humming bird records

Opeye

Humming Bird Records
Moss ‘Comes Silk

Henry Kuntz: tenor saxophone, Chinese musette, bamboo flutes, violins, Javanese gamelan, percussion; Ben Lindgren: bass, Javanese gamelan; Brian Godchaux: viola, Balinese gamelan, percussion; Esten Lindgren: trombone, trumpets, voice, guitar, ukelele, percussion; John Kuntz: guitar, mandolin, ukelele, Javanese gamelan, wind-up toy xylophone, percussion.

Track listing: Brilliant Coral; Tepees and Dragons; Fancy Dancing Jaguar; Polyphonic Hymn; Eskimos on the Moon; Bayou Eskimos; Real Southern Hominy; Saffron and Jasmine; Noble Guardians; Ol’Spi’Ritual; Sentient Beings; Moss ‘Comes Silk.

Henry Kuntz has been experimenting with sonic diversification for several decades, having established himself as an early explorer of tonal uniqueness in the 1970s. He and Ben Lindgren, Brian Godchaux, Esten Lindgren, and John Kuntz form the quintet called Opeye, an improvising collective playing spontaneously created music using a myriad of ancient and modern day instruments. Freely spun passages played on Asian, Oceanian, and South American reeds and strings are wedded with the music from traditional Western instruments on a recording with kaleidoscopic originality and ever-changing textures. Nepal, Bolivia, Bali, China, Mexico, Java, and Hawaii are the origin of many of their exotic instruments, all of which blend in joyous harmony with the tenor, violin, bass and other more recognizable music makers. The combinations of instruments seem endless as they produce music that has a discernible flow to support the atonality that abounds.

opeye_mosscd_photo510klein.jpgThe five musicians play as a quintet on seven selections, and they splinter into smaller configurations on the other five tunes. They offer an intriguing assemblage of songs that bursts into many vivid colors through the sonic variations emanating from their plethora of instruments. Although the reeds of Henry Kuntz and the brass from Esten Lindgren play a dominant role, the artists frequently merge into all-string ensembles of varying size. They group the violin, bass, mandolin, guitar, ukulele, and viola or any combination thereof and adeptly intersperse these into the program. The percussion side is not ignored either. Several native varieties of the gamelan and other percussion tools set the arrhythmic pace. Alluring music continually mushrooms from Opeye, as when Esten Lindgren plays in staccato fashion on trombone while the gamelan players ring the music with a wealth of chime accents, or when Henry Kuntz ekes out spatial reed segments while the others flood the air with string majesty.

Henry Kuntz refers to the music of Opeye as “Avant-Shamanic Trance Jazz”. It indeed has mystical qualities to go along with its more outgoing and eruptive nature, and Opeye does indeed have the sorcerer’s capabilities for enchanting the listener while simultaneously challenging him or her with seductive interplay. They take you on an adventure of the mind and spirit and expose you to the beauty inherent in the world’s cultures. It is highly creative music that is also easily absorbed by those willing to journey with them. by Frank Rubolino January 2001

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oneoneweb.jpgHenry Kuntz | Don Marvel

Humming Bird Records CD 2&3
ONE ONE & ONE

This is a 2 CD package issued on Kuntz’ label – Humming Bird Records. The sixty-one and one-half minute “ONE” (the gold disc) is solo tenor saxophone by Henry recorded in 1997 and early ’98. It is entitled Circle-Cycle. It consists of 10 pieces in 3 separate sections, and explores sonic territory in which few, if any, have dared to venture …at least not alone, and for such an extended period.

From 1979 to 1981 Henry’s solo saxophone performances concentrated on the upper register of the instrument. He then went on to other instruments, only returning to performance on the tenor with a September 1996 solo concert at Beanbenders in Berkeley. In this concert, Henry states, “This time, aesthetically speaking, I decided to make a fresh start with the instrument, drawing on all the different ways I had once played and explored, and remembering the influences of many different players who had inspired me to want to play in the first place.”

The result is a highly original and masterful approach to the tenor saxophone. This is not familiar territory. It is like a lonely walk on a distant planet. Not those comfy close-to-home planets like Mars, Jupiter, Saturn or Venus but rather ONE man walking out there digging and turning the solidified materials with a carefully polished axe. Yes, a mineral world, full of sharp edges, deep vibrations, and short cries and exclamations of discovery. That ONE man taking this lonely creative trip may interest only a few but like most truly creative work it’s not for everybody, just those who want it. For those, a wonderful music has been made available.

The second disc ONE & ONE is Henry in duo with the electronics of Don Marvel who lives secluded in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Henry plays tenor, Chinese musette, and Nepalese bamboo flute. Don plays time machine, prophet sampler, old turntable, signal processors and does the mixing. The 73 minute CD (the blue disc) is an intense package of further searches into the unknown.

In a universe where everyone is forced to consume “product” from completely known and mapped sources; where taking a trip means looking out the window of standard conveyance, eating in distant Macs, and sleeping in musical Hiltons & Holiday Inns, it’s good that one can get off the beaten track. It can be difficult too. Jimzeen & Wizard February 1999 by #7.

mp3logoClick here to Download the complete album as MP3. This download contains the complete tracklist in 192kbps MP3 format along with high resolution cover art and leaflet pages in JPG format.

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oneoneweb.jpgONE ONE & ONE COMMENTARIES

Kuntz … has never shunned the challenge of solo performance on tenor. ONE…shows that it remains one of his strengths. It contains 10 well-balanced improvisations, shuns lengthy, technical displays and rewards newcomers who might sample “Song Bat” and “Thatched Circuits.” Kuntz uses technique as a means to a creative end. He is well in control of multiphonics but his one man counterpoint is used more as “parent line and decoration” than as a series of parallel melodic statements. Barry McRae, JAZZ JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, March 1999.

Kuntz pulls no punches when it comes to the direction that his music takes. There is only one road for him, and it leads to universes unknown…

His approach is to explore all the sound elements possible from the tenor, ranging across the frequency bandwidth from the lowest earthy tones to the highest banshee screeches. Your spectrum analyzer will touch all the bases. Kuntz takes a thread of an idea, toys with its possibilities at various degrees of the tonal register, and then launches into a massive attack of the sound form. His blowing technique consists of lightening fast alteration of the hertz level within the note clusters. Both his tenor and your ears get a full workout. Frank Rubolino, CADENCE, January 1999

Few other musicians so completely defy description. Kuntz not only colors outside the lines, he erases them and starts from scratch every time out.

And “out” this music is. The solo saxophone disc, subtitled “Circle-Cycle,” is a tour de force of sonic alchemy, produced by working breath and tongue against reed, fingers against valves. Then, with the North Carolina-based Marvel (a.k.a. Flappy), the results sound like radio static smooches and make startling dynamic leaps, from crackling whispers to white noise explosions. Derk Richardson, SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, October 28, 1998

mp3logoClick here to Download the complete album as MP3. This download contains the complete tracklist in 192kbps MP3 format along with high resolution cover art and leaflet pages in JPG format.

Opeye

Humming Bird | HB CD’s 4/5
Day of the Dead | Lady Lucky Strikes Again

Meditations on Impermanence.

This two-CD set highlights this multifarious quintet’s performances at the Berkeley, CA, jazz spot known as Beanbenders. The first CD, titled Day of the Dead (which includes a special video track), was recorded on November 1, 1998, while the second CD, titled Lady Luck Strikes Again, signifies the band’s final live performance due to bassist/pianist Ben Lindgren’s untimely passing.

Yet this outing serves as an all-inclusive portraiture of the group’s seamless melding of worldly percussion, horns, and stringed instruments into a free-flowing modus operandi. For example, tenor saxophonist Henry Kuntz also uses a Nepalese bamboo flute and a Mexican hollow-log violin to coincide with his associates’ employment of trumpets, gongs, ukuleles, and much more. A multitasking machine indeed, as the artists meld jingling and jangling sounds to complement a sequence of emotively conveyed, avant-garde frameworks. They explore alien dreamscapes and multicultural statements.

And while a good deal of the music is framed around improvisations, the instrumentalists invoke a rather indefinable aura that is better left to the individual listener’s imagination. But this is not easy listening/world music-type fare. It’s partly about bridging the gap between dissonance and melody amid contrasting tonalities and odd-metered pulses. Glenn Astarita

here…you can listen to all tracks of Day of the Dead and Lady Lucky Strikes Again

Notes for Meditations on Impermanence

These two sessions — November 1, 1998 & March 4, 2002 — although nearly three and a half years apart, are the final two by this grouping of OPEYE. On March 29 of 2002, Ben Lindgren left this planet to join his friend and musical cohort Glenn Spearman in the heavenly choir of angels.

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Ben Lindgren at Yoshi’s | Photo: Eleanor Lindgren

It was no doubt due to the proximity of the Day of the Dead performance/ritual to Glenn’s passing (October eight) that the event was infused with a certain immediacy; but the fact that the performance resonated so deeply with all who participated in it was a reflection as well of how few opportunities there are in our culture to reconnect with the spirit of those dear to us who have departed.

This “Meditation on Impermanence” took on a character all its own. It was almost certainly the musical high point of this group in performance. In the group’s previous appearances we had been ritualizing aspects of what we were presenting as a means of moving beyond ordinary cultural discourse (creating a visual parallel to our musical offerings), but on this occasion we were no longer “ritualizing” anything; we were creating and “bringing to life” the ritual itself.

As a prelude to the performance, individual invitations were mailed to extended acquaintances, encouraging each person’s participation in the ritual by bringing photos of loved ones and, as a means of extending the ritual in a cultural sense, of musicians or anyone else in the public sphere now passed on who had exerted a profound influence on that person’s being. These were placed on an ofrenda (or offering table) in front of the stage. Each of us also brought bouquets of flowers, especially sunflowers and marigolds (these are the “headlights” to guide the spirits of the departed home), and favorite foods, fruits, and drinks of those passed to offer in the ritual and to share following it. In 1991, when I attended the village festival of Todos Santos in Guatemala — which takes place on November 1, coinciding with the Dia de los Muertos – I was told their belief was that the souls of the departed return to earth for one month, beginning on October 1. Before their departure, on November 2, they are given a grand send-off which takes place the evening before. This is the overall concept we used to plan the performance/ritual.

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To some extent, I believe, it was due precisely to the pinnacle we reached on this occasion — the inner realization of the ritual reality we not only nurtured but also deeply felt — that was one large though unacknowledged reason we did not play together again for so long. In fact, it took another of life’s milestones, the prognosis of Ben’s impending passing, to get us back together again.

In a way, though, it scarcely seemed like so much time had passed when we did get together for the March 4, 2002 session. Ben, although by now battling more frequent bouts of sickness due to the cancer in his lungs, was energetic – as you will note — and in fine spirits. (You will also hear him for the first time playing National steel guitar!) We all had fun playing the music, which flowed naturally and organically.

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Upon hearing the recorded results, all of which are included, Ben e-mailed me: “I think this latest recording holds up well. I’ve listened to the CD a couple of times and I feel real good about it. I enjoyed each piece and feel that it holds together as a whole composition.” I think you will agree.

As for the title of the CD, it came about when after improvising the first piece of music, I turned to the recording engineer, Karen Stackpole, and asked how long the piece had been. She replied, “Exactly thirteen minutes.” We looked at each other in stunned disbelief. Ben particularly looked taken aback. …“Lady Luck strikes again!” – Henry Kuntz (June 2002)

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Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone

Humming Bird Records | HB CD 6.

Henry Kuntz | tenor saxophone.

Track Listing: A. Ten Names of Peace / 1. Earth, Fire 2. Water, Wind, 3. Plant, Animal, 4. Fish, Bird, 5. Human and God
Peace Begins with Recognition of Oneness B. Tenor of the Times (Four Tenors) 6. Storm of Honey, 7. Silver Serpent of Justice. Pieces 1-5 recorded April 19, 2006 by Scott Looney at 1510 Performance Space, Oakland, CA. Pieces 6-7 (four tenors) recorded and mixed by Henry Kuntz at Humming Bird Studio B, Berkeley, CA: January 7 and February 18, 2006. There are no overdubs on tracks 1-5; no electronics anywhere. Photos by John Kuntz, Mastering by Scott Looney, June 2006.

The Celestial Saxophone Timbre alludes to the Storied World of the Wayang Puppet Screen, an Out-of-Ordinary-time Micro-Cosmos that serves as a Thru-Dimensional Mediation Point between Known and Unknown, Seen and Unseen, Heaven and Earth, Humans and Gods.

TEN NAMES OF PEACE…has a most ritualistic vibe with each sound carefully placed in the overall silence. Squeaks, splats, squawks, vocal clicks, honks… “TENOR OF THE TIMES” (for Four Tenors)…begins again with extended sax sounds: breaths, rasps, static-like, little squeaks, slowly building and becoming more dense as it evolves.

What is AMAZING to me is that Henry is able to layer these strange and unique sounds into something solid that speaks to us like the long lost or buried voices of ghosts. It seems to me that only a handful of saxists have worked exclusively with these extended sounds and usually just for a short period of time. John Zorn’s “Classic Guide to Strategy” is a good example of highly focused and unique solo sax (actually just mouthpieces & bird calls) excursions. And that was more than twenty years ago. Nowadays, it is folks like Jack Wright and Bhob Rainey, that have carried on that tradition. Henry Kuntz is amongst the few who can do it right. BLG -Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter 20, 2006

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TOUCHING EXTREMES:
…carnal, gifted with a sort of sensuality…if you listen to the music relaxed enough, its vortex of energetic bursts will furnish some memorable moment of much needed mental absence. The suite “Tenor of the Times” (for four multitracked tenor saxes) that completes the CD demonstrates that Kuntz (who, let’s not forget it, has been a mainstay of the radical fringes of avantgarde, also playing in fundamental albums like Henry Kaiser’s “Ice death”) is an intriguing composer, too. Massimo Ricci, June 2007

BAGATELLEN:
When I first heard about this product, I had something else entirely in mind. I assumed that Henry Kuntz would be infusing his tenor saxophone playing with Balinese scales and rhythms, becoming something of a micro-Gamelan orchestra. But he had another approach up his batik’d sleeve, one that’s a little difficult to convey via only an audio disc: creating music to accompany his own Balinese shadow puppets. If the listener keeps this in mind and reenacts the stories presented in this Wayang Saxophony in his/her imagination, the disc becomes intriguingly rewarding.

The album is presented in two suites, the first of five movements, the second of two, though in each case the transition between sections is seamless. During the great majority of the time, Kuntz is playing breath tones of a slightly vocalized sort. Only rarely do recognizable reed tones surface, often emerging as though for a gulp of air before being swallowed back into the rushing wind. The initial suite, “Ten Names of Peace” supplies this sonic puppetry via solo tenor and, despite the coaxing of the title, it’s rather fun to visualize the shadow figures engaged in mythic combat and mischievousness, taking swats at one another with each whoosh of reedy air.

Kuntz overdubs four tenors for the latter piece, “Tenor of the Times”, allowing more discernable saxophonics to filter through (generally very high or very low). As a purely auditory experience, I found this latter portion more effective simply due to the increased sound sources which include a slightly more varied selection of attacks. Again, one can imagine the music being perfectly and unusually suited to the silhouetted actions of mythic entities. Brian Olewnick, November 13, 2006

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zookeeper online:
… these are avant-garde sound experiments, quiet stuff meant to evoke mysticism and stillness. Lots of air blown through the horn, plus some carefully played notes or harmonics. Very different from the normal avant/improv mold. Craig Matsumoto December 10, 2006

MODISTI:
The saxophone considered both as a resonator and source of sounds – extended mouthpiece clicks, vocal and fricative effects or continuous sounds that hesitate, moving back into the realm of its component elements – is later presented, through overlaying, as a complete polyphonic, seemly conceived in reverse order instrument. February 23, 2007

VITAL WEEKLY:
Kuntz might be classified as one of the onkyo posse: the player of an instrument who approaches his instrument as an object to produce any sound, not necessarily the sound that the instrument is supposed to make…This is a great CD…intense listening…but quite rewarding. FdW, Week 22, 2007

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OCTOBER 2006

Dear Henry,

greggoodmanklein.jpgThe Entire Finger Palace Listening Board had Officially Listened to your Wayang Saxophony (paying particular attention to the “phony”) Shadow Saxophone (paying particular attention to the “shadow”), and has determined that you are now eligible for the final vote, which, should it come out in your favor, which most of Me suspects (paying particular attention to (“suspect”), would allow you to proceed to The Grand Committee Of All Strange & Necessary Objects, Including What You Seem To Be Doing, and, thus, opens you to the possibility of finally getting the recognition so long sought by those of you who understand the MacArthur Genius Award was really supposed to be sent to you but somehow got lost in the mail and was delivered to the wrong address, which is why our DECLARATION OF MUSICAL MAGICIAN OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE and our one cent coinage (somewhere else in the mail) is on its way because: you are one Incredible Nut! Congratulations, Woody Woodman Main & Most Important Listener

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shadow.jpgNOTES TO WAYANG SAXOPHONY SHADOW SAXOPHONE…

“The diaphanous tenor of Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone took flight like a light butterfly free of its silver cocoon. It happened as I prepared for two solo performances that featured the coming out of my Balinese shadow puppets. The puppets were entrusted to me by a homegrown cultural ambassador on the Indonesian island….

TEN NAMES OF PEACE

“The leather puppets, elaborately and colorfully painted but normally only seen as shadows on a white screen, were theatrically presented in open space to relate a Balinese story known as ‘Desa Nama Kerta’ THE TEN NAMES OF PEACE. The tale is old, but it was recently newly produced in Bali to help relieve people’s trauma from the bombings of 2002 and 2005. I felt that an adapted version of the epic might help us to hold the light in our own poisoned spiritual atmosphere, polluted by war, violence, and planetary disasters. The moral import of the story is that one cannot confront violence with more violence. Only by preserving and strengthening the life-giving principles embodied in music, dance and ritual – originally, gifts to humans from the gods – can we hope to restore harmony and balance in the world.

EVOLUTIONARY TENOR

“In performance, the content of the Balinese tale served as thematic material on which to improvise. To align my playing with the character of the story, I felt prompted to take a fresh look at the saxophone. Instead of allowing the instrument – it’s nature, it’s history, even it’s recent “free” history – to determine how I should play it, I decided to let the music-in-process suggest the manner of instrumental usage. This was as much an evolutionary as a conscious decision that came from working over a period of months with the puppets. The harmonics of blown breath emerged; and, from repeatedly vocalizing the story, the voice spontaneously asserted itself as an integral part of the music.

TENOR OF THE TIMES

“The names of the pieces for four tenors are derived from the names of two sets of ancient Javanese gamelan known as ’sekati.’ In Yogyakarta, these orchestras play once each year for five days. The music is peculiarly stark and strong, yet sweet. The sounds of the gamelan ’sekati’ are said to confer great spiritual power on those who hear them.” – Henry Kuntz, June 2006

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ADDENDUM TO THE PUBLISHED NOTES…

The breathy sonic palette of “Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone” can be heard as an aural equivalent to the “negative space” of the blank white screen on which dark mythic images of leather puppets appear. The gauzy saxophone timbre alludes to the storied world of the screen, an out-of-ordinary-time micro-cosmos which serves as a thru-dimensional mediation point between known and unknown, seen and unseen, heaven and earth, humans and gods. Sing-song vocalizations suggest the presence of a puppeteer, “The Creator.” Other saxophone and non-saxophone sounds suggest activity and movement over and beneath the wispy surface; certain sounds parallel the rough rhythms beat out by the shadow puppet master on the wooden box in which the wayang figures are stored. “Ten Names of Peace” is presented as a continuous suite, but it was recorded in two parts: pieces 1-3 were played consecutively, then – after a short break – pieces 4 & 5. -Henry Kuntz, December 2006

Artship Recordings

List of Artship CDs (currently out of print) here…

Manny’s Miscellany (New Creative Music.com)
Assorted Reviews by E. Wordsworth 11.2002

Henry Kuntz offers another exciting Artship Recording (Artship disc 006

This album features Mexican Log Violin with Power Drone) I don’t confess to have any idea as to what a Mexican Log violin is, but it is wild and I love it! With what sounds like a noisy transformer droning in the background, HK gives us 20 minutes of exquisite creaking, scratching, bowing, and what generally sounds like he is trying to saw his mexican log violin in half. It goes and goes and goes in its wonderful never-ending glory. Henry Kuntz rocks.
Description of Artship Recordings Project at Hugh Livingston’s Strings and Machines here…



HENRY KUNTZ also appears on: Foxglove Records

henrykuntz-magic.jpg Foxglove 087: Henry Kuntz “the magic of mystery” cd-r “the magic of mystery” is the most appropriate title this album from free-improviser henry kuntz could have. kuntz is long-time bay-area resident who has run his own hummingbird imprint since 1979 (the year i was born!). but “the magic of mystery” takes its inspiration and evocations from the east. originally appearing on a hummingbird cassette, these four pieces are based around thai, chinese, balinese, javanese, nepalese, and bolivian instruments.

Kuntz explains, “these prototype wind & percussion ensembles emphasize sharply contrasted and divergent textural, timbrel, and rhythmic elements.” what they create, though, is a cathartic journey through time, searching out exactly what the title suggests. on “the magic of mystery,” spirits are dancing free. 100 copies. Order here…

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Henry Kuntz joins:

Robert Horton | On various recordings including

Piece for film – Caught in Between
Lina Hoshino - Producer/Director/Editor

Fallen From Sky # 2” (2001)

Robert Horton & Henry Kuntz

As the Arab, Muslim, South Asian communities face post-911 repression, this documentary captures Muslim and Japanese American communities revisiting the dark days of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Interviews with former internees, their children, religious leaders, citizens and immigrants from Japanese and Muslim American communities are woven together to make crucial connections between then and the current “War on Terrorism.” Caught in Between tells a story about people who have been made the enemy, questions “freedom” in the USA, and captures the power of people standing together to fight for civil liberties and human rights. Caught in Between web site…

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Steeljaguar for Rocket Digitalis 2006

Steeljaguar for Rocket is a real headtripper – a psychic exploration par excellence. Making sense of the liner notes is a headtrip in itself so to make matters simple let me just say that there are a bunch of people here – mainly Carter and Horton but with guests – playing a whole of instruments. The sound is pure psyche from start to finish: dissonant passages, ethnic-inflected bits, feedbacking washes of sound, lots of drones and everything else you need for a perfect psyche freakout. One of the aforementioned guest musicians includes Hal Hughes who turns in a great violin part. There’s some wonderful sax playing as well by Henry Kuntz, and some great bird field recordings. – Gordon Isnor, Left Hip Magazine.

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Imperfect Masters: Strike Out digitalis, foxglove cdr 104

Imperfect Masters: Strike Out is a collaboration between Dan Plonsey and Robert Horton, who is credited with: vibrator percussion tree, sex machine, computer, practice bagpipe chanter, trumpet, perc, casio mt-68, casio fz-1, sampler, bass guitar, bowed boot, dulcimer organ, filters, soundhack, vocals, soprano recorder, reel to reel, sine waves, broken cassette player, noise cancelling microphones, fuzz boot, snare, mouth pieceless trumpet, cds, turntable, rubber band, string harp, clay ruby bass. Dan Plonsey plays: alto sax, reverse alto, oboe, alto clarinet, clarinet, bass, violin, farfisa organ, flute-like instrument, bass clarinet, baritone sax, soprano sax, tenor sax. There are guests: Gino Robair, Henry Kuntz, Hal Hughes and Mike Sugar.

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Mudsuckers Important Records

Mudsuckers: Robert Horton (vocals, wooden flute, harmonica, recorder, cymbals, computer, turntables); Gabriel Mindel Saloman (guitar, pedal steel guitar); Tom Carter (acoustic guitar, lap steel guitar, E-bow, loops); Henry Kuntz (tenor saxophone); Michael Donnelly (drum, percussion).Sound sculptors Mudsuckers twist, bend, and coax sound samples, found sounds, electronic tones, field recordings, and the occasional musical instrument into awe-inspiring sonic collages on their debut collection. Here, drones, feedback, and sine waves interweave among percussive interpolations, experimentation is the norm, and the touchstone is Lou Reed’s METAL MACHINE MUSIC.

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Future Ears Free Jazz Copy? Noise jyrk records

“The music is pounding metal/rock/noise submerged in a gloop of electric toothbrushes, bowed whatevers, computers, trumpets, flutes, a bunch of free-blowing saxophonists – Dan Plonsey, Henry Kuntz – and some liberated fists on the skins: Gino Robair, Dimthingshine and Doug ‘Moonshine’ Jin. On The Yellow Swans own label.”

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KYRGYZ Digitalis CD

Kyrgyz is an autonomous prefecture within China and now also a Bay Area drone/improv supergroup. Robert Horton, Tom Carter, Loren Chasse, and Christine Beopple wield an endless array of noise-making instruments and devices, whether strung, struck or battery-powered…The concluding “Yurt: Invitation” adds Henry Kuntz and Dan Plonsey on sax and all the players hone in on shining, shimmering timbres… – Sam Davies, The Wire, May 2006

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HENRY KAISER

Domo Arigato Derek-Sensei! bpaltd 202

Assembled by Henry Kaiser as his tribute to Derek Bailey – one of Henry’s big influences as a player – this very nice digipack consists of about 65% unreleased material and about 35% released-but-often-rare material. It has a very amusing cover which is a homage to Derek’s first solo album. There are solo tracks by Henry and also duo and trio tracks which include Kiku Day, Charles K. Noyes, Henry Kuntz, Toshinori Kondo, Andrea Centazzo, Damon Smith, Davey Williams, Larry Ochs, Greg Goodman, Mototeru Takagi, Motoharu Yoshizawa, John Oswald, Sang-Won Park and Derek himself. “Everything on this album is live free improvisation – there are no overdubs.”

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MOE! STAIANO’S MOE!KESTRA

Two Forms of Multitudes: Conducted Improvisations PAX Records

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An Inescapable Siren Within Earshot Distance Therein And Other Whereabouts Rastascan

Moe!”s outstanding gargantuan pieces for orchestra are featured on these CDs
Henry Kuntz plays tenor saxophone on two different versions of “Piece No. 5.”

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JOHN GRUNTFEST

Free Music Festival Orchestra Live at the Metropolitan Art Center vl 1376

Henry Kuntz play tenor saxophone on this 2003 release of the seminal 1979 recording from the San Francisco Free Music Festival.

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henry_solo_sax_outdoorsneuk.jpgSeit mehr als 30 Jahren ist Henry Kuntz in der ‘Free Jazz’ und improvisierten Musik Scene bekannt. Von 1973 bis 1979 war Henry Kuntz Redakteur und Herausgeber des international be-und anerkannten Newsletter Magazin’s BELLS.

In 1977 erschien Henry Kaiser’s Ice Death , die erste Aufname mit Henry Kuntz als Saxophonisten. Seit 1981 spielt Kuntz auch den Dudelsack und diverse andere Flöten Instrumente, sowie Miniatur Geigen seit 1983, Gamelans und Xylophones seit 1988 und die Rhaita seit 1999. Die Rhaita ist ein Oboe ähnliches Instrument, dessen Urspruenge in Nord-Afrika liegen. Dies ist nur eine kleine Auswahl von Instrumenten, welche Henry Kuntz spielt und für seine Aufnahmen einsetzt.

Auf seinem eigenen Label Humming Bird Records hat Henry Kuntz frei improvisierte Musik auf bisher zwei Langspielplatten, 16 Kassetten und 6 CD’s herausgegeben, sowohl als Solo-Artist, aber auch in verschiedenen Gruppierungen. Im Jahre 1986 gründete Henry Kuntz die Gruppe ‘OPEYE’, eine; wie Kuntz es beschreibt, ‘avant-shamanic-trance jazz’ Gruppe zu der Musiker wie: Ben Lindgren, Esten Lindgren, John Kuntz and Scott Braziel angehören.

Henry Kuntz hat auf seinen vielzähligen Reisen nach Mexiko, Zentral und Süd Amerika, Asien, Nord Afrika und Indonesien diverse ethnische Musik Stile studiert und aufgenommen. Sein besonderes Interesse gilt den rituellen Aspekten der Musik, aber auch dem Tanz und seinen diversen Ausdrucksformen und Henry Kuntz hat dies auf fünf Kassetten dokumentiert, welche über sein in Berkeley, Kalifornien ansaessiges Label Humming Bird Records in der Serie ‘Earth Series’ – Authentic On-Location Recordings of World Music’ vertrieben und angeboten werden.

Henry Kuntz liess sich bei diesen Tenor Stücken vom Balinesischen Schatten-Puppen Theater inspirieren und sein ‘durchsichtiger Tenor Sound schwebt wie ein Schmetterling dahin welcher gerade seinem sibernen Nest entschlüpft ist.’ :so beschreibt Henry Kuntz diese Solo Stücke für Saxophon.

Die ledernen Puppen, farbenreich bemalt, werden normalerweise als Schatten auf einer weissen Leinwand unter freiem Himmel; in Anlehnung an eine alte Balinesische Fabel, bekannt unter dem Namen Desa Nama Karta, presentiert. Diese Geschichte wurde in einer adapierten Version vor einem heimischen Publikum aufgeführt, um an die Terroranschläge in den Jahren 2002 und 2005 zu erinnern, aber auch, um dieses, für viele traumatische Ereignis quasi zu therapieren helfen.

Henry Kuntz will in seiner musikalischen Interpretation zum Ausdruck bringen, dass Gewalt nicht mit mehr Gewalt beantwortet werden kann und eine Lebensbejahende Einstellung unter Einbeziehung von Tanz und Ritualen Harmonie und Ausgleich in der Welt bewirken und wiedererstehen lassen kann. Für Henry Kuntz gilt es an diese ‘göttlichen Geschenke’ für die Menschheit zu erinnern. Seine Erzählweise mit dem Saxophon entwickelt sich ‘frei’, sozusagen nur dem Charakter der Erzählung folgend.

Die Stücke mit der Bezeichnung ‘Four Tenors’ beziehen sich auf das Javanesische Gamelan Stück ’sekati’. In der Indonesischen Stadt Yogyakarta wird einmal jährlich ein fünftägiges Gamelan Konzert abgehalten und es heisst, das ’sekati’ dem der zuhört, geistige Kräfte verleiht. Monsieur K. Metropolis
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