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Guitarist blends east and west
by AnnElise Hatjakes
Oct 14, 2009 | 566 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo -
Matthew Montfort blends various genres and cultures in his guitar playing.
Courtesy photo - Matthew Montfort blends various genres and cultures in his guitar playing.
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Guitarist Matthew Montfort blends the sounds of traditional Indian music, classic rock, Celtic and many others and will be showcasing his unique sound at a benefit concert for the Sierra Nevada Guitar Society this Saturday at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Reno.

His album “Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar” was released in February.

Montfort’s style reflects influences from India. He plays on the scalloped guitar, which sounds like the sitar, and combines the qualities of the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar. However, his music is also influenced by other cultures. The first song from his most recently released CD features music made with the world fusion music ensemble Ancient Future, which he leads. The songs include sounds from all over the world, such as the first song opening with Alan Tower on the didgeridoo.

Along with Tower, Patti Weiss plays the electric and classic violin, and Mariah Parker composed the second track on the album, “Sangria.”

Ancient Future’s music is also inspired by Celtic sounds, as heard in the song “Celtic Raga.” Each song has its own unique sound, especially “Purple Raga,” which is based on the music of Jimi Hendrix. The didgeridoo provides a drone in the background in the “Jimi Hendrix Chord,” which is D7#9.

Montfort spent three months in intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian note-bending techniques to the guitar. He is also known for his work on electric guitar, flamenco guitar, sitar, charango, mandolin and gamelan. He is currently on the faculty of Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco, where he teaches music theory, all styles of guitar as well as rhythm classes.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada Sierra Nevada Guitar Society, which provides educational opportunities for area musicians. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. The Trinity Episcopal Church is located at 200 Island Ave. in Reno and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tahoe classical guitarist Larry Aynesmith will be opening for Montfort. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.sierraguitar.110mb.

com.
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