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 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 studio outtakes, live concerts and radio performances along with new recordings as they are created. 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.
Thirteen percent of the fundraising goal has been raised at concerts and through the Ancient Future Times, the band’s email newsletter. On February 11, 2014, the exact 35th anniversary of the first Ancient Future concert, the first two final studio tracks make their debut in the archive, bringing a total of 10 tracks and 70 minutes of music to the archive. That just happens to be exactly two minutes of music per year that the band has been performing, so Ancient Future’s 35th anniversary seems the perfect date for the official public unveiling of the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings to the media. During this 35th anniversary year, a few singles from the archive will be released to raise awareness of the project. Many more tracks are ready to record as additional funding is secured.
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! 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/donation.html.
35th Anniversary Update Additions
To celebrate Ancient Future’s 35th year of performances, two new studio tracks have been added to the archive and are available to A.F.A.R. supporters.
East of the Sun reunites original Ancient Future members Matthew Montfort and Benjy Wertheimer with help from Paul McCandless of the band Oregon. The basic tracks for this poignant piece with an Afro 5/8 groove and a haunting melody were recorded live in the studio on 4/1/2011 by Matthew Montfort on scalloped fretboard guitar, Benjy Wertheimer on tabla, and Mariah Parker on santur, and it was added to the archive as a trio version. Additional scalloped fretboard guitar and fretless bass parts by Matthew Montfort and oboe parts by Paul McCandless were recorded in Ancient Future’s newly upgraded studio in 2013, producing this lush new quintet version. It is available to supporters of the archive in mp3, CD quality, and 96-kHz/24-bit hi-res audio file formats.
Recorded in December 2013, Yearning for the Wind is based on Rag Kalyan (an evening raga that corresponds to the Lydian mode) and set in matta tal, a 9 beat cycle divided 6, 1 1/2, 1 1/2. This evocative piece will be released as a single on iTunes on Earthday, April, 22, 2014. But it is available to supporters of the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings right away in mp3, CD quality, and 96-kHz/24-bit hi-res audio and HD video.
Yearning for the Wind features scalloped fretboard guitar innovator Matthew Montfort and Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar, who is considered one of the most gifted tabla players of his generation. Born into a family of musicians, Vishal had his initial training with the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan of the Delhi Gharana, and received intense rhythmic training from his mother, the renowned and highly respected Kathak dancer and vocalist, Urmila Nagar.
To celebrate Ancient Future’s 35th Anniversary, Yearning for the Wind from the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings makes its debut on YouTube, where it streams starting February 11, 2014, as a preview several months before its Earthday street date! This is the first HD studio video Ancient Future has ever released. The quality is stellar with beautifully shot HD 1080p video and rich 96-kHz/24-bit audio.