u frèite mje cumà te la retroivë?”
“Pe na vita tribuoitë, ioië la sò aspettoitë!”

I’d like a world full of color,
but the sky is all gray and melancholic.
We prepare our bags to run away from this desolation,
but, don’t think that someone could help me to open the “doors”!

A door that doesn’t open is like a border line,
i need to open it, but with me there is no one to help me.
Around the corner there is an old man sat,
says he knows me and holds a key to the neck.

I asked him: “What do you do with this key?”
He replied: “This key will open your mind and your heart!”
“And tell me... how did you find it?”
“Thanks to a life of labor and sacrifice!”

Listen "Pizzingara":

THE FLUDES Prove to be Enchanting in Exclusive Interview

Meet The Fludes; an enchanting group that is based mainly in the United Kingdom.  The creativity behind the band is something that is unusual and immediately enchanting. Their music is as haunting as it is gorgeous, with elements of storytelling that weave throughout. I was drawn to The Fludes quite quickly, as they have quite a tale behind their music. I had the opportunity to speak with the group about all of their musical endeavours, and what elements bring to life The Fludes.  


** What is the meaning behind the name The Fludes?


“The Fludes” are a family, husband, wife & son. All professional entertainers but this is our first project together. Flude is the family surname that we can trace directly back over 500 years and has been first identified in 12th century England. As the three immortals in our medieval stories we can relate back to this period in our Kingdom of Haddon.  “Haddon being a family christen name.


** Tell us about the making of the new single, "Rolling Fields;" the concept behind it?


Rolling Fields is from our first album “Ancient Tales”. This set of songs & narration chronicles the life of Dawn from a Knights Lady to Immortality in the Kingdom of Haddon.

As the story unfolds, her Knight leaves Haddon for war & to fight for the Warrior Queen and wage epic battle. Meanwhile, Magic, especially black magic should never be toiled with. A terrible curse had been placed upon the land, the witches spell true to her words, had taken grip. The Haddonites looked to the skies in horror, as their moon rose the colour of bloodfire.

Each of our lovers gazed upon this dreadful sight, the smell of death began to fill the air around them & now more than ever, they wished to be together once again.

So they perform a duet, although far away, “Take me back to the Rolling Fields where the grass is greener & the world is real”

Little do they know that what is to follow will force them to make momentous decisions:

Does our Knight desert his Queen & be branded a traitor after news that his family are dying? Does Lady Dawn loses Faith when the cursed plague comes to take her children?” “Oh God, your Choir is dying”(Rats & Ravens)

Rolling Fields will take you on a journey to the centre of your heart. “The stars above fell from the sky & the woods gave birth to fireflies”.

The story of “The Fludes” Lady Dawn, The Enchanter & Father, can be found with maps & ancient scrolls in the Kingdom of Haddon at


** You seemingly quite an intricate storyline within your musical process and recordings. How did this come about?

Lady Dawn & Father began writing original material together 2 years ago, songs that told stories combining Dawn's beautiful voice with Fathers background in baroque orchestration. The Enchanter began producing the final mix and then tried adding electric guitar. The effect was stunning and medieval orchestral rock was born, folk music for the 21st. Century.  All this was created long distance as the band was split between England & Australia. So in 2014 it was decided to set aside 8 months to sit down, write & record “Ancient” Tales” The story of Lady Dawn.  This being the first in a trilogy of albums set in the Kingdom of Haddon.


** If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose?

No doubt on this, The Royal Albert Hall, London, because of its huge musical heritage. However we always envisaged the live show as a total musical experience, much more than just a concert. It has been described as “Medieval Broadway” so that it is where it is destined. Our fans in North America have been so supportive many of them now feel like family. We look forward to meeting some of them during our promotional visit to Florida in August/September.


** In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more? Explain your reason.,

Lady Dawn – My ultimate pleasure is putting over a great song with a story and inviting audiences to share the passion.  This music enables me to move from the unaccompanied intro to “Touch Me”, Kneeling over the body of her knight she sings “will you touch me for a moment,  hold me gently, kiss me, slowly” to full on rock as the Warrior Queen taking revenge on her enemies by rewarding her triumphant soldiers “In victory you may have your fill of wine & women of those you kill”

Father Flude  - Composing melody & score is totally absorbing and weaving this behind the storyline to support and enhance the singers is very rewarding.

The Enchanter – Composition, engineering & producing these complex pieces is tough work but hearing my original concept and scripts come together with a “wow” factor, knowing that you have created something new makes it all worthwhile. My first love is the guitar so the time spent creating those parts and working around the harmonic structures of the music is the fun part. I've worked in many rock and funk bands but medieval orchestral rock really takes your playing to a new place.


 ** What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?

For all three immortals the most enjoyment comes from audience response and interaction. We are all basically entertainers. The ambition and dream is to present “ANCIENT TALES” in the stage setting it deserves and take audiences to a different place “The Kingdom of Haddon awaits”


D. Columbus Debuts \ D. Columbus has been active in the music industry for over 30 years. Notable for his versatility, the self-taught multi-instrumentalist — who is a seasoned guitar player, bassist, backing vocalist, singer, live sound engineer and music producer — has taken part in fourteen studio albums, earning recognition from the Maple Blues Awards and more.

Best known for his collaborations, it’s D. Columbus’ turn to debut his own solo album, demonstrating a mastery of writing catchy feel-good songs that speak to the heart and bring people together. Produced with Angel Forrest and Ricky Paquette, 11 Dollar Bill is a stompin’ good time. Spirited and fun, the track “Saddle Me Up” conjures a euphoric feeling.

Stream “Saddle Me Up” on SoundCloud:

Sensitive yet powerful, D. Columbus has an impressive vocal range. While surrounding his precise yet gravelly voice with full orchestrations that combine guitars, bass, drum, keys, fiddle and pedal steel, he unveils an honest country-pop music — there’s an emotional rawness to it and that’s what makes it so real.

Vallfärd och Viljevandring

Huldreslåt is a swedish-argentinian band. Based in Buenos Aires, our group finds its creative inspiration in nature and history of Sweden, particularly the Baltic island of Öland. In May 2015 we released our debut album "Vallfärd och Viljevandring".

The concept of the album is the physical and spiritual journey that transcends borders, and that is evident also in the creative process of the band. Make Nordic music more than 13,000 km away from Sweden is not easy but the musical tradition, customs and culture in general work above all in the subconscious and is a pilgrimage undertaken with desired but without losing sight of the richness of the travel destination in itself :)


album review


The Sound of Orang Kampung (the villagers)

Presenting a Sunda Indonesian Ethno-Parade













GENRE                 :   World Music

CITY                   :   Bandung - Indonesia

LENGTH               :   40 minutes

RELEASE DATE      :   2012

PRODUCER          :   David Karto


TRACK LISTING    :         1.         Do Not Move (3:33)

                                    2.         Latinamina     (4:05)

                                    3.         Brastagi          (4:31)

                                    4.         The Earth        (4:42)

                                    5.         The Gone of Nyi Roro Kidul (5:20)

                                    6.         Labyrinth        (5:01)

                                    7.         Doger Monyet (4:20)

                                    8.         Ubud             (4:52)

                                    9.         Walkman       (3:54)


RECORDED AT:        Orange Music Room, Kana Studio, Studio Karawitan STSI Bandung

LABEL:                      Demajors Records





For a work to be 'artistically rich' in today's world, it usually needs to move flexibly enough to break the stiff sides of current trends. It can give birth to collaborative meeting points between creative elements which may at first seem to be at polar opposites. Ironically, this can serve to increase its appeal.  If it's driven with appropriate balance, and if its energy is symbiotic with the current times, it can inspire a dynamic response.


Talking about something being 'artistically rich' in the broad atmosphere of Indonesian art means considering the cultural wealth of the nation and its traditional wisdom. The cultural identity of Indonesia is working overtime to survive the onslaught of various modern cultures from outside the archipelago, which are invited into the native culture by popular demand. Indonesian culture and outside cultures have seemed to be at odds on the native soil for many decades. They often do not want to relate to each other, much less meet with one another.


Many Indonesians already consider outside cultures to be the 'winners' in this 'battle'.  There seems to be a stigma that causes many young Indonesians to view traditional Indonesian culture as old-fashioned, rigid, tacky and unable to inspire. In Indonesia, the term kampungan (referring to people from rural areas who are not “hip” with modern society) has successfully become one of the most dreaded epithets among young people, as if any individual who has this term pinned on his or her identity becomes an automatic social outcast. However, the opposite term ngota (referring to urban life) does not necessarily have a better connotation; it's simply a term based on the reality of what has happened to life in Indonesia, including what has happened in the scope of art and music.


Despite the stigma that is placed upon people from the rural villages (orang kampung), the sources of artistic wealth in the Indonesian archipelago have for centuries been largely situated in the rural areas. So, to make a long story short, I was intrigued when I read “The Sound of Orang Kampung (the villagers)on the cover of Saratuspersen's 2013 CD.  It seemed to be an invitation to take a peek at the hidden energies of the villages that are currently being ignored.


This is the 2nd album from Saratuspersen, the11-piece band which recently held a concert to celebrate its 13th anniversary.  The band gained a name in the early 2000's in the city of Bandung, West Java, as a group influenced by the musical traditions of the archipelago. The positive local response to their driving stage-act gave birth to their first disc, Sundanese in Bali.  Their 2nd album, unlike their debut recording, has been creating a professional brand image for the band. Whether that will be beneficial for their continued longevity remains to be seen.  In the sense that Saratuspersen has already been through the process of in-depth exploration into world music and is no longer floating along with the principles of raw experimentation, it's probably a positive thing. 


Stirring traditional Indonesian sounds into a pot of multiple global ethnic genres does make the ear do a double-take at times.  On one hand, the music is bound to appeal to most western fans of world music.  On the other hand, the homages to the Sundanese (the main ethnic group of West Java) and Indonesian styles feel almost as egocentric as they do ethnocentric to native Indonesians such as myself, as we witness Indonesian 'village music' asserting itself with world music juggernauts like reggae and samba.  The brashness of it is a bit embarrassing and worrisome, scary and exciting.


The good news about the 'professional world music band' image that Saratuspersen seems to have earned with this album is that they are signaling out of the 'industry professional' lane and moving over to the  'musical professional' lane (the 'right lane' in my opinion). "The Sound of Orang Kampung" was first conceived when the Perseners (the Saratuspersen fan club members in Indonesia) created a local buzz with news that the band had been gigging abroad.  Nearly all of the band members were in their teens then, and fans were highlighting the need for them to master their instruments and repertoire and make Indonesia proud.  The maturity and musicality of the band was in question, and I myself voiced some doubts at the time.  Those doubts were erased the first time I listened through this new CD, but new questions emerged to take their place.   One question was, "Your main goal is to present Indonesia's musical art traditions to the western world, isn't it? So now what's this?".  Another question was, "What happened to the voice of 'the villagers' here?”.


This album contains about 40 minutes of instrumentals divided into 9 pieces, each of which seem to have its own narrative, illustrated with the atmospheric nuances that often characterize Indonesian music. It could be heard as an 'emotional journey' navigating through the sea routes of the Indonesian islands.  Continuing the “nautical” metaphor, the album sails furiously through the treacherous channels of listener attention in order to keep the wind fully in the sails, i.e. maintain a multidimensional approach throughout the album and keep the listener engaged.  A fixed major scale acts as a sturdy ship mast, making the music approachable to the western ear instead of wandering off in a strange tonality as some might expect by looking at the instruments themselves.


The 'ethno-parade' mentioned in the subtitle first finds its expression in the opening track, "Do Not Move". Dance-style beats create a groove with the Balinese gamelan, which is inserted at its traditionally feverish high-speeds.  The title "Do Not Move " is of course is an invocation to move, to break away from what is demanded and start dancing.   This declaration is mostly clearly heard at  00:67; the arrangement loses itself in an a violin “hoe-down” in the traditional Sunda and Betawi scales (the native ethnicities of West Java and Jakarta). The music steadily returns to a carnival theme before jumping back into a Javanese melodic allusion, then resolving in recapitulation of the song's opening.


Moving into th 2nd song, it sounds as if the instruments are fighting a battle between Latin music and Sundanese Daminatila. A percussive solo session starts the bickering between Iwenk Darwiansyah and Ganjar Purnama, Saratuspersen's staple drummers.  The Daminatila pentatonic scale is used in the melodic sessions, while the Latin beats lay the rhythmic foundation. Thus is born "Latinamina", the name of track 2 and a new name for a creative and unusual sub-genre.  This Latin-Sunda battle is mediated by repetitive inter-ethnic bass and violin patterns as the brass cheers on the brawl.  The contestants are broken up and sent back to their corners during an interlude session overseen by percussionist Iman Muhammad.  The pause then gives way again to rising dynamics. The song demonstrates one of the overarching themes of the album, that music from around the world shares universal rhythmic similarities which when brought together can make the gaps for harmonization and improvisation even more versatile.


Saratuspersen gives us a look at one of their most endearing quirks in the the song "Labyrinth". The song is reminiscent of ska bands like Reel Big Fish, as are many of the bands early songs. However, this is Reel Big Fish in a trance, performing in Bali as the spirits are conjured in the kecak or barong rituals. The song was conceptualized as a comfortable groove to be danced to, although in terms of musicality the arrangement and variable tu-ti beat makes it quite unusual. The composition tells the story of a boundless dimension of space, and it is arguably the most complex piece on this album.


The song "Doger Monyet" is a form of social criticism from the perspective of an artist on the status traditional art.  The title refers to the street buskers in Indonesia who entertain with a monkey on a leash. The monkey is often given props like an umbrella or stilts, and he works through various tricks on the side of the road.  The monkey performs to a rudimentary style of gamelan music called doger, which is played on a small xylophone by his trainer. The monkey is constantly moving and going through his repertoire of tricks so that he can be fed.   In “Doger Monyet”, the music is tragically cheerful and percussive, illustrating the obvious analogy to life as a traditional artist. 


A consistent image that Saratuspersen seems to portray in this album is that of a conflicted rural village. There is a spirit of tranquility co-existing with a restless type of energy.  This feel comes through in track 3, “Brastagih”, which is unique in its experimental tonality.  The traditional scales of North Sumatra are played on Balinese instruments, demonstrating gutsy experimentation which is a highlight of the album.  The multi-ethnic cross-over is performed by the band's signature gamelan quartet of David Setiadi, Satya Purnama, Ade Sopiana, and Sendy Novian.  The natural feel of the Sumatran village jumps out at 2:30, when Rivan's somber violin meets up with folk rhythms and Asep 'Tatoz' Lukman's thumping minimalistic bass-lines. The song could make immigrants from Sumatra settled in Java (or vice-versa, immigrants from Java settled in Sumatra) long for their hometowns. Whether in Sumatra, Java, or anywhere else, wanting to return home is a universal longing, and the feelings of an immigrant are matters of both geography and imagination. 


No Saratuspersen album would be complete without diving into the theme of traversing the country. The song “Ubud” remains true to this theme, asserting that life in the village is nothing to be ashamed of.  The actual village of Ubud in Bali is internationally famous among foreign tourists, alive with the type of artistic and explorative energy that is present in the song. Here Saratuspersen marries Balinese gamelan with Sundanese melodies under an atmospheric umbrella of varied tempos and volatile dynamics.  Like Ubud village, the song sprinkles modernization into the sacred rites of Bali, with exotic natural charm floating within spaces of western musical patterns.


The album diverts to a more relaxing atmosphere in "The Gone of Nyi Roro Kidul". This track offers an antiquated glimpse into the coastal areas of southern Java. The slow tempo Javanese gamelan accompanied by jazzy bossa-style guitar strumming would be quite fitting for a seaside lounge act. It is also a bit reminiscent of southern Java during the kingdom period several centuries ago, when the famous legend of the Queen of the South Seas began, and the region became revered for its mystical aura.


Finally, the song "Walkman" illustrates an afternoon of trekking through the village and seeing how its character has been influenced by modern life. A harmonized brass-section led by Mochammad Febri's trombone creates this understated yet energized impression. This song also features the revival of the traditional Betawi (ethnic Jakarta) song "Kicir-Kicir", inserted into the middle of the arrangement.


Perhaps the most impressive thing about “The Sound of Orang Kampung" is that Saratuspersen  embraces a variety of genres besides just jazz to weave into the cultural fusion.  This is a refreshing break from the clichés that have long existed in the modern era of Indonesia's music scene, where Indonesian ethnic music is constantly thrown into jazzy types of musical collaboration. The song titled "The Earth" is a decent “world map” that shows how to bypass the wearied Indo-jazz roads. The gamelan plays slowly with emotional accents, as if alluding to the lush charm of the Indonesian rainforest. Meanwhile, the tones of the bass and flute communicate anxiety and ambiguity. Here we have both a collaborative paradigm and a commentary on modern Indonesia, which is always somewhere between beauty and brokenness.  Maybe that's the secret to Saratuspersen's longevity as a band; their ability to not only depict Indonesia's broken beauty, but its beautiful brokenness as well.


| BOBBIE RENDRA | @ BobbieRendra |

| Interpreted by @HowAreYouMrDan |

Cloud Dance Recording

James Barr made a new recording of my composition Cloud Dance. It has been added to my tracks on Ethnocloud. This is an impressionistic piece for solo guitar.  It was inspired by a day in which thick, low clouds driven by high winds seemed to perform a ballet. The music unfolds through shifting moods, textures, and movement. Except for a brief restatement toward the end of the opening phrases, the piece is largely through-composed and does not use a conventional compositional form. The notated music is fairly short and is meant to sound ephemeral -- like clouds that come into our vision and then are gone.

I cannot rave enough about James Barr's playing on this recording. His solo is brilliant, soaring, and envelopes one in a state of joy. I do not think it's possible for one to listen to his solo and not get up and dance.

The lead sheet for this piece is available at Sheet Music Plus. Besides guitar, Cloud Dance can be played by other instruments and small groups. 

Please give it a listen.  


  Randie O’Neil´s “Daddy’s Pride” is a Slice of Americana Folk Rock Americana Folk-Pop artist Randie O'Neil is back with her new single ¨Daddy´s Pride.” This is a heartfelt song about the loss of O´Neill´s stepfather, who did not provide a happy childhood or instill a sense of pride in her. She had to find that on her own.

With her charming and witty lyrics, together with catchy melodies, the song inspires others to stand up for themselves. O´Neill really does dive in and tells a story about her upbringing in a very direct but also genuine way.

¨Daddy´s Pride I wrote completely in 20 minutes, the only song my producer didn´t change a
note. It´s my parents selling my guitars. The biggest failure is for a parent not to teach a child to
be proud and support them. I had the strength to stand up and find it on my own. I know many
don´t and stay lost and insecure.¨

O´Neill draws on a lot of her own experience, as a child, growing up in an abusive and alcoholic environment, she had to develop coping strategies. Now, O´Neill brings this experience to bring the listener a message of compassion, hope and understanding.

O´Neil has released lots of albums throughout her music career, but her acclaimed album “I´m Not That Girl” is one that really showcases her roots and country sound. Her musical influences include Melissa Etheridge, Fleetwood Mac, Cyndi Lauper and Dolly Parton.

Listen here:
Kalpana Patowary takes Bhojpuri Folk Music forward.  “KHADI BIRHA” in Mtv@Coke Studio Season 4


It was a nifty Rajasthani folk fusion track that introduced us to a tall Assamese girl in a multi-coloured dress Kalpana Patowary, stood next to East India Company vocalist, Papon, and belted out Baisara Beera, a track with elements of Rajasthani maand with Assam’s Barpeta Holi that turned into a dance jam with its heady beats and harmonium interludes.


Unshackled by genres, Patowary’s high-pitched, raw and confident voice had the “urban” audiences swaying to the groovy hook and hit Coke Studio @ MTV’s YouTube video over a million times.


She is back, this time even BIGGER with for the first time in the history of music, she features Bhojpuri Khadi Birah, a folk for of the Ahirs, Uttar Pradesh in the much talked about Mtv@Coke Studio Season 4 with Dhruv Ghanekar as the Composer.


Dhruv is the co-founder of the path breaking Blue Frog - a State of the Art Live Performance Venue, Recording Studios, Label, Music Production, a Composer, Producer and highly respected Guitar player based in Mumbai, India.


Kalpana Patowary is currently the “reigning queen of the Bhojpuri music industry” and her decade-old body of work is marked with versatility. She is one of the few stalwarts who have popularized Bhojpuri folk music in a contemporary style that wows audiences everywhere. “Among Bhojpuri speakers, she is a rage. Her collaboration with Mika Singh on the chart-topper Gandi Baat from Prabhudheva’s otherwise dud R…Rajkumar (2013) has already put her on the music map in Bollywood.


She got International acclaim with the release of her Bhojpuri musical documentation on the Shakespeare of Bhojpuri Literature – The Legacy of Bhikhari Thakur from EMIVirgin Records and Massicalfrom BIRDjam Label Germany with world class India’s virtuoso percussionist and bandleader  Trilok Gurtu, one of the most dynamic and prolific musicians and collaborated with international unique musicians like  Carlo Cantini, Jan Garbarek, Phil Drummy, Roland Cabezas, Stefano Dall’Ora.


She has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in music in India and on the International arena with Trilok Gurtu, Guru Reben Masangva, Louis Banks, Ranjit Barot, Pritam to name a few...


Lately she was on a 15 days tour for concerts in four Latin American countries presented by The Ministry of Cultural Affairs on the auspicious occasion of Indian Arrival Day, commemorating the arrival of Girmitias from the Indian subcontinent to  Caribbean and the island nation of Mauritius presenting songs on migration.


Mtv@CokeStudio Season’s still on…the HANGOVER……ek MA apne bachhe ko, safalta ki bulandiyo ko chhuta hua dekh jaisa mahsus karti hai.....the emotions rolling deep inside me are the same....BHOJPURI hamari astitwa hai and in CokeStudi@Mtv Season 4, it was as if BHOJPURI was proud to announce its dignity….Says Kalpana.


Taking Bhojpuri music to the helm of one of the biggest music shows in the world for the first time in MTV comes with its share of responsibilities.


I met Dhruv Ghanekar in Blue Frog when I was performing with Trilok Gurtu. After then his solo album “Voyage” was happening and Dhruv asked me to write and sing something in African groove. I wrote for the first time. Baare Baare was the track weaving a rich tapestry of Assamese folk and traditional grooves from the Maghreb region of North Africa. The idea to fuse the two began as conversations in his head, he shares. “If I were to explain it to someone, they’d say, there’s no synergy between the two cultures. But when you hear it, it makes perfect sense,” says Kalpana.


After then, when Dhruv met up for Coke Studio, I was happy as I knew it’s time for some extinct folk to come up where it should come. There is an unseen gap between my own lands. – My people. The gap between India and Bharatvarsh.  In a way Mtv@Coke Studio musically tries to bridge that gap. This time I thought of giving Biraha a folk form of the Ahir clan. Its singing and saying – boli at the same time. Lyrically Khadi Birah also spoke about the expressions of our cultivations, our village folk.


Dhruv beautifully designed the rhythm which complimented the lyrics of Khadi Biraha. It became mere of global now as if Indian and African both speaking about the pain and pleasure of farming. Dhruv and I were thinking to put some African plantation folk music in the track. But as we were short of time we changed our idea and instead think of putting some English words in it.          


I shared my knowledge about the indenture laborers of plantation and the pain they went through when they migrated from Indian shores to the Carribeans.


So we decided to write some verses keeping in mind the indenture laborers point and what he’ll speak.


Dhruv wrote some beautiful lines and then Sonia Saigal came into the scene to give the English lyrics a bold vocal throw.


This track KHADI BIRHA is a folk for of the Ahirs fusing with African music. This folk tradition is a fun song, reflects the Migration content and evolved during the colonial period when a huge population of Bhojpuri people left Indian shores to work in sugarcane, cocoa, jute and other plantations in Caribbean countries, owned and run by Europeans.


Khadi Birha is actually a very positive song. It’s one of those great ironies of life because the people who actually worked the hardest are the most positive people…it’s a working man’s song.


Basically, this track would help understand how folk culture helps migrants to recover from the pain and loss on leaving their homelands,"


In Mtv@Coke Studio you can say transnational Biraha : Bhojpuri Folk from North India to the Caribbean, Fiji, and Beyond…


This track Khadi Birha forges the way forward for the culture from which the Caribbean countries diaspora traditions find their origin.

 Says Kalpana GRATITUDE!!

With all the turmoil that has hit Mali since singing guitar master Habib Koité's last recording, it is no wonder that his February 25, 2014 release, titled Soô (which translates to Home in English), was recorded in his own home. But the civil strife in Mali was not what drove the musician to do his first home recording. The real reason simply was-just like many other established musicians-because he could. What started as a logistical decision paved the way for the album's theme.

For a musician, on the road for long stretches, home becomes a dream, a vision. A place to treasure. But this home is much more than four walls. It's a chance to draw together all the strands of his life - his music, his friends, his countrymen. A chance to breathe, to reflect, and to make some changes.

"On this album most of the songs are played by new musicians," Koité explains. "I had the same band for 22 years, they played on all my albums and tours everywhere in the world. All my albums, I did with them." It was time for fresh blood; only bassist Abdul Berthe remains from the old lineup. Even the engineers were new - one of them Koité's twenty-year-old son.

Habib Koité's Soô has had a complete makeover. Not only personnel, but songwriting and instrumentation. The drum kit has gone, replaced with a percussionist on calabash and djembe. And with this album, Koité has brought the banjo home to Africa. After playing with American bluesman Eric Bibb on 2012's Brothers in Bamako and on tour, Koité adopted Bibb's six-string instrument belonging to Eric Bibb.

"It gives another effect to my sound, something new," says Koité. "Issa, my other guitarist, said 'Wow, I've never played this instrument.'"Neither had Koité, but he knew he wanted to hear the banjo in his new music along with the brand-new guitar which was a gift from a fan in England. It has a wide neck, like his familiar nylon-stringed instrument, but this uses metal strings. "The sound is so great. I fell in love with it and decided to record all the songs with this guitar." But he made a few changes, switching to heavy strings for a cleaner sound. "You can hear it on 'Drapeau,'" he observes, a song which features just Koité and the guitar. "I muted the bottom strings. You can hear the bass lines and the treble separately that way."

Singing in Malinke, Bambara, and Dogon, and incorporating styles and rhythms from all over the country, Koité brings together the diversity of ethnicities of Mali on Soô. But that's a perfectly natural feeling to him. Growing up in Kayes, he was surrounded by a Babel of tongues, and that continued when he moved to the the capital, Bamako. A student of classical guitar, he also learned jazz on his way to becoming a master of the instrument, "the African Clapton" as he's been called. And from the start he's relished mixing things up in his own music. On his 1995 song "Fatma,"Koité crossed cultural borders playing a sonrai style from the North, creating a hit in Mali. Ten years later the great singer Afel Boucoum told Koité that he was shaken by this song. "he thought it was familiar, but somehow very different."

That mix of Malian musical cultures is very much in evidence on Soô. It's an album that looks squarely at his native land, a country torn apart by violence over the last two years - a time when a real feeling of home couldn't be more vital. On "Diarabi Niani," for instance, Koité takes a traditional rhythm then gives it a twist by adding a bridge which wouldn't normally exist. And with "Bolo Mala" he sings in Malinke, but over a Kassonké rhythm from his own Kayes, before adding a few words in Spanish.

Koité addresses many of the issues facing Mali at the moment. Under the beautiful lilt of "Dêmê" is the serious issue of people helping each other and living together peacefully. But there are other problems to be addressed: the forced marriages highlighted in "Need You," where the iron fist is hidden beneath the velvet glove of a gorgeous melody, or "Khafolé," the traditional story of a mother loses her young child to a circumcision gone wrong. This song was first performed over a hundred years ago when a group of women were protesting to the chief of the Blacksmiths, the group traditionally in charge of circumcision.

"In the big cities, it's going down in popularity," Koité notes. "But it still continues in small villages."

And sometimes he makes his point without words. "Diadjiri" is completely solo, a reminder of Koité's virtuosity on the fretboard. But it's also a song made famous by Fanta Damba, one of the first Malian singers to find fame in Europe, a song about war and its horrors. It's a piece that will have been resonating in the minds of all Malians in recent times, and when Koité lets his fingers do the talking, the melody more eloquent than any voice.

But Soô is a place of joy, too. "Balon Tan" celebrates soccer, a vital part of life in Mali.

"Every afternoon after school you can see boys of different ages playing soccer in the dust," Koité explains. "Parents come to watch and talk. It's an important point of meeting where you learn to live together. And everybody goes home at the end of the day."

Home. Always home. Even in "Tekila=L.A.," a memory of times with friends in Los Angeles, he compares the city to the place closest to his heart - Mali - while the banjo connects people on both sides of the Atlantic. And "Terere," featuring the legendary Toumani Diabaté on kora and the n'goni of the masterful Bassekou Kouyate, is a celebration of the strings that power Malian music.

Home. The place that brings everything together, as he sings on the title track, "Soô."

"The word soô is a symbol of the heart," Koité reflects. "It's the center of your life, the heart of life. It's a place with your family, the place where you have old friends. A place where you know the climate. It is all of those. That's what soô means. Your sweet home. It's where your life makes sense."