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World Rhythms 15: We Have the Beats!

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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 1Key: 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.

Tihai

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!

Kotèkan

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 of tala, 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.

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New Age Music Planet Charity Album

Hi, I have gathered artists together for a charity album that will benefit the VH1 Save the music Foundation.

All the artists have kindly donated a track each for a download album which will be available at the end of September. It includes a track by Suzanne Doucet who has kindly provided this website for us to share our stories.

More details here: https://www.newagemusicplanet.com/charity-album.html

The album includes International performers, award winners and much more.

Follow and join our Facebook Group for fuller information and updates.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/243469596409264/

You can listen to clips of the tracks of our artists on the website above and click on the image below for details of the charity.

Thanks

Paul10862998655?profile=original

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Dear members, We hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We are very excited to announce, that we are now preparing the next MP3 compilation: Sounds from the Circle X - our anniversary edition for 2018. Please submit your tracks to Suzanne@newagemusic.com - the early bird fee ends December 15th and the final deadline for all submissions is January 15th, 2018. For more information please contact Suzanne Doucet, Suzanne@newagemusic.com and cc: Beth Hilton, bethilton@thebcompany.com Looking forward to your submissions! Kind regards Suzanne and Beth
Read more…

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 list. Book and Enhanced Audio CD Set with MIDI files- $74.95 list. New Best Buy! Book & Audio Guide/MIDI Download- $69.95 list.

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. African polyrhythms, Balinese kotèkan and Indian classical music were chosen as the source material for the training because these three traditions in combination cover the major types of rhythmic organization used in most of the world's music. By enabling home study of these 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 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 list. Companion Audio/MIDI Guide Tracks 2 Volume CD/CD-ROM Set- $39.95 list.

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: 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. 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 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 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. MIDI maps and descriptions of the instruments in their percussion orchestra are included in the West African section of Ancient Rhythms – Future Grooves.

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 of tala, 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 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. 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 maestro 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. He was interviewed in 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!

The Promotion

Ancient Traditions Future Possibilities Audio Guide Tracks One Sheet

Review and exam copies of the Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Audio Guide and MIDI Groove Tracks are available as downloads to media outlets and music schools. A very limited number of complimentary bound copies of the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities are reserved for use as desk copies for professors who have assigned the book in a course and review copies for those reviewing the book for a publication. Send requests to info@ancient-future.com.

The promotion campaign includes rhythm workshops at conservatories, public schools, and resorts; videos at www.youtube.com/ancientfuture; interviews and reviews in major newspapers, magazines, web sites, and on radio; and free introductory rhythm lessons online at Ancient-Future.Com, a high traffic world music education site.

The Retail and Wholesale Outlets

Available online at www.ancient-future.com, and wholesale to retail outlets and music schools from:

Ancient-Future.Com Books and Records, P.O. Box 264, Kentfield CA 94914-0264.
Email: info@ancient-future.com. Tel: 415-459-1892.

 

 

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What's great about the NAMC...

I have been busy at work and life, and not spending as much time "digging in" here at "the Circle" as I used to do. In returning after some months, it was nice to see that we have so many new members, and LOTS of interest in SFTC XII...kudos to Suzanne Doucet for keeping it all going for 12+ years, my good friend is a TIRELESS promoter of the New Age genre and I truly hope someone gives her an award for it one of these days!

Another observation that I made about this group is how nice it is to visit a very "concentrated" community of New Age artists and fans, as opposed to searching the overwhelming Internet and the multitude of FB Groups that seem quite repetitive these days.  I think we are seeing a return to focused "forums" like this one...with the new ability to share images, videos and events that go far beyond the discussion groups of the 80s & 90s.

That said, this CIRCLE now has so much content and so many members, that it could be used 10x more than we currently use it...for sharing music & videos, finding collaborations, sharing contacts, creating a house concert network, cross-promoting your streaming accounts and videos, etc. 

I encourage you to visit more often, connect harder, share more and ASK for what you want and need...state your dreams and intentions! We are an audience of peers who "gets it."  

What would you like to see more of here on The Circle?

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Endel made headlines earlier this year by announcing a distribution partnership with Warner Music Group to release albums created by its AI. Its music is thus now on various streaming services, although its AI-generated soundscapes can also be accessed through its smartphone app and Alexa skill. And now, through Amazon’s live-video service Twitch too. Endel has launched a channel called ‘Insomnia’ on the service, which is described as “a 24-hour stream of real-time, procedurally generated sounds designed by Endel’s sound engine to improve one’s sleep… a combination of psychoacoustic effects, which are soft non-narrative warm sounds that are fine-tuned to alter the listener’s cognitive state and create a non-intrusive soundscape”. Twitch is certainly excited about the potential, with its head of music strategy and licensing Pat Shah saying that “AI-generated music is fertile ground for certain use cases like improving sleep”. This isn’t the first round-the-clock AI-generated music channel on Twitch, mind. In June this year another AI-music startup, Melodrive, launched its ‘Twitch Plays Melodrive’ channel: a 24-7 stream of AI-generated piano music.
Music Ally archive: Endel

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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.

Chiftitelli

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

Elzaffa

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 Prizes

Audio 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 Methods

Private 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.

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