Sad News

Started by Tom Brenholts, October 17, 2009, 10:58:03 PM

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Tom Brenholts

This is Jim Brenholts's brother Tom; I have some sad news.

Our Jim (Rigel Orionis) passed away this evening. I saw that there was an earlier post about his health; thank you all for caring so much.

I don't have any details yet, the news is less than an hour old. It is hard now; everyone's cyber life is just as large and just as real as their personal life, and you were his friends, too, whether you met him or only "met" him. If you knew him, know that Jim was very passionate about you. Jim cared. Jim's wife Linda and I have no idea how large Jim's reach is on the internet. I'm hoping that this is a start in letting everyone know the sad news.

Music was a huge part of Jim's life, since we were little kids sharing the same room. His discovery of and subsequent immersion in the world of electronic and ambient music was truly part of who Jim was, and will forever be part of him as long as he is in our hearts and minds. This wasn't something he did; it is something he was.

Check the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's website for obituary news; we are still in shock, and that is the best way to find out any details about services.

edited to add,

If there is anywhere else that people need to know, please share the news. It is unfamiliar ground, how to communicate with a loved one's online life.

Tom Brenholts


Really terrible news for all of us on this forum. I didn't know Jim personally, but it was always my great pleasure to read his reviews on our beloved music. Thank you so much Jim for sharing your thoughts and passion with us, we will never forget you!!! My deepest condolences to the family and friends.

Richard Gurtler (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Campus Stellae

really sad news... I'm shocked... and out of words.
my condolences to Jim's family.


Very sad news, I've not known him long but we had some close communications about music and I feel very sad at the news. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family


Jim showed himself over and over to be not only a fan of ambient music, but a real friend and promoter of artists who worked in ambient and other similar styles of music. He was a fixture on this message board.
He had an encyclopedic knowledge of ambient music. He loved to share his passion for the sounds. He showed many people, including me, great kindness. I am sorry that his family, and his many friends in the ambient world, lost Jim Brenholts Saturday night.

Chad Hoefler

I am deeply saddened by this news and can't overstate how much that I will miss Jim's presence.   :'(


I wish I knew what to say. Although I only knew Jim through this community, I always looked forward to reading his posts. His intelligence and wit always shone brightly. We were blessed for the time he spent with us and for the art he made. One more star in the sky tonight.

peace & power
John Shanahan
Hypnagogue Reviews
one listener's opinion on new music
Hypnagogue Podcast

jeff pearce


Thank you for sharing this news on this forum, and my sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother.

I don't think I need to write about who Jim was on this forum- his posts show someone who was passionate about this music, and completely over-the-top (in a good way)with his enthusiasm for it.  He loved his life, he loved music, he loved his family, and he especially loved being a grandfather.

As a musician, i tend to remember- and remember fondly- those people I've met who have encouraged me in my music.  I can think of VERY few people who have encouraged me in my music more than Jim; whether in person or through e-mail, his positive outlook and kind words were unstoppable.  I remember him being at concerts I played in PA, and although he probably didn't like everything I played in those evenings, he was always there after the show with a big hug, a pat on the back, and encouraging words about my music.

He will be missed, and he will be remembered.


Joe R

Oh I'm so sorry. I don't know what to say...   I'll pray for the family.


RIP Jim, a friend I will miss.

(Jim was a big positive influence when I was developing my earlier ambient music).
Thomas Park
Mystified / Mister Vapor


I hardly knew you.  But in the short time I have, I can definitely attest to what everyone's been saying about your love for music.
If there's something past this life as we know it, I hope the music of Earth only pales in comparison to what you're hearing now.

My condolences to his family and friends.
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye


Jim was a fixture on the ambient scene and around this forum for many, many years.
He had a great love of the music and for the musicians who created it.
It's so hard to believe he will not be posting any more.
My deep condolences to his family.
RIP Jim ... you will be missed here.

The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans


To Tom and Jim's family - Jim will be truly missed by me and many others in this community.  I'm saddened to know that I won't find his posts here daily, but even more saddened to know that his family won't be seeing him.  He spoke so fondly of his family over the years, especially the young ones!

His passion for music and life will be missed.

John Koch-Northrup
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] .: owner / artist .: .: .:

Brian Bieniowski

I'm so sad to hear about the loss of Jim.  Ambient music never had a more outgoing and supportive fan.  I enjoyed my time with Jim on this forum and in person, and I'm incredibly sorry to hear he's passed.


My God,

I am just sitting here in Shock, thought he was doing ok and was going to be back in the game of composing music.....
I offer my condelonces to his wife and family.....
I am the other half of Orion's Belt.....and hopefully soon, our last album that we were working on will be released very soon dedicated to him....
Twitter: ImagineerR


Tom, thanks for coming here to let us know.  This is very sad news, especially after the latest indications from Jim here on the forum were that he was recovering.  As others have said below, nobody else could match Jim's enthusiasm and energy, especially when it came to ambient music.  I remember meeting Jim, along with a handful of others from this Forum, when I came to Philadelphia to perform back in 2000.  He once told me it was a dream of his to one day release music of his own, and it's wonderful he had the chance to see his own music and his collaborations with others make it out there to the world.   My sincere condolences to Jim's family, and those friends who were closest to him. 
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |


I had known Jim now for about 9 years or so. I had the pleasure of speking with him a few times over the phone. Jim was not only an ambient music lover, reviewer, and composer but also a man whose professional life was to help others. It's obviously a personal loss for all of us here and his family but also a huge loss for those who needed Jim in his professional life as well. His spirit was far reaching and will certainly continue to be.

Not to mention, those of us who've been here awhile know just how much he loved his family and particularly his grandson.

R.I.P. Jim, I'm really going to miss you, and you will not be forgotten.



Scott M2

OMG! Despite his recent heart attack(s) this still comes as such a shock.
Jim has been a pillar of the ambient community as long as I can remember,
with his reviews, his outspoken passions, his music and OMG his humour!

Jim - You will be missed.


I'm shocked and saddened by the news of Jim's passing. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim nine years ago at Steve Roach's house after a show. He was a true supporter of the music and musicians and had offered me a few encouraging words about my music over the years. As Mike mentioned, it is wonderful that Jim was able to share his own music with the world and it is good to know that there is more to be heard in the not too distant future. My condolences to his family and friends. He loved you so.
Peace, Kirk


Years back, I read a heart-wrenching nature piece and stuck it in my back pocket for circumstances just like this.   The conclusion of the story provided a shifted tide -- the author focused back on the footsteps and the young.  There's terrible loss, but solace in that which has been created.

Jimmy -- from now on, when I see the great hunter in the sky, and its brightest star -- I'll think of you, of what you loved, and what you gave us.