“There was never any time -when I AM was not; he was not created by anyone, and before anything else had been created by him he existed alone through endless ages of ages, for which reason he was also known by the name Ancient of Days. In appearance, he was pure light — not, however, the created light of the sun, moon, and stars — but Shekinah, the Light of Glory.” – Alan Watts, “Myth and Ritual in Christianity” *
* (“Myth portrays or divines that which we cannot comprehend because it is what we are. Hence God is I AM, or Ens — pure Being” – Alan Watts
“Jesus said: I am the Light that is above them all, I am the All, and the All came from me and the All attained to me. Cleave a piece of wood and I am there; lift up the stone and you will find me there.” – The Gospel According to Thomas
HENRY KUNTZ: Tenor Saxophone, Bamboo Flute, Bells | JOHN KUNTZ: Troubador (Diatonic) Harp (Side B, 1-6, 9) | JOHN GRUNTFEST: Alto Saxophone (Side A, 4) | CHARLES NOYES: Drums, Musical Saw, Various Percussion Instruments ( Side B, 7, 8 )
SIDE A: 1. Solo Flute 2. Solo Saxophone 3. Solo Saxophone (Near the end of this piece, a train can be heard in the distance) 4. Saxophone Duet (Alto left channel, Tenor right channel)
SIDE B: 1. Harp and Bells (The bells are six small Indian bells, three held in each hand) 2. Harp and Flute 3. Harp and Saxophone 4. Harp and Saxophone 5. Harp and Saxophone 6. Harp and Saxophone 7. Saxophone and Percussion 8. Saxophone and Percussion 9. Harp and Bells
Side A, 1-3 and Side B, 2-6, 9 recorded live at Woody Woodman’s Finger Palace, Berkeley Sunday evening June 29, 1980; Side A, 4 recorded live at Woody Woodman’s Finger Palace Saturday evening March 8, 1980, both recordings by Greg Goodman. Side B, 1 recorded Tuesday evening May 27, 1980 at “The Lab”, San Francisco by Chris Jefferies. Side B, 7, 8 recorded Saturday noontime August 2, 1980 by Henry Kaiser at his home in Oakland.
All pieces are freely improvised, complete and unedited, with the exception of Side B, 6 where a short section with bells was not included.
Record production by Henry Kuntz and Chris Jefferies. Master tape prepared by Chris Jefferies at “The Lab”, San Francisco. Mastering by Location Recording Service, Burbank. Pressing by Record Technology, Camarillo. Album cover designed and silk-screened by Jerry Pierson.
This is a limited edition pressing of 300 copies.
For several years now
I’ve been mainly refering to free improvisation in a technical way, that is as “non-idiomatic” and having more to do with process rather than product. But while this is correct as far as it goes, it does not deal at all with the broadly spiritual implications of the music, which is to say it does not truly acknowledge the music in a contextual sense. This, however, is particularly meaningful in regards to free playing as that, in a way, is the “score” from which the free improvisor works, both responding to and shaping at the moment of conception the entire planetary and universal energy field in all its physical and etheric aspects. The music, then, is in the first instance a true “energy” music: the music flows from the energy (both that of its creator and that of the cosmos) and not vice-versa.
Recently, I’ve been refering to this music as “free-form ritual music”. It is ritual in that each play-ing is a celebration and acknowledgement of the cyclic and evolutionary manifestation and perfection of all Being and is, as well, a conscious tuning of the self to higher and higher vibratory rates, the will to one’s own in-lighten-ment and realization.
For the musician, playing of this sort implies a committment to mental and spiritual clarity and the unobstructed flow of physical energy, both as a prerequisite to the musical expression and as its own by-product. The members of the “audience” participate directly in this process by the manner in which their own energy is focused. The musician exists as the channel of energy, the “medium” (or as possible “priest”, “prophet”, “shaman”, “healer”, or a kind of working occult scientist), but the audience as much as the musician creates or blocks the flow of energy. The audience as much as the musician creates the “sacred space” in which the music can take place.
Different, however, from most ritual forms, this ritual is free-form and open-ended. It refers directly, yet is not directly referential. It becomes consciously unconscious (or trans-conscious), moves knowingly into the unknown. Each piece is its own energy moving in space, its own unique document of the universe, much like the light shining from a star in the heavens. (Henry Kuntz)
I’d like to dedicate this record to my friend Martha Winneker
Vinyl version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)