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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




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


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 

Email: integratedmusic@yahoo.com;
Tel: +233 244 833734;

Integrated Music Co. Ltd.
Box 7041,

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 
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)



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: https://youtu.be/mHle2ipjQsU

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
Tix: tickets.throckmortontheatre.org
Event: throckmortontheatre.org/event/ancient-future/
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 info@ancient-future.com.

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 info@ancient-future.com with any questions you may have about how correspondence lessons can help you in your musical development!

© 2018 Ancient Future Music. All rights reserved.

  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: https://open.spotify.com/track/4aWGBzESpoaHxZVVaNpQKA?si=4536ba9bf8ec4c98
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 www.ancient-future.com/afar.html.

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: http://ethnocloud.com/Ancient_Future/?y_video=2024&b=942

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: http://www.diariohispaniola.com/noticia/14189/entretenimiento-y-cultura/irka-enciende-el-legendario-joes-pub-de-new-york.html

For more information about Irka, her website is the following: www.irkamateo.com


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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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

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: http://www.albawaba.com/entertainment/dominique-hourani-paris-hilton-522080

Dominique's Profile on EthnoCloud: http://ethnocloud.com/Dominique_Hourani


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 Majorhitrecords.com • Email:  contact@majorhitrecords.com • Phone: 858.717.0799
Po Box 27803 • San Diego • CA 92191


“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 www.parahyena.jimdo.com. 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.





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)

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:
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 http://tinyurl.com/ou8aeez
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 strangertickets.com/events/23464505
Info: Call 206-906-9920, email tristan@theroyalroomseattle.com, or visit theroyalroomseattle.com
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 ancientfuturevashon.brownpapertickets.com
Info: Call 206-229-8491 or email jason@misterEmachine.com
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 brownpapertickets.com/event/1311376 
Info: Call 360-445-3000, email elfa@conwaymuse.com or visit conwaymuse.com
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 moscowrenfair.org

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 http://tinyurl.com/mxzywve
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.




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

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: http://www.tzpazin.hr/index_eng.php?stranica=32

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



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...

Happy Birthday Vivalda Dula

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

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 getmusicpro.com/new_releases

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 :)


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: http://igg.me/at/atlasmaior

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: http://igg.me/at/atlasmaior 

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.

am istanbul fb wall


am istanbul avatar

am band photo

Atlas Maior Band Photo 

Charlie Lockwood - 'ud
Joshua Thomson - alto saxophone
Theodore Camat - percussion
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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": http://ethnocloud.com/migala/?song=3492&b=2517

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 | berbbanrodie@gmail.com

| Interpreted by @HowAreYouMrDan |

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 4...it’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."


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.  


La Danza Poetica 028 The Travelling Heart

Podcast for February 2015.

A trip around the world through the passionate voices and melodies of the Romani folk tradition, the travelling heart of humanity. 

Featuring Click Here’s latest album Balkandalucia and new recordings from the great Taraf de Haïdouks. Following the music and the poetry from Andalusia to Bulgaria, Hungary to Slovakia, Romania to Greece. Argentinian/Bulgarian crossover from Kosta Kostov, Andalusian grooves from Thomas Blondet & Carol C., Balkan beats from the Forty Thieves Orkestar, Balkan Criminals, DJ Tomasc, Romani song and story from Esma Redzepova, Slovakia’s Sabrosa, Greece’s Alexandros Wilhelm Hatzis, and UK traveller Damian LeBas. Honoured ghosts, Hungarian poets Szabó Lőrinc and Berda József and the archival recordings of Bari Károly.

Listen/download at Groovalizacion Radio: http://www.groovalizacion.com/la-danza-poetica-the-travelling

Listen at Mixcloud: http://www.mixcloud.com/ladanzapoetica/la-danza-poetica-028-the-travelling-heart/

Blog: http://lapkat.com/2015/02/11/la-danza-poetica-028-the-travelling-heart/





French actor and baritone David Serero to star as Cyrano de Bergerac in New York this month.


This will be the first time in theater history that a native French actor, David Serero, will play Cyrano de Bergerac’s title role in America in english language. David Serero, born in Paris, has won large success and critical acclaim on New York stages for the last seasons portraying  iconic roles such as Shylock (Merchant of Venice), Othello’s title role, Barabas (Jew of Malta), King Lear (Yiddish King Lear by Jacob Gordin), Nabucco, Don Giovanni and more.


“This is a dream come true for me. I remember when I was a child and was reciting the verses of Cyrano (in french at that time) in my school. Many years later, I’m honored to bring this amazing play, which is for me the most beautiful love story ever, to the greatest city in the world for Theater and Entertainment: New York” said Serero.


David Serero will be the first French actor to play Cyrano de Bergerac in English in the United States. Originally written in French by Edmond Rostand, the play will be adapted in English by David Serero himself “After reading most of the translations available, I realized that they were all lacking of the French original style of Rostand, deviating more and more from the original one. It became evident for me to write a new adaption closer to the original. As I always do in my shows, I will bring this Classic to modern audiences without losing the eternal modernity of this character and adding my touch of champagne!” added Serero. Besides this fresh take, David Serero will also feature Jazz standards within the play “Cyrano is Jazz! It’s my way to bring both of the French and American cultures together. It’s a marriage that I dearly love, the perfect combination.”


2018 is a perfect year to play Cyrano as it is the 150th anniversary of the playwright Edmond Rostand as well as the 100th of his death. Serero will perform in Paris on June 30th for the official Edmond Rostand 2018 celebration and his anniversary. Thomas Sertillanges, founder of cyranodebergerac.fr and president of Festival Edmond Rostand 2018 welcomes the idea that a French actor plays and adapts this French classic to American audience and thus with Jazz standards.


For the closing performance of Cyrano of April 22nd, David Serero will celebrate his 37th birthday but also his 20th year on stage as an actor and singer.


The cast includes: David Serero (Cyrano), Mary Albert (Roxane), Andrew Erwin (Christian), Cesar Munoz (De Guiche), Gordon Gray (Ragueneau), Bradley Behrmann (Le Bret), Isaac Cruz (Ligniere), Lauren Taylor Berkman (Duenna), Cameron Addicott (Valvert), Elena Du Pisanie, Benjamin Culpepper, Shawn Chang. The production is directed and adapted by David Serero.


Cyrano de Bergerac will play April 12th (3pm), 15th (7pm - Premiere), 17th (8pm), 19th (8pm) and 22nd (7pm - Closing night) at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York NY 10011. Presented by the American Sephardi Federation. Tickets: cyranodebergerac.bpt.me or 1.800.838.3006. 



Actor and baritone, David Serero, has received international recognition and critical acclaim from all over the world. At only 36 years old, he has already performed more than 1,200 concerts and performances throughout the world and played in over 100 films and recorded 20 albums. He has given concerts in Paris at the PARIS OPERA GARNIER, OLYMPIA, EIFFEL TOWER; in New York at the LINCOLN CENTER, CARNEGIE HALL, TIMES SQUARE; in London at the ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC, WEMBLEY STADIUM; and in Moscow at the TCHAIKOVSKY HALL; in Amsterdam at the CONCERTGEBOUW, the BUDAPEST OPERA conducted by PLACIDO DOMINGO and more. He made his sold out WEST END debuts at the Dominion Theatre. He has sung more than 30 lead roles in Opera, Operetta and Musical Theater. In 2012, David Serero performed Don Quixote from MAN OF LA MANCHA in Paris and the title role from the revival of Duke Ellington's only musical: BEGGAR'S HOLIDAY and also starred in the cast album recording. In 2013, David performed with JERMAINE JACKSON in YOU ARE NOT ALONE, a musical written, directed and produced by David Serero. He has also produced and arranged I WISH YOU LOVE an album of Jazz standards for Jermaine Jackson. In December 2013, David shared the cover of Theatre & Performances with Barbra Streisand in London, and made his BROADWAY solo debut at the Snapple Theatre in New York and released his first studio album ALL I CARE ABOUT IS LOVE. In 2014, he released The Broadway Baritone featuring Broadway classics and toured in the UK with a performance on WEST END. During the summer 2014, he recorded the entire love letters's correspondence of NAPOLEON to Josephine and released his new studio album THE CROONER BARITONE, The FRANK SINATRA Classics for the 100th anniversary of Sinatra. In 2015 and 2016, he played Off Broadway the lead roles of SHYLOCK (MERCHANT OF VENICE) and OTHELLO's title role with both critical acclaim. In 2015, he performed two open air concerts on TIMES SQUARE (New York) for BEST OF FRANCE with the presence of the French President Mr Francois Hollande. He released SEPHARDI, an album of Sephardic music in Ladino language and records the title role of RICHARD III in French. In 2016, he releases ALL MY LOVE IS FOR YOU, a Pop Rock album, entirely composed, performed, arranged and produced by himself. He also played NABUCCO (Nabucco) in New York; and the title roles of DON GIOVANNI and RIGOLETTO at the CARNEGIE HALL. In 2017, David entered the prestigious WHO'S WHO AMERICA for demonstrating outstanding achievements in the entertainment world and for the betterment of contemporary society. In the summer 2017, he releases BARITONE OPERA ARIAS, singing opera classics such as Toreador (Carmen) and from operas Tosca, Nozze di Figaro, Fanciulla del West and Barbiere di Siviglia.


Among his performances in New York for the season 2017/2018 are title roles of CYRANO DE BERGERAC (Rostand), DON GIOVANNI (Mozart), BARABAS (Marlowe's Jew of Malta), Hermann (World Premiere adaptation of the Queen of Spades) and KING LEAR (Jacob Gordin's The YIDDISH KING LEAR).


In American Television, he has appeared in: The Hunt with John Walsh (CNN), Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel), Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall (NBC), Six Degrees of Murder (Discovery Channel), Checked Out, On The Case with Paula Zhan (Discovery ID), Rabid Beast (Animal Planet TV), Suddenly Rich (TLC TV), Whistleblowers (Spike TV), Blood Feuds - Gangs of New York (Discovery Channel), Pandora’s Box (Discovery ID), We Are New York WANY (New York TV), Quantico (ABC).


In American Films he starred in Alice in America, Tango Shalom, Winter Has No Sun, Most Beautiful Island, Paisanos in Paris, Following Phil, Terminal 5, Sheepshead, Again, Overload Rock or Die, The Redemption, Kingdom of the Alley, Ring Ring, Laundry Day, Capicola, Make it Work, There Will Come Soft Rains, Amarena, When I Sing, Hatikvah.


He starred in several commercials for Sotheby's & eBay, Bank of America, Don Julio Tequila, Khiel's, Volkswagen, BJ's, Pepsi, Mitsubishi Cars and more. Full biography on www.davidserero.com


Media Contact:

The Culture News


Flamenco fans young and old descended on the Barbican last week for an exquisite early Christmas present in the shape of a tribute concert to Paco de Lucía - the undisputed father of modern Flamenco.

Thanks to Paco de Lucía’s collaborations, from jazz to classical, his songs not only gave new leases of life to other genres but rejuvenated Andalusian-born music, spawning nuevo flamenco. Introducing the Peruvian cajón, the saxophone and fretless electric bass, would anyone else have been to absorb such an eclectic mix into flamenco without it representing more confusion than fusion? Paco managed to stay absolutely true to flamenco’s passionate soul whilst bringing it to new horizons – a sentiment reflected in his tribute concert this week.


Niño Josele and Chano Dominguez kicked off ‘Beyond the memory’ with a collection of pieces from their new album, Chano y Josele, and songs crafted by the master himself. The duo proved to be exemplars of the abiding influence of Paco de Lucía. Both growing up steeped in flamenco blood and surrounded by the countryside of its coursing, their magisterial piano and guitar fingerwork transfixed eyes from the outset.

Achingly beautiful covers of Lennon and McCartney’s ‘Because’ and de Lucía’s ‘Cancion de Amor’ blurred the lines perfectly between homage to the father of modern flamenco and a lover’s dance in the streets of Seville. It encapsulated Paco’s and flamenco’s ability to create an immediate, visceral impact even though the means to it are full of complexity.

With the audience still clinging to each resonating note with ecstasy and melancholia as the interval ended, the second half delivered a collective of key members of the Paco de Lucía ensembles. After guitarist Jose Maria Bandera, bassist Carles Benavent and percussionist Pirana warmed up the feet as well as the hearts of the audience, all nine musicians came together and the murmurings of Hispanic hysteria started.

The soulful sounds of Jorge Pardo’s flute tangoed with the bluesy twang of Antonio Serrano’s harmonica, whilst the wailing of flamenco cantaor Duquende pierced through the booming tones of Pirana’s and Rubem Dantas’ cajónes. The musicians’ semi-circle, rejoicing in the music of de Lucía, combined an intimate feeling of them playing in a living room as cries of ‘Vamos’ from the crowd echoed throughout what might have been the Bernabeu.

The lightning-footed Farru provided the night’s el baile flamenco, revelling equally in the night’s music and the audience’s ovation, whilst covers of ‘Entre dos aguas’ and ‘Zyryab’ were interspersed with clips of the forthcoming documentary on de Lucía entitled ‘Beyond the memory’. Written and directed by his son and daughter, the snippets delivered far more footage of the master than previously expected.


However a highlight of the evening came in a brief chat and taranta performed by the intensely talented Jorge Pardo. Taught the taranta by Camarón de la Isla and Paco, Jorge described its origin as a deep blues from the mines of Cartagena and Almería. His performance of ‘El Barranco del Tesoro’ echoed magically and sorrowfully.

The title of the night, ‘Beyond the memory’, proved correct. It pointed to how de Lucía was the renaissance man of flamenco music. It pointed not only to how the night was a tribute to the songs, the skills and to the man himself, but pointed to the beauty that will be created throughout Spain and beyond thanks to his inspiration. The night demonstrated how the master has left mastery through others; how he forged a legacy through the musicians he encouraged and the genre he redefined.



My name is Toby Tobias, a South African born singer-songwriter living in Northport, LI. 

I have started a new grassroots World Music venue here in Northport Long Island, NY called The Sweet Spot @ Cucina ‘D’. Currently we are scheduling musical performances on a weekly basis. 

Our inaugural show was on March 19, 2014 and London-born, New York-based songwriter, Rupert Wates, performed for a very enthusiastic crowd. 

On April 19, 2014, my band, The Toby Tobias Ensemble, opened for the Bakithi Kumalo Trio .

Our next event was Saturday night June 7, 2014. We had the Celtic band, The Prodigals performing alongside Eliana Marcia & Bando Azul, an Afro/Samba band from Sao Paolo.

Unfortunately we needed to move the location of the venue and I have found the perfect spot in Northport L.I. We have renamed our venue, known now as ‘The Sweet Spot @ Cucina ‘D’, a beautiful and quaint restaurant where we will provide
“A Fusion of Live World Music & Inspired Culinary ‘D-lights”.

Our new series started on February 21, 2015 and we have had sold-out shows for the following artists:

February 21:                       Gregory Grene (Celtic)
February 28:                       Garrin Benfield (North American)
March 7:                              Paul Shapiro (Klez-Funk)
March 14:                            Lesedi Ntsane (South Africa)     
March 21:                            Ivan Milev / Entcho Todorov Duo (Bulgarian/Balkan)     

The remainder of this series includes the following musicians:

March 28:                            Rag Yaman Trio with Premik Russell Tubbs (Indian)
April 7:                                 The Makane Kouyate Trio (Mali)
April 25:                               The Toby Tobias Trio (South Africa)

Due to popular demand, we are  continuing the series and scheduling performers starting in May and Saturday nights thereafter. I would like to invite all world musicians the chance to perform at our venue. Space permitting, I am looking for duos, trios and perhaps quartets.

I am looking for quality world musicians to bring their music to our venue here on Long Island. Please let me know if you are able to help me in my search for these types of musicians.  


Facebook page to The Sweet Spot:

Thanks for your interest and I look forward to hearing from you. Please contact me at toby@tobytoby.com and provide information on where I can listen to clips, see video and take a look at your web presence. 

With kind regards,

Toby Tobias

Future sound of the Underground vol4 out now featuring Celt Islam,Cheb Semnil and many more FUTURE SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND VOL4 [TRANSNATIONAL BASS]

by DJ UMB / Generation Bass

Another tremendous Transnational Bass compilation from Celt Islam’s label Earth City Records.

Starts off in killer fashion with an Arabian Dub number by an artist called EQuBE, quickly followed by a chilled out dub number by the main man himself, Celt IslamCheb Semnil comes in next, another artist from Manchester and it’s a track that has a Beatlesque and Prince’s “Around the world in a day” era psychedelic vibe with dollops of Sufi Dub.


Haelu is up next with some deep, dark and experimental cinematic dub. Celt’s band Analogue Fakir come into the fray with an Electro-Dub number following the deep and dark mood of the previous track.


Another artist I’ve never heard of before, MayaXperience make their entrance with a Sci Fi PsyDub number.AreaWolf and Ionika brighten the mood up with some Luvstep vybz. RaJaz’s numba has a funky dub vibe to it with lounge atmospherics. Croydon’s SAOV have been involved in this scene for absolute years and they don’t disappoint with their Arabic flute lead breakbeat and in parts breakcore track.


Trans Irie Nation follow with a very celtic sounding number that pays homage to Tibet. Zetan Spore up next with more travels into PsyDub territory. Johnny Guiterrez invokes Hindu spirituality with his “Krishna Puto” number. Spiky double dubs the dub with more heavy dub, spliff number.

Back to Celt again and another one of his alter ego’s with his band Nine InvisiblesTeiwari Dub round things off with the deeply spiritual “Ancient Inscriptions”.


All in all, tremendous compilation that is highly recommended to anyone interested in exploring the real Transnational Bass Underground.


Album link : http://earthcityrecordz1.bandcamp.com/album/future-sound-of-the-underground-vol4



source :  http://www.generationbass.com/2014/06/13/future-sound-of-the-underground-vol4-transnational-bass/

Ancient Future Times: Archeological Discovery of First Video of Ancient Future, Reunion Concerts, and Pacific Northwest Tour

Ancient Future Times

March 2015 Issue:

Archeological Discovery 
•First Video Recording of Ancient Future Rescued from Archival Oblivion

Original Ancient Future Reunion Concert
•Featuring Mindia Devi Klein (flutes), Benjy Wertheimer (tabla), and Matthew Montfort (guitars) plus Special Guests

Air Craft Reunion Concerts
•Featuring Doug McKeehan (keys) and Bruce Bowers (violin)

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

A.F.A.R. So Far
•Two New Tracks Ready for the The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings

Archeological Discovery

First Video Recording of Ancient Future Rescued from Archival Oblivion

Original Ancient Future Video on Facebook

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

This video is an amazing archeological find: the very first video of Ancient Future, recorded in late 1978, months before Ancient Future's first concert! Thanks to Jonah and Mariposa at Marin Artists International who discovered and rescued parts of Ancient Future's first video recording session from archival oblivion. This short teaser from 'Eternal Embrace' by Phil Fong from Visions of a Peaceful Planet is the first release from this archeological expedition. Performances of two complete pieces have been recovered, and will be released after some audio restoration work is completed.

Original Ancient Future Reunion Concert

Featuring Mindia Devi Klein (flutes), Benjy Wertheimer (tabla), and Matthew Montfort (guitars) plus Special Guests

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 http://tinyurl.com/ou8aeez
Info: 415-383-9600
Facebook Event

Concert Poster
Poster (920k .pdf) 

On Sunday, April 19, the original line-up of the pioneering world fusion music group Ancient Future will perform together for the first time this century. Ancient Future was formed in 1978 by students at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California, including Mindia Devi Klein (who went by Mindy in those days), Matthew Montfort, Benjy Wertheimer, and Phil Fong. Ancient Future's first concert took place to a packed house on February 11, 1979, at the original Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax, California, then a vegetarian cafe and music club co-op that was the center of a vibrant local music scene. This line-up of Ancient Future made two recordings that are now considered world fusion classics: Visions of a Peaceful Planet and Natural Rhythms.

Air Craft Reunion Concerts

Featuring Doug McKeehan (keys) and Bruce Bowers (violin)

Cover of So Near So Far by Air Craft

Friday, March 27, 8 pm
Piedmont Piano Company
1728 San Pablo Ave
Oakland, California 94612
Tix: $20 reserved/door. Info: 510-547-8188
Facebook Event

Saturday, March 28, 8 pm
MACLA Black Box Theate
510 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Tix: $20 reserved/door. Info: 408-998-2783 x28 
Facebook Event

When Matthew Montfort was looking for musicians to reform Ancient Future after the band signed with Narada Records, he tapped two principals of the band Air Craft, Doug McKeehan and Bruce Bowers. They performed together on Ancient Future's Quiet Fire and Dreamchaser releases. But with Ancient Future touring and recording, this effectively put their contemporary instrumental band on hold. But now, decades later, Air Craft celebrates the upcoming CD re-issue of their 1985 vinyl LP, So Near, So Far, on Ancient-Future.Com Records. These concerts bring together the original band performing both their classic and new material. Joining Doug and Bruce will be Santana alumnus Myron Dove on bass and veteran journeyman Jack Dorsey on drums.

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

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 strangertickets.com/events/23464505
Info: Call 206-906-9920, email tristan@theroyalroomseattle.com, or visit theroyalroomseattle.com
Facebook Event

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 8 PM
Vashon Theatre
17723 Vashon Highway SW
Vashon, WA 98070
Tix: $15 adv/$18 door. Advance tix at ancientfuturevashon.brownpapertickets.com
Info: Call 206-229-8491 or email jason@misterEmachine.com
Facebook Event

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 brownpapertickets.com/event/1311376 
Info: Call 360-445-3000, email elfa@conwaymuse.com or visit conwaymuse.com
Facebook Event

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 moscowrenfair.org

Concert Poster
Tour Poster (145k .pdf)

This is the first Ancient Future tour of the Pacific Northwest in a decade. Strains of passionate flamenco and ethereal Indian raga emanate from this program featuring world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort and renowned Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar. For a portion of the show, special guest and Seattle area fav Jason Everett (aka Mister E) will accompany them on seven-string fretless bass. The program will feature music from the ground breaking world music recordings of Ancient Future, including the first audio/video release in Ancient Future history, 2014's Yearning for the Wind.

"Matthew Montfort subtly coaxes remarkably flowing lines from his scalloped fretboard guitar. And Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar intuitively places incredibly intricate rhythmic patterns into the piece. Ancient Future has been making wonderful world fusion music for three decades. The possibilities remain infinite." — Paul Freeman, PALO ALTO DAILY NEWS

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 http://tinyurl.com/mxzywve
Info: 415-383-9600
Facebook Event

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.

A.F.A.R. So Far

Two New Tracks Ready for the The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings

30th Anniversary CD Mystery Cover

The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings, Ancient Future's fan funded recording project, has 10 tracks and 70 minutes of music in it so far, and supporters of the archive can now purchase a limited edition CD of all of these tracks, appropriately titled A.F.A.R. So Far.

We are proud to announce that another eleven and a half minutes of music have been recorded, mixed, and mastered for the archive! We just need to raise another few hundred to pay an initial licensing fee for Ancient Future's first ever and very unique cover of a popular song and to register this version of the archive with the US Copyright Office. So, sign up to become a supporter and help add these two new recordings to the archive. Plus, you'll get all 70 minutes of music that are in the archive right now immediately!

Please become a supporter at one of the levels below, starting at just $15. Once you become a supporter at any level, you you will be eligible to buy a CD-R. Only a very few copies of each edition of A.F.A.R. So Far are made, as new tracks are added as money is raised.

Recording Newsletter. $15 (receive 128 kbps downloads): Subscribe @ $15Download Supporter. $25 (320 kbps downloads): Subscribe @ $25Limited Edition CD Sponsor. $50 (all previous plus CD quality audio): Subscribe @ $50Honorary A & R Representative. $75 (all previous plus video and 24 bit audio): Subscribe @ $75Donor VIP. Make Additional Donation. A.F.A.R. So Far CD-R. $20 Additional. Buy CD-R Now.

Raga Shankarabharanam is a melody that enjoys great importance universally, in almost all the systems of music, from time immemorial. Almost similar to the Major Diatonic scale, or the C Major of Western music, this raga enjoys a regal status in the realm of Indian music. Rightly has it been referred to as ‘raga rajasya melakaha’ in the Chaturdandiprakasika. Even in the 12th Century, it was classified as a raganga raga by Parsvadeva, and it is one of the purva prasiddha raganga ragas listed by Sarangadeva. Besides, most of the works on music have classified it as an important mela. This raga is only the nishada murchana of the ancient Shadja grama scale and was known as ranjani in the murchana-jati system. The raga was very much in practice in the Ancient Tamil Music system as a sampurna scale known by the name pan pazhampanjuram.We have bilaval that of Hindustani music which corresponds to shankarabharanam. It has always maintained the status of a major parent raga, giving rise to a number of janya ragas.

ārōhaṇa: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S
avarōhaṇa: S N3 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S

Raga Saveri, probably derived from the word ‘Savari’ is a rakti raga, apt for singing at the time of Suryodaya (sunrise) and Suryastama (sunset). Saveri is also one of the ragas confined to the realms of Carnatic music. The antiquity of Saveri dates to 11th century AD, as can be perceived from a reference found in the Sangeeta Samaya Sara. However, Sarangadeva, the author of Sangeeta Ratnakara (13th century AD), refers to a Bhashanga raga called Savari and calls it an Adhunika-prasiddha raga, i.e., one of recent fame. It is after deep deliberation that experts of carnatic music had to conclude that raga Saveri originated about a thousand years ago.

ārohaṇa: S R1 M1 P D1 S
avarohaṇa: S N3 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S

We in band oxygen, in our composition named Sacred Jewel, fused the above mentioned ragas with classical western orchestration with limited percussion background. The part of the song which in raga saveri has been composed to match the Varnam style widely prevalent in carnatic music. We would like to thank Gayatri Kamakoti and Navneet Krishnan for their contribution in notating and composing this song. 



Pedro Almodovar’s stress-lifting playlist...

Pedro Almodovar’s stress-lifting playlist before “Los Amantes Pasajeros” takes off!

A few short days before Pedro Almodovar starts shooting his new film, our favorite Spaniard shared some of the music that inspires him. Check out the tracklist – but why stop there? Press play and listen to the whole shebang!

Shooting for “Los Amantes Pasajeros” – Almodovar’s first comedy in some time – is scheduled to commence on June 4th in Madrid, with a cast featuring some of his favorite collaborators over the years.

Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas and Blanca Suárez are some of the passengers on board Almodovar’s next film, which takes place on a plane flying over the Gulf of Mexico. When a mechanical damage brings them face to face with imminent death, everyone’s bizarre secrets come flying out. What else are you gonna do to take your mind off the fact that you’re about to meet your maker?

Just like every other Almodovar film, music is bound to be more than just a sonic backdrop. In fact, judging by this mix, it it’ll be an active ingredient in the Almodovarian universe!

Which is why Pedro recently posted his favorite 2012 albums on El Deseo’s facebook page, stuff he’s listened to over and over again while working on “Los Amantes Pasajeros”, accompanied by an explanatory note:

“This is a list of the 15 albums that accompaned me thoughout the rehearsals and the endless screenplay rewrites. It’s what I listen to when I flip through magazines, picking out clothes for my characters, reupholstering furniture and going through countless interior design publications in pursuit of inpiration. It’s what keeps me from going over the edge when I have to correct a scene for the thousandth time, extend dialogues for Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo and Carlos Areces only to edit all over again, otherwise the film is going to go on forever! And we don’t want that to happen, do we?

You could say it’s my top 15 of 2012, although the Metronomy and Django Django albums – real gems! – were released last year and the Mickey Newbury album is a re-release. I suppose all of them will leave a trace on “Los Amantes Pasajeros”, alternating with Esquivel’s vibrant lounge, Quincy Jones’ “Big Band Bossa Nova”, the constant caress of Brazilian-born Luiz Bonfá and a mixture of psychedelic cumbia I found on “Cumbia Beat” and “The Roots of Chicha”. It’s basically music that makes your life easier in times of absolute frustration!”

This is Pedro’s top 15 albums of 2012 and a mixtape we’ve put together especially for Flix readers, featuring one track from each album, just to get you in the mood for Almodovar’s imminent liftoff. Enjoy!

  •     Carlton Rara – «Home»
  •     Django Django – «Django Django»
  •     Francis Bebey – «African Electronic Music 1975-1982»
  •     Lambchomp – «Mr. M.»
  •     M. Ward – «A Wasteland Companion»
  •     Metronomy – «The English Riviera»
  •     Mickey Newbury – «An American Trilogy» («Looks Like Rain», «Frisco Mabel Joy» , «Heaven Help the Child»)
  •     Otis Taylor – «Otis Taylor’s Contraband»
  •     Rufus Wainwright – «Out Of The Game»
  •     Santigold – «Master of My Make-Believe»
  •     Soko – «I Thought I Was an Alien»
  •     The Ting Tings – «Sounds from Nowheresville»
  •     Tindersticks – «The Something Rain»
  •     Varios artistas – «Daptone 7 Inch Singles Collection Volume 1»
  •     Varios artistas – «Daptone 7 Inch Singles Collection Volume 2»

Photo by Jerod Harris.


With shimmering hooks, sugary harmonies and breezy song writing, Boogarin’s second instalmentManual is an assured, intriguing collection of songs that constantly changes direction.

Formed by high school friends Fernando Almeida and Benke Ferraz 5 years ago, Manual, or to give it its full title Manual, ou Guia Livre de Dissolução dos Sonhos (Manual, or a Free Guide to the Dissolution of Dreams), comes as the bands second selection after their breakthrough album. Created during their 2013 world tour, Manual continues their inspiration from the sunny weirdness of ‘60s Brazilian Tropicalia pop. However, whilst their first album As Plantas que Curam could be seen to transplant these Brazilian influences into the decidedly more D.I.Y. context of teenagers recording songs on borrowed gear, their new conception represents a more assured, tighter experiment into Tropicalia psych-art.

With ‘Avalanche’ causing the monolingual Englishman to immediately sing along to words he doesn’t understand, Boogarin’s creamy guitar riffs leave a sweet taste in ones ears from the outset. And as one progresses through the album, an expression of travel comes to mind, an embodiment of their first worldwide tour. This idea of travel can be seen specifically in ‘Tempo’. With harsher riffs punctuating the bands gently teased out caramelodic guitaring, the song points to the sweet respite of travelling between the intensity of their gigs.

Boogarins’ enjoyably sunny rhythms are out for all to hear in their first single off the album, ‘6000 dias’. With flowing, slurred vocals accompanying the catchiest chorus, the band show here that they are more than catchy jingle merchants; a juicy instrumental within demonstrating their musical maturing. Even the accompanying video is also a tour diary of sorts that begins by following the band as they travel across the States – through rolling country fields, New York streets and cacti-filled deserts. Then, like the song, it tumbles and swells, performance shots layered with scenes from an art exhibition and the glare of bright lights. The whole thing then closes on, first, a shot of the sun setting over calm waters and then, frothing waves crashing against each other. It’s an accurate abstract of the band’s two modes of attack. 

Furthermore, in ‘Falsa Folha de Rosto’, Almeida sings, “viver virou sonhar” (living became dreaming), in reference to the epic journey the band has made in the last two years. Growing from teenage pals recording lysergic tropical pop in the Brazilian city of Goiânia, the band is now a four-piece with the addition of a solid rhythm section. Playing a rare London show at the start of November, their gig was a potent display of fragrant song writing and blissed out guitar effects. One was whisked away by the rhythms, riding on balmy Brazilian clouds.

Yet, whilst the band’s teenage years involved listening to western psychedelia and digging out records by Os Mutantes or Caetano Veloso from the ‘60s Tropicalia movement, can their songs be categorised as “protest”? It is tough to listen to the slightly out-of-time opening riff on the opening track 'Lucifernandis' on their first album and not recall Os Mutantes.  

Singing in Portuguese, it is evident that Boogarins wanted to create music that spoke to the people that they most identify with. This is especially admirable when you put into account that most of the lyrics are politically charged. ‘Avalanche’, for example, reflects the unrest surrounding the World Cup, when there were complaints at the way facilities for tourists had an impact on working-class Brazilians. This is delivered in a cheery style reminiscent of the albums from the birth of the Tropicalia Movement, particularly by the likes of Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil.

Yet, whilst many describe Boogarins as the best example of the living legacy of the original Tropicália artists and have won acclaim for their warm, sly homage to '60s and '70s psychedelia, Ferraz appreciates but doesn’t entirely endorse these references. Ferraz states that the music of another outsider, Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett, was a bigger influence.

“We were not trying to be a Tropicalia revival,” he says. “We aren’t particularly political. We are playing art for art’s sake, and… Tropicalia had a historical strength that I don’t think we have. But we love what we are doing and we have already gone further than we ever thought we’d go.”

With the revolutionary Tropicalia movement challenging Brazil’s dictatorship in the late '60s with music that blended indigenous influences, psychedelic and progressive rock, Boogarins should be seen as a progression, not a reversion. With Manual representing a more assured album, the band may have lost its original rawness, but they continue to be themselves. The album is a sun-kissed trip with layered overdubs, shimmering guitar inter-play and a sense of wanderlust. If MGMT and The Mighty Boosh tickle your fancy, then prepare to laugh your pants off with Manual.



World Rhythms 15: We Have the Beats!

World Rhythms News Banner




Issue 15, Dec. 2017: We Have the Beats!

The World Rhythms News is an infrequent newsletter dedicated to world music education brought to you by the band Ancient Future. Subscribe at Ancient-Future.Com.

In this issue:

Future Possibilities
World Fusion Exercises

When musicians are exposed to the musical knowledge developed by traditions that are not native to their upbringing, new traditions are created. This process is normally an organic one. The more musical knowledge you have, the more that knowledge comes through in the music you create.

But it can be fun to make exercises bringing ideas from different traditions together. The book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India includes an entire chapter on world fusion exercises. But rather than including a large set of exercises, just a few key examples are presented to inspire you to create your own.

We begin with a world fusion exercise, and then delve into the traditions it is based on.

Tihai Kotèkan

This exercise combines Balinese and North Indian rhythmic concepts. This intermediate level example from Chapter 4, Exercise I, page 127 of Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities is in a 15 beat rhythmic cycle. Recite the drum syllables of the tihai (North Indian rhythmic phrase that repeats three times and lands on the first beat of the rhythm cycle), starting first with the bottom part of the kotèkan (Balinese interlocking rhythm), and then proceeding to the top and more offbeat part. For an explanation of the notation below, see the North Indian Tala page. Also see the Pronunciation Guide to Indian Drum Syllables.

Play Tihai Kotèkan

    + (hand clap on sam)
15 |dhin * dha ge * na ge * ki ta * ka dhin * dha ge
4 |dhin * dha * dhi na * na ki * ta ka * kre dha *
1 2 3 4

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

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

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

Ancient Traditions

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


A tihai is a common North Indian cadential pattern repeated three times in succession. The last note of the cadence is timed to fall either on the sam, the first beat of the tala (rhythmic cycle), or on the the beginning note of a main musical phrase. One repetition of the pattern is known as a pala. Musicians become skilled at fashioning tihais on the spur of the moment to create a cadence, and must continually be aware of where they are in the rhythmic cycle and consequently how many counts are left in which to play a tihai.

In North Indian music, the term laya refers to both the main tempo of the beats in the tala and the relative speed of the notes played during each beat of the tala. Another way to look at the later meaning is that the number of divisions per beat is referred to as the laya. Instead of looking at four notes per beat in 4/4 time as sixteenth notes, the speed of the notes relative to the beats is considered a laya of four, or chaugun laya. Of course, the laya used is an important part of calculating the tihai math.

Tihai Math

Does math make your brain hurt? Then skip to next part. But you will become a better musician if you embrace math.

While North Indian musicians create tihais by a more or less intuitive process gained through years of practice and familiarization with the elements of tala, it is helpful to know mathematical formulas for arriving at tihais, of which there are many. The math behind the above tihai could be expressed using the following formula, which works for all tihais that start on the sam:

G = [(CTL +1) - 3P] ÷ 2, where C = the number of repetitions of the rhythmic cycle required to bring the tihai to sam, T = the number of beats in the tala (rhythmic cycle), L = the number of laya divisions, P = the length of one pala of the tihai expressed in laya divisions, and G = the gap or breath between pala repetitions expressed in laya divisions.

The tihai formula is used to figure out what the the gap or rest between the palas of the tihai needs to be to make the tihai land on sam given the length of the pala, the number of divisions in the laya, and the number of beats in the tala. Here's how the math works for the tihai in the world fusion exercise above:

The tihai takes only 1 cycle of 15 beats with a laya division of 4 notes per beat, so CTL = 1 x 15 x 4, or 60. Therefore, CTL + 1 = 61. One pala of the tihai takes up 17 laya divisions of 4 notes per beat, so 3P = 3 x 17, or 51. Therefore [(CTL +1) - 3P] = 61 - 51, or 10. 10 ÷ 2 = 5, so the gap is equal to 5 laya divisions of 4 notes per beat, or 5 16th note rests.

Try making your own tihai using the G = [(CTL +1) - 3P] ÷ 2 formula!


A gamelan is an ensemble normally composed primarily of percussion. In Bali, orchestras of tuned gongs, bronze kettles, bronze metallophones, bamboo xylophones, drums, cymbals and flutes fill the night air with animated music. Melodic parts interlock, divided in such a way that musicians play alternate notes to form the melody line. These interlocking parts, known as kotèkan, require cooperation and a keen sense of rhythm to perform. The two parts of a kotèkan, which are thought of as male and female, are known as nyangsih and polos. The main accents of the nyangsih part are usually on the offbeat, while the main accents of the polos part are usually on the beat.

Knowledge of kotèkan can be extremely valuable. These interlocking rhythms have a unique way of bringing people together in cooperation towards a common goal, and there are many creative possibilities for applying them to contemporary music.

Here is an example of a traditional kotèkan. The bottom part is the polos, and the top part is the nyangsih.

Play Kotèkan

Ochetan Music Notation

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities includes a set of cards representing all 26 mathematically possible one beat kotèkan patterns without rests. They are very useful for creating your own kotèkan patterns for pre-existing or yet to be written melodies.

Create Your Own Tihai Kotèkan

Using the tihai formulas and kotèkan cards in Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities, you can create your own tihai kotèkan. You might even come up with something that will become part of one of your compositions. Tihai kotèkans make for intriguing endings such as the final tihai kotèkan employed on a track released by the band Ancient Future:

"Nyo Nyo Gde"by Matthew Montfort from World Without Walls by Ancient Future: Play on Ethnocloud. Play on Spotify. Play on iTunes.

Where's the Beat?

  Talking Drum, Gamelan, and Tabla

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

The Answer

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

The Beginning, the Beat, the Book

Book Cover

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. By Matthew Montfort. Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Comb Bound Book- $46.95 (SALE $33.95). Book and Enhanced Audio CD Set with MIDI files- $74.95 (SALE $53.95). New Best Buy! Book & Audio Guide/MIDI Download- $69.95 (SALE $49.95).

This classic "world beat bible" by Matthew Montfort takes the student on a musical voyage through the ancient rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India with a series of exercises that require no instruments to perform. Interesting, imaginative and fun, these rhythm exercises will be of immense help to all music lovers, not just percussionists. Indeed, Matthew Montfort, leader of the trailblazing world fusion music group Ancient Future, was inspired to write the book because it was difficult for him to find musicians who had the skills to perform multi-cultural music. By enabling home study of non-Western rhythms with enough material for years of practice for most students, the training develops refined rhythmic skills, promotes multi-cultural musicianship, stimulates new ideas for composers and improvisers, and fosters cross-cultural music appreciation.

The New Audio Guides and Grooves

A.T.F.P. Audio Guide Tracks

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. By Matthew Montfort. Ancient Future Music (AF-0001, 2005. V 4.0, 2017). New Preview Release! Companion MP3/MIDI Guide Tracks Download Set- $34.95 (SALE 24.95). Companion Audio/MIDI Guide Tracks 2 Volume CD/CD-ROM Set- $39.95 (SALE $29.95).

A new downloadable companion set of MP3 audio guide and MIDI groove tracks of the exercises in the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities will be released in fall 2017. The preview beta release is on sale now at Ancient-Future.Com. The downloads are set up for playback on Mac and PC computers, tablets, and smartphones. The tracks are also available on a CD/CD-ROM set.

West African drum music, Balinese gamelan, and Indian tala are oral traditions, and the new downloadable files make it very convenient to integrate the tradition of learning by ear into the rhythm studies. The material is presented in two complimentary formats: audio guide tracks and MIDI groove tracks, which are also available separately as downloads.

The Audio Guide Tracks

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

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

The MIDI Groove Tracks

Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves: MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Version 4.0. By Matthew Montfort. Kentfield: Ancient Future Music (1997. V. 4.0 2017). New Preview Release! MIDI File Download- $24.95 (SALE 17.95).

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

The Beat The Eve Orchestra of West Africa

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

The Interlocking Rhythms of Balinese Gamelan

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

The Rhythmic Cycles of India

The perception of the cyclic nature of life is reflected in Indian classical music through the device oftala,a recurring time-measure or rhythmic cycle. There are two different traditions in Indian classical music, the Carnatic music of South India and the Hindustani music of North India.

The tabla is a North Indian drum set comprised of two drums with goat-skin heads. For every sound on the drum there is a corresponding syllable. These syllables are known as bols. Each North Indian tala has a theka, a standard set of bols that identify the rhythmic cycle. The MIDI files of these thekas are arranged for General MIDI conga and bongo, and make excellent groove tracks for creating compositions or practicing. The North Indian section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves features a full explanation of the tabla bols complete with audio links to tabla samples of each bol, and files for VSTi instruments and GarageBand that remap the MIDI files to the included tabla samples.

The mridangam is a South Indian two-headed barrel drum made of jackwood with goatskin heads. South Indian drumming has a language all of its own known as solkattu. For the sounds produced by the mridangam, there are corresponding syllables known as konokol. The South Indian section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves features an explanation of the konokol syllables used in the solkattu compositions that are presented. The South Indian rhythm exercises have been arranged for General MIDI conga and bongo. Instructions and sequencer files are included to help in remapping the MIDI files to tabla or mridangam samples.

The Author

Matthew Montfort

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

The Workshops and Skype Lessons

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

The Quotes

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

"You've heard Afro-Pop, sitar, gamelan and world music for years. But do you know what they are and how they work? Better yet, would you like to play those twisted cross-rhythms and melodies? In Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities, Matthew Montfort, a founding member of the world music band Ancient Future, has put together the book for people who want to dig into world music with both hands. The first section of the book covers traditional music of West Africa, Bali and India with theories and exercises. Wherever possible, Montfort has provided beat counts alongside the standard musical notation so even if you can't read music, you can still learn the rhythms. The last section of the book mixes patterns from different cultures, demonstrating the powerful music these simple exercises can generate." – Richard Kadrey, San Francisco Chronicle

"A hands-on exploration of Balinese, African, and Indian rhythms that should appeal to all musicians. One needn't play percussion instruments, or any instruments at all, for that matter, to use and benefit from the book." Drums and Drumming

"A very practical manual. There is enough material to keep interested musicians busy for years. Montfort has done a great service for western musicians interested in world music. A pleasure to work with."Option

"Very highly recommended for any instrumentalists hoping to expand their rhythmic horizons. If you've never investigated the beautiful clash of African polyrhythm, the incredible interlocking textures of Balinese music, or the complex metric structure of Indian classical music, check out Ancient Traditions – it will blow your mind and deepen your groove."Guitar Player

"If you're tired of programming your drum machine with the same old 4/4 back-beat, or you want to sharpen your rhythmic chops, this book is highly recommended."Electronic Musician

The Performers

Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities has been used and admired by many teachers and musicians around the world.

Lou Harrison (1917-2003), prominent composer and founder of the American gamelan movement, called the work "a very useful contribution to musical scholarship."

Reinhard Flatischler, founder of the TaKeTiNa rhythm training process, was an early enthusiast of the method book.

John Bergamo (1940-2013), composer and coordinator of the percussion department at the California Institute of the Arts, found a copy of Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities when he cleaned out his desk at retirement. As he finally had the time available, he worked his way through it, after which he called the author to thank him for writing it, and encouraged him to write more world music training manuals. One is in the works.

Steve Smith, stellar jazz and rock drummer of Journey fame, went through the book in preparation for a percussion summit with tabla master Zakir Hussain.

Start your own journey to musical excellence with Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities!


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





Hailing from London, Eardrum create sounds that reflect their harsh urban
surroundings while dreaming of African suns and open skies. Formed in the early
1990s when London based Richard Olatunde Baker met Chicago native Lou Ciccotelli,
the two percussionists found they shared a love of Sun Ra, West African tribal
drumming and dub reggae. Drawing on a pool of like minded seasoned musicians  
Eardrum forge an electric, elastic, experimental sound rooted in Nigerian and
Ghanaian trance music, King Tubby’s exotic dub tapestries and free jazz.

District Six records are proud to be releasing Eardrums' fourth album, 'Colonised',
a testament to the methods of both improvisation – afrobeat, free jazz, musique
concrète and carnival street music – and the insularity of studio manipulation.

Initially recorded as a live band one-take session, Colonised is a powerhouse
rhythm machine with great cosmic flair and deep interstellar improvisations
coloured with Eritrean, Nigerian and Egyption vocal tradition amidst the dark
sonic cityscapes of London life.

Colonised is the link between the ambient rhythmscape of Eardrums’ debut album Last
Light (Leaf Label) and the dynamic, unpredictable energy of Eardrums’ live
performances, whilst remaining a reflection of the city they hail from - diverse
beautiful, confusing, moving to wild rhythms and talking in strange tongues.


RICHARD OLATUNDE BAKER (talking drum/percussion)
Original founder and the band’s producer/studio engineer, he is also one of
the best talking drummers born outside of Nigeria. Having toured with Tony
Allen as part of the “Lagos No Shaking’ tour as well as Mulatu Astatke’s latest
band, he has since established himself as a prominent UK Future-Afro visionary

Co-founder, previously of noise merchants God and Spleen, with a wide spectrum
of Avant-Rock, Jazz and West African drumming musical capabilities, he is
currently also playing with Yaabafunk

JASON YARDE (saxophones/percussion)
One of the most prolific and recognised UK jazz musicians of the last 15
years. Apart from his own BBC compositions, his endless credits include Jazz
Warriors, Roy Ayers, Hugh Masekela, Andrew Hill, Jazz Jamaica, Terri Walker

PAT THOMAS (keyboards/FX)
Avid Oxford improvisor and Jazz composer, with a magical sonic range akin to
the enigmatic Sun Ra, his credits include Tony Corbett, Lol Coxhill, Black Top
and the Enlightenment Ensemble who just performed John Coltraine's Love Supreme
album at Union Chapel in London.

AYOKUNLE ODIA (saxophone)
Songwriter and poet with an impressive Afro-jazz background, including
performing at the Lagos shrine with Fela Kuti

A fiery up and coming tabla player and genius “rythmatician”. He is able to
blend a traditional/religious style with the new and experimental

AGE NORTHOVER (saxophones)
Exuding a well travelled palette, from Balkan to classical Indian styles, he
brings a huge array of colours and emotions to the pot

A well known name on the Jazz/Reggae/Latin circuit his credits range from
Aswad, to Ska Cubano, to Soothsayers

Bearing the ancestoral name of a traditional Yoruba drummer, his rhythmic
patterns are at the heart of the EARDRUM framework. His credits also include
Ayinde Wasiu, Sikiru Barrister, as well co-producing Musilu, son of the
legendary Haruna Isola.

NICK WALTERS (trumpet)
Another up and coming prolific player with a broad stylistic palette and flair
for exuberant solos


Helen Isibor
Nigerian born singer-songwriter, composer and performance artist harnessing
influences from avant-garde, psychedelic, tribal and meditative arts and drawing
inspiration from 70’s musical pioneers such as Fela Kuti and Can.

Saba Tewelde
Born in Eritrea and influenced by Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and tradiotional music,
Saba is part of German world music nominee group InjerSoul

Empress *1
Of African and Arabian heritage, prolific and passionate about her art, she has
chosen to express herself through metaphor, meter and rhyme.

La Piantina

After "Rumba De Oro" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwvh3...),
"La Piantina" is the second single coming out from "100% E.P.", the new work of MaMaAFR!KA for 2014.
This is a true full energy song, one of the most funny and intense moment during a MaMaAFR!KA performance.
Its power is given firstly by the hook, written some years ago by Sly, and secondly by the fresh mix between an alternative arrangement and poetic italian rap and raggamuffin' lyrics about free energy an ecological culture.
The lyrics is written by Cico and by Jovine, a famous reggae star from Naples and leader of the band Jovine, very known for his collaboration with 99Posse and his participation at one of the italian national tv musical show.

MaMaAFR!KA feat. Jovine: La Piantina
con la partecipacion de: Gabriele Blandini

Cico: voice, classic guitar, fx, samples
Sly: voice, bass
Jovine: voice
Big Mena: electric guitar
Jakinta: voice
Luis War: keyboard
Francesco Milloni: beat
Blandini: trumpet
Vos One: trombone

all recorded by Ventur @ Studio D20
Jovine's voice recorded
by Alessandro Aspide @ BeatBox Pro LabSound
Blandini's trumpet recorded
by ManuFunk @ Cinghiale Studio
produced by Cico and Ventur
arranged by MaMaAFR!KA

video direction: Stefano Taurino
video shooting, editing and color: Stefano Taurino and Eman
postproduction: 24 Fotogrammi
Jovine's clip video by Marco Tartaglia

JOViNE: https://www.youtube.com/user/Vjovine
Gabriele Blandini: https://www.youtube.com/user/bundamove

Jess Di Be
Marie Claire
Luigi Quadri
Claudia Manzillo

Pandemonium Gitano Compilation Release

It took a while, but now it’s here: Rock Gitano is bringing out his very first compilation. Some may know the guy from Zurich and his wild side from his early days, others from the crazy Zurich night life. But no one knows the man behind the mask. The one driven out, the restless one, the one first shunned by society then adopted, only to run away again. One of the last true punks, bearing a thousand tons of attitude.

Rock began his career as a DJ more than 20 years ago. First as an electro DJ at all sorts of parties, later in the legendary Zurich club “Dachkantine”. But eventually, he went back to the music of his roots. To the music of the travellers that had accompanied him his whole life long, to the music of his soul, he being a traveller himself. Ever since, he calls himself simply Rock Gitano.

Rock Gitano has played in all the trendy clubs and venues in Zurich as well as throughout Switzerland; he can also look back on a number of regular gigs abroad, including Berlin, Munich and London.

Following on the heels of diverse collaborations and lengthy friendships with various touring bands and boozy club nights, Rock Gitano is now venturing a step further into pandemonium with the first compilation he has ever put together. Pandemonium Gitano is a perfect mix of Balkan folk songs, coupled with electronic beats and modern influences from the West. And when Rock issues the invitation to dance, then of course, they are all there: his buddies from Palko Muski, Gypsy punk legend Eugene Hütz with his cohorts from Gogol Bordello, the splendid Amsterdam Klezmer Band and other heroes from the global dancefloor. At times playfully electronic (Äl Jawala, Gypsy Sound System), at others organic with a groove (Terno feat. Mahala Rai Banda, Jaro Milko & the Cubalkanics), and always with just the right portion of punk (Russkaja, The Dreadnoughts). Fresh, lively music that makes you happy or as Rock himself says about his DJ sets, “It’s about love! It’s about peace! It’s about craziness!”

The CD is published on Swiss indie label, Jasha!Records, which was just launched in 2016 with the mission of bringing Gypsy/Roma music closer to those who want to hear it.

Rock Gitano’s "Pandemonium Gitano" is available as a CD and digital download.




1. Palko Muski – This Way (Switzerland)

2. Terno feat. Mahala Rai Banda - Romani Gili (Poland/Romania) (Exclusive)

3. Boom Pam - Ars Meduplam (Israel)

4. Round Table Knights feat. Reverend Beat-Man – Cut to the Top (Switzerland)

5. Äl Jawala - Heart Overload (Pelletronica&Sumakari RMX) (Germany) (Exclusive Version)

6. Gogol Bordello – Pala Tute (USA)

7. Amsterdam Klezmer Band – A Sheine Velt (Radio Zwarte Cross Version) (Netherlands) (Exclusive Version)

8. Russkaja – Energia (Austria)

9. Offchestra – Bajram (Kosovo)

10. Gypsy Sound System - Press the Balls (Switzerland)

11. Gypsy Hill - Balkan Beast (UK)

12. Jaro Milko & the Cubalkanics (Switzerland) (Exclusive)

13. Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha - Murhamiesten Markkinoilla (Finnland) (Exclusive)

14. Haris Pilton & Gypsy Sound System – Gitanos (Switzerland)

15. Kumpania Algazarra – Pudim (Portugal)

16. The Dreadnoughts - Polka Never Dies (Canada)

New Video Series Combines Modern Urban Western Beats With Traditional Middle Eastern Melodies and Percussion
Stereognosis is a transglobal music project which combines modern urban western beats with traditional middle eastern melodies and percussion (http://stereognosticmusic.com).  Long distances were travelled to record an album involving 16 different musicians from 8 different countries over 4 years—-this album was released in 2010 and was entitled The Hybrid (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/Stereognosis).  This album laid the foundation for a LIVE PERFORMANCE on 08/29/13, EIGHT HIGH-DEF VIDEOS of which were RECENTLY RELEASED ON YOUTUBE (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtAQs848E0dQf-2tmmfZBZrBWLW1_36Yy).  
These videos included performance footage of Belgian Beatbox champ FATTY K (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTLoiiki98k), American beatbox champ BEAT RHINO (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkXJtEWCeLQ), upright bass sensation MILES JAY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-y2IV-O2zA), Turkish string virtuoso SINAN AYYILDIZ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh7q41H1ODQ), and Uzbek percussion master ABBOS KOSIMOV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp3SUZgWhwQ).  
We would like to invite enthusiasts of world fusion and conniseurs of master musicianship in general to please check out the new video series (particularly the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQiTp1ojPu8 and this track featuring the entire ensemble at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMCjMy2dit0).  
For those members of Ethnocloud who like what you hear, we encourage you to please feel free to visit us on Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/stereognostic), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stereognosticmusic), Twitter (https://twitter.com/stereognosis), and Instagram (http://instagram.com/stereognosis).   
For questions, please contact the project’s producer, Patrick Archie, at stereognostic@gmail.com.
Happy listening…

Get fancy with MAKAR! We talk with EthnoCloud about our upcoming record, Fancy Hercules and beyond! BEYOND! BEYOND!

The link below will lead you directly to our interview.


Five Funny Things People Say About Mbira

Well folks, we are back from a great weekend at the Zimbabwe in Devon Mbira Camp.

We  had a great laugh about the things that people who are not familiar to mbira say about the music and instrument. These ranged from the funny to the downright annoying!  We’ve complied a top five list from some of the things that people shared with us. Here we go…

1. Is It Made Out of Spoons?

mbira keys, zvembira

Probably the most common question that a lot of mbira players have been asked! It seems this one has ruffled many feathers.  Verdict: Annoying but sweet!

2. Did you make it yourself? 

People have also been asked many times if they made the instruments themselves. Have you had similar experiences? We were just wondering whether this question is asked because the instrument usually looks definitely handmade hence the assumption that everyone can knock one up for themselves. Verdict: Flattering but annoying

3. Can you play “normal” songs on it? 

This we found extremely funny (and a bit annoying)!  People want to know if you can play a pop song on the mbira. It is a very interesting question in that someone is essentially asking about the versatility of the instrument. What we found annoying about this question is the use of the word “normal”.   Anyway maybe this is what they were asking about…


Verdict: Annoying but understandable

4. I can hear a strange buzzing. I think one of your strings is a bit loose. 

Believe it or not, someone had the courage to say this! Buzzing seems to be something that always troubles people when they listen to mbira.  People at the camp spoke a lot about how people always say “It would sound really lovely without those rattling bottle tops” or “it will sound really lovely when you fix the loose bits”. It seems some people are inclined to a ‘clean’ sound. Is it that there is too much buzzing or what? We’ll never know!  We’ve written about buzzing here before.

Verdict: People are entitled to their preferences

5. I’ve got one of those but it’s smaller. My mum brought it back from Africa. 

Well, don’t they all just look the same? We had a laugh about it because we imagined someone from “Africa”   with a violin saying to someone in Europe who has a cello, “oh, I’ve got one of those but it’s smaller. My mum brought it back from Europe”. Check out the blog on ‘Mbira Identity’ here .

Verdict: Very innocent silly thing to say!

Have you heard any funny things out there? We would like to hear from you!


New Band and New Songs from Mali - Habib Koité concert @ Arte TV

Dass der Sänger und Gitarrist Habib Koite aus Mali nur zwei Jahre nach seinem letzten Auftritt wieder beim Africa Festival zu Gast ist, hat einen guten Grund. Inzwischen hat er seine Band Bamada komplett umgebaut, was auf dem aktuellen Album Soo zu hören ist. Die Kora ist verschwunden, stattdessen gibt es jetzt ein Banjo und ein Keyboard, die mit Habibs Gitarre und den Trommeln verschmelzen. Auch auf der neuen CD führt er wieder die Klänge des Vielvölkerstaats Mali zusammen, singt über Freundschaft und Freunde und ruft zum friedlichen Zusammenleben auf, was nach den Ereignissen der ­letzten Jahre notwendiger denn je ist. Habib Koite hat seine Musik nicht radikal neu erfunden, aber das, was so viele Fans in aller Welt an ihm mögen, dezent und stil­sicher weiterentwickelt.





If you’re familiar with our blog then you’ll be more than familiar with our Dub Resident, Celt Islam, who has created a unique hybrid Transnational Bass & Dubstep sound that he calls Sufi Dub!

Celt Islam is really in a league and owns a sound of his own and he now offers up his new album that has the best title any album has ever had “Generation Bass”.

“Dub Virus” kicks off the show with an intro that reminded me of a cross between “Overture” on 2112 by my fave prog Rockers Rush and something from Lord of The Rings, except that the dialogue centres around a belief that drives and inspires Celt’s music, Islam.

The dialogue goes as follows:

“How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission , Allah is with the steadfast”

It’s no ordinary dialogue as it’s by Ian Dallas, Federico Fellini’s favourite actor who also appeared in Fellini’s film  as “Il partner della telepata”.

Ian Dallas is now known as “Shaykh AbdalQadir” as he became a Muslim in the 60′s and joined the Darqawiyya Sufi Tariqa to which he ended up becoming its leader and responsible for people like Cat Stevens , Richard Thompson [ Fairport Convention ] and Hamza Yusuf Hanson the American Sufi scholar converting to Islam.

Beautiful dialogue and Rush intro over, the journey begins and its straight into some mind-bending Transnational Dub with a Middle Eastern overtone.

“Ghetto Blaster” has Psy Dub leanings to a Sci-Fi soundtrack.

“Astro Sufi”, as the title suggests, evokes imagery of a Dervish whirling deep into hyper-space.  A spacey, bass driven, chilled voyage descends into a battle of the wills but with the Astro Sufi and Peace winning the day.

In Arabic, “Baraka” means “a blessing from God in the form of spiritual wisdom or divine presence”. There’s no lightweight or shallow narrative running through this album but a spiritual transcendence and Celt’s music is telling a story, like it always has done.

Things get a bit more chilled when we reach the “New World”, maybe it is now the time to gather one’s thoughts and contemplate the future like a wizened old philosopher.  Things are definitely a bit more skanking in an electro way.

Now you have reached time for the freebie, exclusive to us, that comes in the form of “Cosmonaut” which rocks like crazy, picks you up and drops you down and invites you to submit to the Sufi Dub sound.

“Transonic Velocity” is the means by which the soundwaves of Sufi Dub will be permanently implanted into your mind.  It’s a a machine like state of spirituality as the machine tries hard to get into the deepest recesses of your mind!

Now the title track and one of the best song, album titles, ever in the history of music “Generation Bass”. It’s a slow Dub driven beauty that resurrects Celt of Old.  Melody and atmospherics whirling in your head just like, moments before, that Dervish that the machine had implanted in there.  That Dervish is Whirling in your mind and your mind is turning, maybe turning to something new, more meaningful!

Even though your mind might be open to new explorations, you’ll never leave the “Earth Tribe” behind during your Transcendence and now’s the time to remember them and some of the good things they stood up for.  A gorgeous Arabian melody kicks in a quarter of the way through which leaves thoughts & old memories transfixed in your mind whilst you continue to push forward to enlightenment.

The journey continues and now you’ve become more than just a mere journeyman, you’re an “Interstella Nomad” traversing the deserts of the new world.

Unbeknown to you, many have been following in your footsteps and you have amassed an army of some magnitude who are all now ready for a “Celestial Invasion”.  A battle of the minds, a battle of good over evil, peace over war, knowledge over ignorance, humility over ego and love over hate!

Mission accomplished, you have won, you have transcended, you are enlightened and so now is the time to“Energise” so that you may complete your journey and pass through with your physical being as your mind is already there and has been spiritually nourished.

Coming back to the words that opened the album:

“How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission , Allah is with the steadfast”

“Generation Bass” by Celt Islam is an album that is a Sufi Dub driven gem of sounds and ideas and tales that will dwell and grow in the minds of those who are steadfast.  It’s one of the most interesting and unique Dub oriented releases you’ll hear this year or in any year.

The album tells a story and it will tell a different story to each person.  The above was my story.  Take a listen so you can tell yours.

Grab the free track in WAV:


“Appear as you are,be as you appear” { Rumi }

“Music is a mathematical, visceral, and psych-spiritual microcosm of the universe; as is humanity. It is extraordinarily powerful and at the same time subtle. Most are unaware of its nature and possibilities. It’s power is, in its primordial form, morally neutral. Human intention and application make it either beneficial or destructive. ” { Dawoud Kringle The Renegade Sufi }

“In the rhythms and melodies of music there is a great secret. If I were to reveal it, it would destroy the whole world.” { Rumi }



Adedayo Samuel Ajibulu, AKA Jay D Ripper, AKA TAHIGHTA who also goes by the name AEPEIRON was born in IKEJA the heart of Lagos State, Nigeria. Jay D Ripper started his music careear as a roadie with the AYETORO Music band in the late 90s and grew to become a performing member of the band eventually. 

“Ripper” as his friends and fans would call him, grew to become a non relentless performing artist, music writer and producer\mix Engineer that has awed his audience times without number with his music or as he calls it… “ART”.
He performed with the AYETORO music band in small and major concerts including the jazz Festival in Lagos, and also the well know FELABRATION show that holds every end of the year at the New African Shrine, Freedom park, Oriental Hotel amongst many. 
“Ripper” recorded his first single called Fear Zone with the then “Cypher Culture” (Elajoe & Mendo)  and the second single “Ikeja Steeze” produced by “Ugly Beatz AKA Kelly Hansom” which gained him love and respect in his hood “IKJ” and since then, he continues to record/perform like his life depends on it till date. 
Jay Ripper also has collaborated with lots of Artist overtime and has proven to be a force to reckon with in the entertainment industry. After his dominating appearance on Jesse King’s(BUGA) 3rd Album ROOTED, on the track called “Domidodo” Jay Ripper got even more attention from the streets and his colleagues. 
Asides performing with his (M.I.G) Crew on the 7 days Show “FELABRATION” Jay Ripper  was also a member of committee of organisers of the maiden edition of the FELABRATION (2014) show at the former home and resting place of the Afro Beat Legend FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI which is now a museum.
Jay D Ripper currently has a recording deal with Made In Gold Records (M.I.G) and he is recording his soon to drop Album RIPPERCAUTION from which he just dropped three singles under the M.I.G Record label.
Tracks include ** “Traffic Jam” ** ft Saint Buster Keyz, ** “Hustle N Pray”**  ft Yakki Ferarri & Bone Skull of the former Private Authority and **Like Ms Wanna**.
Jay D Ripper is on-top of his game and definitely the next big thing to hit the Nigerian music scene so stay close and watch out .
The Road of Hasekura Tsunenaga reviewed by Clive Bell

New review from the album "The Road of Hasekura Tsunenaga" in the European Shakuhachi Society:

For english readers!:
You can read a Rodrigo Rodriguez – The Road of Hasekura Tsunenaga reviewed by Clive Bell at:



Rodrigo Rodriguez has structured his latest shakuhachi album around the trip of Japanese ambassador Hasekura Tsunenaga to Spain around 1614. While in Spain Hasekura was baptised. He proceeded to France, where he wowed the inhabitants of Saint-Tropez, and to Italy to meet the Pope, and have his portrait painted in the European style (featured here on the cover). Sadly, by the time he returned to Japan, persecution of Christians was in full swing, and several of Hasekura’s descendants and servants were killed as a result. All this makes Rodriguez’s album a kind of response to Jordi Savall’s La Ruta De L’Oriente, which tackles Francisco Xavier’s mission to Japan in 1549.

Rodriguez’s shakuhachi teachers are Kakizakai Kaoru and Miyata Kohachiro. At the album’s heart are well played traditional solos: “Kumoi Jishi”, “Sagariha”, “Sanya Sugagaki”, “Kogarashi” and “Azuma Jishi”. Of these, I enjoyed “Sanya” best – it’s a committed performance, with a nice, slightly clouded tone, while “Azuma” has an attractively light and windy quality. Rodriguez has recorded and produced himself, and the recording quality varies a little; generally good, but “Sagari Ha” places the flute at a distance. The flutes are standard 1.8 or similar size.

Beyond these pieces, there’s a plethora of other material. Several compositions by Rodriguez are for shakuhachi duet, where he’s joined by British player Justin Williams. “5 October 1614” interweaves melodic lines in simple pentatonic scales; the title is not explained, but it’s the date Hasekura arrived in Spain. “Towards God” celebrates the baptism – the scales are more thoroughly Western, which I guess is appropriate, and the flutes larger. It’s pleasant, if a little meandering; I preferred the more sombre “Arrival In Sendai” that concludes the album.

Other duets feature Elena Armenteros’s harp. After the time (all too brief) when I was his student, I knew Miyata had become a famous composer of light music. Even so, I was shocked by his arrangement of “Shika No Tone”, played here on shakuhachi and a nimble harp. As I listened to this, I felt like a hawkish US patriot first encountering Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” – although in reverse, if you understand. Miyata is taking a classic and making a hyper-conservative version of it, placing the austere traditional melody over Western chords. It’s hilarious how effortlessly the bracing lines of “Shika” are reduced to New Age kitsch. Rodriguez’s own “Dialogues” duet is more dignified, and the bottom register of the harp creates drama.

Inside this baggy, overlong (77 minutes) album, is a better, shorter CD struggling to get out. There’s plenty of fine playing here, and ambassador Hasekura is a fascinating figure. By contrast with the music, the sleeve notes are way too short. Though I guess we can all look up Hasekura on Wikipedia.

Clive Bell (2013)


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