My deepest sympathies to you and Jim's family. The world will be lacking without him.
I have attached some thoughts i wrote about Jim in my blog:
I was deeply grieved to hear that a friend and supporter passed away. Jim Brenholts passed away this past evening. Unfortunately, I don’t have the specifics of his death, and his family is still reeling, but Jim had heart problems for many years leading up to his death.
Jim was, for all intensive purposes, the catalyst for my musical career. Back in 2000, i was introduced to Jim. He was already a fervent supporter of ambient/space music. When he heard my first musical endeavors (The Darker Space) he became completely engaged and immediately began helping me to network within the community. He introduced me to artist and engineer Robert Rich, who ultimately mastered the CD and helped me to get in touch with Tony Gerber at Spaceformusic.com, who published it. Throughout the years, Jim was there to support me, enourage me and give frank and objective council on my music and my business efforts. As Ben, Daniel and I started Lotuspike, as we produced and promoted live ambient music concerts, Jim was there to lend a hand however he could.
Jim was also an active reviewer. He was always one of the first to review my CDs, as well as the releases of Lotupike. And not just us, Jim was a a noted reviewer across the community. Everyone looked forward to reading his reviews and there is hardly an ambient artists’ site out there that does not have at least one of Jim’s reviews represented on it.
In later years, Jim became an explorer and creator of ambient soundscapes himself, recording under the moniker Rigel Orionis, Jim established himself as competent artist as well as passionate listener and reviewer.
If it hadn’t been for Jim, I don’t know that my musical path would have gelled the way that it has. That I would have met half of the people with whom I’ve collaborated and made friendships over the years. I regret that we lost contact over later years, as I relocated across the country and our lives went their their own directions. Jim was passionate. If you knew him, you we’re a friend to him. He was one of the most compassionate souls I’ve ever known. He loved everyone. Music seemed to be his catalyst for expressing his passions. For his family, his friends and his life’s pursuits.
I don’t know if it’s irony or the turning of the Universe, but one of the last (or possibly THE last) reviews that Jim wrote was for my latest CD, Wanderlust. He emailed it to me a day or so prior to his passing. This obviously has great emotional impact for me. That the man who essentially started my musical career should leave this testament to my work as one of his final comments. I have included the review below.
Jim will be sorely missed. Not just by me, but by a whole community. You have touched so many lives and made a profound impact on a genre of music. Your positive energy, while still part of the universe, will definately be missed on this earthly plane.
Buenos dios, Muchacho.
Terra Ambient - Wanderlust
Jeff Kowal creates deep ambient soundscapes under the nom de plume Terra Ambient. Wanderlust is his third release and it finds Jeff exploring new territories and horizons.
In his liner notes, Jeff discusses the evolution of the album as a journal for his transitions over a three-year period, including relocation from Pittsburgh to New Mexico. The music became somewhat of a catharsis. He described as “the music that I needed to make.”
Jeff combines drifting passages with overt and subtle rhythms. His atmospheric structures are vast, wide and expansive. They drift around the listening area, transforming it into a meditation chamber.
The disc opens with two pieces that are somewhat more active. They are excellent for hypnotic movement and active meditation. The percussion on the second track approaches and borders on techno but does not cross the line. The rhythms contrast and compliment the atmospheres.
Track three presents deeper atmospheric ambience with strong overtones and eclectic timbres. This is where Jeff absolutely excels. He combines organic textures, desert ambience and tribal timbres to deliver a unique sound that is truly his own.
While this is a musical journal of Jeff’s transitions, it is also a vehicle for private journeys. The flexibility and variety allow for many different experiences, each having its own, well, Wanderlust.
In a relatively short time, Jeff has established himself as one of the top electric ambient masters of the new millennium. He is a true artiste.