HUMMING BIRD Digital Cassette Classics

Digital Cassette Classics

These are the first two releases of Humming Bird classic cassettes in digital format – available now for free MP3 download.



Henry Kuntz – Indian snake charmer’s flute, Chinese musette, bamboo flute, tenor saxophone, bells / John Kuntz – ukulele, mandolin, harp

1. Snake flute – Ukulele (6:10) 2. Musette – Ukulele (4:36) 3. Saxophone – Mandlolin (4:27) 4. Flute – Harp (4:37) 5. Snake Flute – Mandolin (8:02) 6. Snake flute – Ukulele (11:12) 7. Musette – Harp (4:30) 8. Bells – Mandolin (5:54) 9. Flute – Mandolin (5:02) 10. Musette – Mandolin (4:16)

Note: At 1:45 of Piece 1 there is a 6-second dropout of the right channel that occurred during the performance.

Recorded in performance Saturday evening December 20, 1980 (Piece 7: December 21, 1980) at Woody Woodman’s Finger Palace Berkeley, California.

Recording engineer: Greg Goodman
P & C 1981, 2017 Humming Bird Records & Tapes


The concepts, improvisations and all playing are by Henry Kuntz. Instruments are listed as they appear left to right on stereo speakers. These pieces were recorded on a Fostex X-15 4-track recorder.


Disc 1

1. Whirls Away (23:07) Balinese wood gamelan (15 keys over trough resonator – wood mallets), Balinese gamelan gender (10 iron keys over bamboo resonators – wood hammers), Mexican Indian violin, Balinese bamboo xylophone (11 suspended keys – rubber-tipped mallets)

Recorded: October 30,31,1989 Berkeley California.

2. Spirit Whirls (20:33) Balinese gamelan gender and gamelan selunding (8 large iron keys over trough resonators) played together with wood hammers), Chinese musette, Thai mouth organ, Balinese wood xylophone, bamboo xylophone, and African (Mali) balafon (10 wood keys) played together with rubber-tipped mallets

Recorded: November 1,2,1989 Berkeley California.

Disc 2

1. New Peace Balinese gamelan selunding (played with 2 wood hammers), African (Togo) “fetish gongs” (6 bell-like iron gongs) struck with metal rods, Balinese wood xylophone (wood mallets), Balinese gamelan gender (wood mallets)

Recorded: December 1,2,1989 Berkeley California.

2. Shadow Peace Smaller Balinese bamboo xylophone (11 keys played with rubber mallets), Voice, Bolivian bass flute, Balinese bamboo xylophone (played with rubber mallets)

Recorded: December 3,4,1989 Berkeley California.

Henry Kuntz | Ten Names of Peace | Live Version 2006 | HBD 04/CDR 14


Henry Kuntz
Ten Names of Peace
Listen online (excerpt) or Download for Free

Henry Kuntz: Tenor Saxophone, Tibetan Bowls, Javanese Bird Whistle, Voice

Live at 1510 Performance Space Oakland Ca April 14, 2006.

Recorded & originally mastered by Jim Ryan. Editing by Humming Bird. Composite photo created from Jim Ryan’s performance video. Henry with puppets photo by John Kuntz.

This is the musical portion of a live solo performance that featured the use of Balinese shadow puppets. The puppets awoke to enact a theatrical synopsis of an old Balinese tale, The Ten Names of Peace.

The tale is old, but a modern version was produced in Bali in 2005 to help relieve people’s trauma from the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings.

The moral import of the story is that we 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 to the world.

In the Oakland performance, the elaborately and colorfully painted leather puppets were dramatically animated in open space. The deliberately diaphanous and breathy quality of the saxophone was intended as an aural equivalent to viewing the puppets – as normally seen – in the negative space of the blank white screen where they appear only as shadows.

The live performance was relatively short – only about 20 minutes – and the musical portion is just over 13 minutes.

A few days later – in the same performance space – I recorded a longer studio version of Ten Names of Peace that can be heard on Wayang Saxophony Shadow Saxophone (HB CD 6).

C & P 2015 Humming Bird Records (HBD 04 /CDR 14)

READ MORE about the Balinese Ten Names of Peace Project here: “Wayang Consoles Grieving Community”. READ a summary of the Projects Script by clicking here…

Henry Kuntz & Paul V. Kuntz | DOUBLE VISION | HBD 03/CDR 13

Henry Kuntz & Paul V. Kuntz | DOUBLE VISION | HBD 03/CDR 13

Henry Kuntz & Paul V. Kuntz

Free Download

Double Vision is the third release of music that actively attempts to extend the formal parameters of free improvisation. The first recordings were Envision New Music and Envision Ensemble Live at Berkeley Arts Festival.

The surface of this music will not feel unfamiliar, but the thinking behind it is different; the assumptions underlying it different.

Taking off from the idea of “festival form”, the music embodies a kind of meta-archetype. It is less a confluence of interests, musical or otherwise (the archetypical norm), than a confluence of Being – or beings. It moves toward a more inclusive and expansive ideal.

Double Vision follows its own idiosyncratic path toward that ideal.

Henry Kuntz & Paul V. Kuntz | DOUBLE VISION | HBD 03/CDR 13

DOUBLE VISION Total Time (48:23)

1. Sunflower Buttercups (14:07)
2. Bluebonnet Poppies (11:17)
3. Redwood Oaks (11:12)
4. Sagebrush Tumbleweeds (7:21) 5.Lotus Cactus (4:25)


Henry Kuntz: Mexican toy violin (Paracho), Angel soprano recorder (Korea), Two Guatemala bamboo flutes, India bamboo flute, Chinese musette, Reed horn with resonant gourd bell (Indonesia). (The 6-hole reed horn is similar to an Indian snake charmer’s flute but without a drone tube.) Paul Kuntz: piano, prepared piano, small percussion.

Recorded: 1-4: April 7, 2015; 5: April 6, 2015 Houston Texas. Recorded and mastered by Paul Kuntz. Musician photos by Paul Kuntz.

On Double Vision, Paul and I began with the concept of “festival form” as showcased by the Envision Ensemble Live at Berkeley Arts Festival. At Paul’s suggestion, we expanded the bounds of the sonic fairgrounds to include: on Bluebonnet Poppies solo music of mine from the LP Ancient of Days, Light of Glory; on Redwood Oaks duo music by myself and John Kuntz from the cassette New World Music; and on Sagebrush Tumbleweeds generic crowd noise which is always an integral part of any festival sound field.

C & P 2015 Humming Bird Records (HBD 03/CDR 13)

Buy DOUBLE VISION | HBD 03/CDR 13: (CD or MP3) here…

Henry Kuntz

Henry Kuntz

Paul V. Kuntz | click the image to visit his web site...

Paul Vincent Kuntz

In addition to his musical pursuits:
Paul Vincent Kuntz is an award winning photographer whose work has been exhibited in fine art galleries internationally. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), Museet for Fotokunst (Odense, Denmark), and in various private collections including that of the late Helmut Gernsheim (Lugano, Switzerland). Most recently, his work was featured in the photographic exhibition “The Birth of Photography – Highlights of the Gernsheim Collection” at the Reiss-Englehorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany. He is also featured in the companion book to the exhibition of the same name.

Visit Paul’s new website, with photos from “Inside Houston’s Third Ward”

Rodeo-Party at Molo's | Photo by Paul V. Kuntz | click the image to visit the Paul V. Kuntz web site...

Henry Kuntz

The Ecstatic Center | HBD 02 | Free Download

The Ecstatic Center | HBD 02 | Free Download

The Ecstatic Center | HBD 02

Free HUMMING BIRD Download Only Release

Free MP3 Download Available Here… (30:01)

HENRY KUNTZ: Nepalese Flute & Soprano Recorder (played together), Morocco double-reed Rhaita, Tenor Saxophone.

Performance of July 25, 1999 Beanbenders at Fine Arts Theatre Berkeley, California. On-location digital recording and original mastering & mix by Michael Zelner.

Thanks to Dan Plonsey who invited me to play at Beanbenders and to Michael Zelner who exquisitely captured the diverse sounds of the instruments.

listen to Nepal Flute – Soprano (excerpt)

listen to Rhaita (excerpt)

The Ecstatic Center | HBD 02 | Free Download

In June 1999 I attended the Festival National des Arts Populaires in Marrakech, Morocco, a 10-day music and dance extravaganza that featured more than 30 indigenous ensembles from diverse parts of the country.

The Ecstatic Center | HBD 02 | Free Download

Most musical performances took place at the city’s centuries-old palace, the Palais Badia, but ensembles also appeared in parade – an opportunity to hear all of the music side by side – and in Marrakech’s storied square, the Djemaa el-Fa. In the Djemaa el-Fa, one would regularly encounter a wild mix of snake charmers, storytellers, magicians, jugglers, acrobats, and others demonstrating strange skills, such as the ability to walk unscathed over broken glass and fire.

The Ecstatic Center | HBD 02 | Free Download

At the center of nearly all of the music were exuberant and captivating melodic/rhythmic flights of fancy built upon an evolving series of lines in repetitive motion. These were played by flutes of various types and sizes, by double-reed rhaitas, by plucked or bowed string instruments, or ritually sung by male or female voices.

The sweltering dynamic of this part of the music – surrounded by a bold mix of rhythmic counterpoints emanating from drums, hand-clapping, singing, high-pitched female ululations – could easily sweep one away. But the music was nearly always grounded by dance, which often included movements of great athleticism. And despite the music’s insistent forward momentum, it was not really going any place; rather, its effect was to propel one immediately into the Present. This aspect of the music is what I came to think of as its Ecstatic Center.

Less than a month following my return from Morocco, I performed at Beanbenders’ new series at Berkeley’s Fine Arts Cinema. The improvising for this solo performance was inevitably inspired by the in-depth experience of the music I had heard on my recent journey.

For the performance, I dressed in a silky cream and green-striped Moroccan djelaba and wore an emerald green half-face mask, the intention being to remove my known personality from the presentation and to allow the music to be heard as much as possible on its own terms.

The music, excellently recorded by Michael Zelner, has been sitting quietly for a lot of years. Not long ago, I came across it again, and it felt like it was time to bring it into the light.

– Henry Kuntz, March 2015