Paul and I had hoped to record some new music in 2021, this being once again the “Year of the Ox”, that year of the Zodiac in which we made our first duo recordings. While we were unable to realize that project in earthly time, I thought I might intuit and create what we might have fashioned musically in virtual spiritual time. Lapu Lazuli is a new piece that combines a solo piano improvisation of Paul’s (from his album Awakening) with a solo multi-track piece of mine (from the album IIFIINIITY). When I placed this music together, I couldn’t help but marvel. It felt like these pieces had always been waiting for each other… a match made in heaven, you might say! Enjoy Lapu Lazuli…
Paul Vincent Kuntz: Piano with percussion effects | Henry Kuntz: Nepalese & Balinese bamboo flutes (played together), Bolivian bass flute; rhaita (Morocco); two Guatemalan bamboo flutes (played together). Individual photos of Paul and Henry by Paul. Composite photo by Henry.
Allow me, if you will, to sing artistic praises for my brother Paul Vincent who, on July 17, 2021, four days prior to his 60th birthday, lifted off from this dimensional space into Realms of Spirit. You may recall Paul from the three duo recordings he and I made over the last dozen years (Year of the Ox, Jazz Khardma, Double Vision), improvisations on which he contributed a florally dense piano, overlaying the instrument’s strings with small percussion instruments and other objects to expand its timbral and tonal range.
Paul’s main artistic penchant, however, was for his photography, of which he was a master. His work at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston – where he was known for his extensive photographic knowledge and attention to compositional detail – found him at times inside the operating room for groundbreaking surgeries. On his own adventurous career path, documentary photography was what most inspired him. Early on, while driving to classes at the University of Houston, he would pass through that city’s predominantly African-American Third Ward. There he made lifetime friends and extensive community contacts and began documenting the area’s people and vibrant cultural life: its music, funerals, revivals, its energy and flow.