Ancient Traditions, Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training
through the Traditions of Africa, Bali, & India
By Matthew Montfort. Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985
ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Spiral Bound Book, $33.95
This is one of the finest, well planned, easy to understand instructional texts I have ever read. Matthew, founder of the trendsetting world music ensemble, Ancient Future, has written an excellent book on mastering rhythmic techniques of India, Bali and Africa. Not only is the music of each culture well explained, but also there are chapters on combining these elements to create new rhythmic possibilities. I can't imagine how any musician involved in new age world music could not benefit from the wealth of information in these pages. With the advent of modern technology the world has indeed become a global village. The music of the world is now readily available and is quickly gaining popularity.
Matthew strives for balance and innovation. He presents the rhythmic structures from three cultures in graduated exercises that all musicians can utilize to expand their musical horizons. You don't need exotic instruments to achieve these results either. For instance I used some of the Balinese exercises with my sampler and some samples of anklungs tuntina and kalimba to produce some very satisfying neo-gamelan music. If you're bored with playing the same old 4/4 rhythms then this book is for you. Highly recommended.
Review by Ben Kettlewell
Ancient Future Music
PO Box 264, Kentfield CA 94914.