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End of the Beginning of the Ancient Future

World Without Walls CD Cover Art

World Without Walls

World Without Walls by Ancient Future. (Capitol/Sona Gaia 163). Reconditioned CD- $24.98. audio.

End of the Beginning (Matthew Montfort. 5:15). audio.

Celebrate the End of the Mayan 'Time of No-Time' with the Music of Ancient Future!

There's been much ado concerning the end of the current 5125 year cycle of the Mayan Long Count calendar on December 21, 2012. Legend has it that the first of seven Mayan prophecies refers to the last 20 years of this cycle (1992-2012) as the 'The Time of No-Time.' But far from being the end of the world, evidently the end of the 'Time of No-Time' is party time! According to USA TODAY, Sandra Noble of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies says, "For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle." What more appropriate way to celebrate and shape the new era to follow than with the music of Ancient Future?

With that in mind, Ancient Future announces the 'End of the Beginning.' Says Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort, "When I composed 'End of the Beginning' for Ancient Future's 'World Without Walls' release back in 1990, I was thinking of the environmental damage that humans were causing to the planet. The phrase 'beginning of the end' came to mind. But I felt that we needed a reset: an end to a beginning where the environment was thought to be something to be exploited rather than the giver of all life that must be protected. So I wrote this piece to capture a feeling of something ending to create hope for a new beginning. Two decades later, global warming is definitely real, here now, and caused by man. We have come to the moment where we really must choose new ways instead of living in denial. December 21, 2012, should be a festive time to make a New Era's resolution to come up with solutions to our environmental challenges."

To celebrate the composition's coming of age as a perfect fit for the end of this era, from now through December 21, 2012, a complimentary media promo copy of World Without Walls by Ancient Future with special guest tabla master Zakir Hussain will be sent to anyone who spends $51.25 or more on music from the Ancient-Future.Comstore.

As its name suggests, World Without Walls by Ancient Future depicts a musical world without borders. This 1990 recording features Ancient Future members Matthew Montfort (guitars), Jim Hurley (violin), Doug McKeehan (keys), and Ian Dogole (percussion), plus special guest performances by world music legend and tabla master Zakir Hussain. The inviting melodies and ingenious use of ethnic textures make World Without Wallsone of Ancient Future's most accessible and broadly appealing releases ever.

Long out of print, by 2011World Without Walls had become a collector's item, with a rare unopened original CD copy going for over $200 on Then, on June 7, 2011, the exact lineup of Ancient Future that performed on World Without Walls reunited to perform for the first time in over 15 years at Yoshi's San Francisco. To celebrate the reunion, and capitalize on pent up demand, Capitol Records released the first ever digital download version of World Without Walls on iTunes and all major digital retailers. The reissue debuted at #39 on the October 2011 ZMR Airplay Chart, which covers many different radio genres, from Ambient to Folk, Jazz, and World, and at #34 on the CMJ New World Chart in November 2011. In 2012, World Without Walls was nominated by broadcasters worldwide as ZoneMusicReporter's top 5 Best World Albumsof 2011.

For those who prefer CDs (the audio quality is much better!), a limited number of rare collectible original 1990 edition copies reconditioned and signed by Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort are on sale exclusively at Ancient-Future.Com. So while there are no new CD copies in stores, Ancient Future does have a stash of media promo copies left over from the promotion campaign. This sale is a once-in-an-era chance to get ahold of a new CD copy of this rare release free with a music purchase of $51.25 or more at Ancient-Future.Com.

Plus, the four latest releases on Ancient-Future.Com Records are on sale for only $11 each with any other purchase at Ancient-Future.Com. Just purchase any book, CD, or make a donation to support the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings(the fan funded project to produce the eighth Ancient Future release), and have the option of purchasing any of the CDs below for only $11!

Planet Passion CD Cover
Planet Passion

Planet Passion by Ancient Future (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2010). Digipak CD - $17.98 (End of the Beginning Sale: $11 with any other purchase). audio.

"If the members of the United Nations formed a world-fusion band, it might look and sound a little something like Ancient Future. Planet Passion strives to preserve the world’s vast musical heritage via international collaboration: the idea that one protects the old by creating something new. This is at the heart of fusion music and the heart of Ancient Future’s global aesthetics, too: a diverse, unified world without borders, a multicultural community, a new, reconstituted sonic reality."- LEO WEEKLY

Sympathetic Serenade Cover Art
Matthew Montfort - Sympathetic Serenade

Sympathetic Serenade for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Matthew Montfort. (Ancient-Future.Com EP AF-2012). EP CD-R $12.98 (End of the Beginning Sale: $11 with any other purchase). audio(Excerpt)

In response to the release of this new EP, Matthew Montfort was honored as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists.

"Anyone whose ever been taken with the inventions of Fahey, Basho, etc. when they wander off the beaten, song structured path will enjoy this instrumental, raga flavored diversion. A fine work that extends the guitar vocabulary."- MIDWEST RECORD

Seven Serenades CD Cover
Matthew Montfort

Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Matthew Montfort. (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2008). Digipak CD - $17.98 (End of the Beginning Sale: $11 with any other purchase). audio.

"This unusual guitar album brings together world instruments to complement the scalloped fretboard guitar. I must admit that sometimes ragas played by guitar players seem to wander on forever, changing a note here and there and weaving a kind of slow, hypnotic journey. However, this guitar work is stunning, intricate and wonderfully melodic. If you are looking for good listening and something different for your CD shelf, this is it."- VICTORY REVIEW ACOUSTIC MUSIC MAGAZINE

Sangria CD Cover
Mariah Parker - Sangria

Sangria by Mariah Parker (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2017). Digipak CD - $17.98 (End of the Beginning Sale: $11 with any other purchase). audio.

"Parker and friends blend the rhythmic syncopations of Latin jazz music with the entrancing, asymmetrical meters of East Indian rhythms resulting in first-class world music. Intriguing melodies that draw musical inspirations from the tempos of Brazil, Cuba, India and Spain make for an uplifting serene yet passionate musical journey into an ideal world."- LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE

'World Without Walls' Reunion Concerts

14 Steps youtube video
Ancient Future's 'World Without Walls' Reunion Concert at Yoshi's SF, 6/7/11

On June 7, 2011, the exact lineup of Ancient Future that performed on the band's influential World Without Wallsrecording reunited to perform for the first time in over 15 years at Yoshi's San Francisco and other venues. Since then, the band has been invited to perform at festivals from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Bangalore, India.

Ancient Future Band Biography

Ancient Future Photo Circa 1990 by Irene Young (Links to 864 x 570 Screen Version)
Sepia photo for print(14.7" x 9.7" sepia jpg, 7.2 MB). Ancient Future circa 1990. Photo by Irene Young. Pictured: Matthew Montfort (guitars), Jim Hurley (violin), Doug McKeehan (keys), Ian Dogole (percussion).

BILLBOARD calls the group "trendsetters" for contributing to the emerging movement known as world fusion music, a term Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfortcoined at the band’s inception for music that blends musical ideas from many different cultures. Formed in 1978, Ancient Future is the world's first and longest running ensemble dedicated exclusively to the mission of the creation of world fusion music. Their original music is an exhilarating fusion of exciting rhythms and sounds from around the globe that combines contemporary jazz and rock with the irresistible rhythms of African, Balinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and South American percussion, the rich harmonies of Europe, and the beautiful melodies of Asia.

In the years since the initial CD release of World Without Walls, Ancient Future has expanded from its core lineup through collaborations with noted masters of various world music traditions who are now an integral part of what is today more than just a band. Ancient Future has grown to become a large chamber ensemble of more than thirty performers from around the world with over a dozen smaller ensembles within it, enabling Ancient Future to realize its core mission of creating world fusion music.

Tabla master Zakir Hussain
Tabla master Zakir Hussain


World Without Walls CD Cover Art

Hi-Res Square Cover Art(3 MB)

"What's an album like World Without Walls doing in the GEPR (Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock)? 'That's not prog!' I hear you say. Well, in my view it's definitely progressive, in the true sense of the word, rather than the 'sounds like Yes, Genesis or King Crimson' sense. Ancient Future coined the phrase 'World Fusion' to describe their music. World Without Walls is a remastered re-release of their 1990 classic, and doesn't sound dated at all. World Without Walls is a fusion of musical stylings, scales and rhythms from around the world. A careful listen will reveal that this is way beyond the usual health-food store 'World Music' offerings and is instead a high-energy, very experimental fusion of styles from around the world. Highly recommended."- GIBRALTAR ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK

"It's hard to remember — with the plethora of World Fusion albums currently available — a time when this sort of music was the new kid on the block. It showed up when much of the music on the radio was pretty much disposable (something that, unfortunately, hasn't changed so much), when the new jazz at the time was still inspired by polyrhythms rather than melody, and the alt music scene was . . . well, kind of grungy. This classic album by Ancient Future was a breath of fresh air at the time of its release in 1990. With inspired skill and a great respect for the other cultures from which they took much of their inspiration, the band blended western music with that of pretty much every other continent, weaving magic with their melodies and rhythms. And you know what? World Without Walls sounds as fresh and invigorating today as it did all those years ago upon its initial release. There's not a single bad moment on the album."-

"When one listens to the melodies and musical textures of the fifth release 'World Without Walls' by the group Ancient Future, words like exotic, elegant and sublime immediately come to mind. World-class musicians including award-winning guitarist, Matthew Montfort, composer/violinist Jim Hurley and Zakir Hussain, master of the North Indian Tabla have blended these various musical styles and phrasings into a musical fusion that honors and yet transcends the cultural and political boundaries. Check out the group on YouTube and see if you are not drawn into their hypnotic enchantment."- BOWLING GREEN DAILY NEWS

"Ancient Future was all about 'world fusion' before world music was even a genre. Violinist Jim Hurley came on board for this long-out-of-print 1990 outing, joining the core group of guitarist Matthew Montfort, keyboardist Doug McKeehan and percussionist Ian Dogole and remaining as a member for the rest of the group's seven studio albums. Tabla player extraordinaire Zakir Hussain was recruited for three songs. Other highlights are 'Lakshmi Rocks Me,' a tribute to south Indian violinist L. Shankar; 'End of the Beginning,' a mashup of ancient Celtic and Indian influences; 'Turkish Taffy,' boasting a triple-lead attack comprising guitar, piano and acoustic violin; 'Indra's Net,' inspired by Hindu mythology and featured in the soundtrack for the drift-net fishing documentary 'Closing the Curtains of Death'; and 'Gopi Song,' a tip of the hat to Pandit Ram, master of a north Indian bowed string instrument called the sarangi."- GOOD NEW MUSIC

"Bloody hell, get me some Alzheimer's drugs, will you? Ancient Future was on Narada's Sona Gaia subsidiary with a world beat album that was ahead of it's time and they were hanging out with Zappa's world beat buddies and I don't remember any of it? Each track has a different taste and a different texture making this a world beat travelogue that gleefully genre bends whatever the crew felt like with a merger of hillbilly and Indian music, the sound of an African traffic jam and more stuff that tastes good without the over riding vibe of being good for you. And it's not empty calories either. No wonder the group labored so long and so hard to get Capitol to reissue this, it's time. More bloody hell, new copies of this are going for over $200 on Amazon! How did I miss this? This is the world beat/jazz/pop album for people that shy away from things called world beat and jazz. Fun stuff throughout that still sounds fresh and in the moment today."- MIDWEST RECORD

World Without Walls Media Report

(7.9 MB Media Report)

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