The Funk Story: The History of the Antiquarian Funks

Return to Funk HomePage    
The Funks Story    
The Funks: Members 
The Funks in Concert Past Appearances
The Funks' Instruments    
Funk Reviews    
The Funk Mascot    
Funk Mail    

  In his other life the Head Funk a.k.a. William G. Mathews is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). The Antiquarian Funks were founded In 1971 when its name was jointly conceived by Bill andhis wife Cynthia Mathews, currently on the Santa Cruz city council. The term "antiquarian" suggests a formal adherance to performance authenticity while "funks" suggests the less dignified, sometimes outrageous nature of Funk concerts.

  Over the years, the Antiquarian Funks have included physicists, jugglers, mountain climbers, metal smiths and occasionally real musicians... all of whom share a few critical things: love of early music, lots of talent, and wackiness.

  The Antiquarian Funks have specialized in rare, obscure and hard to find music but in recent years have concentrated on the late Renaissance and Early Baroque periods. Music is available from the excellent libraries at UC Berkeley and Stanford or from microfilm copies acquired from European libraries. Funk performances are often the first in modern times. Head Funk Bill Mathews transcribes the original music into modern notation using the computer program Finale. One of the most notable Funk trademarks are the thematic character of Funk concerts.