This rare concert at the Willits Community Theatre is the first Ancient Future performance in Mendocino County since July 2006. This duet version of the pioneering world fusion music group Ancient Future features scalloped fretboard guitarist Matthew Montfort and santurist Mariah Parker. Equally at home on folk, new acoustic, Americana, and world music bills, this duet plays material with Celtic, Latin American, Indian, Arabic, Spanish, Eastern European and American folk themes. The program features music from Ancient Future's broad repertoire, including three current releases on Ancient-Future.Com Records celebrating 30 years of world fusion music: Planet Passion by Ancient Future (remastered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band), Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort, and Sangria by Mariah Parker.
Ancient Future is the first and longest running musical organization dedicated exclusively to the mission of creating world fusion music. The term was coined by bandleader Matthew Montfort in 1978 to describe Ancient Future's unusual blend of musical traditions from around the world. BILLBOARD calls the group "trendsetters" for their early contributions to the movement, which seeks to show how people from different cultures can grow by learning from each other. Their music has stood the test of time: Ancient Future's seminal 1990 recording, World Without Walls, was voted by broadcasters wordwide as one of the top 5 world music recordings in 2012 after it was reissued by Capitol Records. There are more than 25 programs available, each drawing upon a different set of musicians from the roster of over 30 musicians from the world's musical cultures in order to fully explore the varieties of world fusion music. The Ancient Future duet concentrates on Arabic, Indian, and Spanish musical themes, and has performed in Spain at festivals in Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Botarell, Torredembarra, and Salou.
The leader of the world music group Ancient Future, Matthew Montfort, released his first solo recording, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar, in 2009. He is a pioneer among guitarists who have had their fretboards scalloped in order to play various forms of world music that require intricate note-bending ornaments while still being able to play chords. Montfort immersed himself in an intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the guitar. 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, Chet Atkins, John Fahey, Merle Travis, John Renbourn, Tommy Emmanuel, Doc Watson, Pierre Bensusan, Alex De Grassi, and Peppino D'Agostino. The December 2009 Les Paul issue of Guitar Player Magazine includes a full page feature on Matthew Montfort with a corresponding GuitarPlayer.Com video and lesson entitled "The Music of Jimi Hendrix Applied to Indian Raga." He has 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 performed live on national radio and TV shows such as the Echoes Living Room Concerts on Public Radio International, and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. He has worked with many world music legends, including tabla phenomenon Zakir Hussain and Chinese zither master Zhao Hui. Montfort wrote the book Ancient Traditions Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India, which has been used by many musicians to improve their rhythm skills.
Mariah Parker is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose main instruments are santur and piano. Her first instrument was the piano which she began playing at age 5. Later in music school, she fell in love with the sound of the santur when she heard it drifting across campus. The transition was a natural one given that the santur, along with its Western offspring, the hammered dulcimer, is the ancestor of the piano. The strings of the santur are played directly by the delicate hammers, creating a beautiful shimmering sound. The sound of the piano is also created by hammered strings, but mechanically triggered by the fingers striking the keys.
While completing her degree in music at UC Santa Cruz, she worked with ethnomusicologist Fred Lieberman and Mickey Hart on the Planet Drum project. She has performed in the US and Europe, and worked with many musicians of note including composer Pauline Oliveros, the late Dumisani Maraire (renowned composer from Zimbabwe) and others. She has studied with jazz great Art Lande and Latin jazz pianist extraordinaire Rebeca Mauléon.
Willits Community Theatre (View)
37 West Van Lane
Willits, CA 95490