Honoring the Digital Shadow Master

Some 20 years ago, Klaus Thiemann at https://m-etropolis.com contacted me about putting issues of my music newsletter-review BELLS (1973-79) online. I told him I had put together a book FREE JAZZ FREE MUSIC that collected the most essential pieces of writing that had appeared in BELLS. I mailed to him the hand-typed manuscript and, over 2 to 3 years, he scanned and digitized the pages one by one and emailed them back to me for corrections. Eventually, all the articles were posted online. Today they are collected on the dedicated BELLS webpage (https://bells.free-jazz.net/) where Klaus also sourced and added photos and biographical material for many of the musicians.

But BELLS is only a link from the grander website, SAX & STORIES (https://henrykuntz.free-jazz.net/) that Klaus created for me. It began as a prototype website to showcase his digital talents, but it took on its own trajectory. First to appear on the SAX & STORIES webpage was the 4-part Journey to Italaque, Bolivia. He breathed life into the story by adding numerous photos of mine from the journey and sound clips of Aymara music that I had recorded during the ritual Italaque festival. Over the years, so much has been chronicled – CD and tape releases, music critiques and travel writings, festival and documentary photos – all so generously given digital life by Klaus, the agile and super-competent shadow master behind the scenes.

Now, though the websites remain, Klaus is gone. He passed away on May 26, 2023 at his home in Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique, France. I am forever grateful for all his work and efforts on my behalf. He created an online presence for me that I could only have imagined in my dreams. I wish him Godspeed and all the best on his New Journey.

Henry Kuntz, June 6, 2023

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