JIM WORKS AT AN APPLIANCE STORE

Jim works at an appliance store in Cincinatti where he takes broken or outdated appliances home and interfaces them with old Casios that his friend Alvin, who they call Chipmunk, gives him and integrates keyboard music with the appliances creating what he calls “sonic structures.”  He designs these sound sculptures for pre-existing spaces, usually abandoned factories or Quonset huts no longer used by the local municipality.  He integrates these pieces into these specific spaces.  For example, in his 1975 performance at an old sewing machine factory in Cleveland, he hooked up a series of twenty Casio keyboards with a refrigerator, vacuum cleaner and four dishwashers customized to the cavernous factory, and had a narrator read a political commentary on Nixon’s resignation at the same time. He views his compositions as means, not as ends.  He sees them as merely the latest generation of a lineage of compositions, forms of composition which are not the objects themselves, but the ideas of these  objects, that is to say, the beginnings of a family of compositions.  Specific examples of mathematics, statistics, and physics are applied to Jim’s musical compositions.  For example, he used random points on a plane as generated by distribution of helium atoms in his  *Luminosity Symphony #6*, Cutler’s theory minimal heat in *Aeschylus Unbound*, and topological probabilities in *Bus. * At the 1987 Shell Oil Arts Festival in Montgomery Alabama, he designed a composition specific to the site of an old torpedo factory from World War II.  The following year he was commissioned by the Newhouse Foundation to compose *Nothing Is Ever Resolved *, which he dedicated to political prisoners in the Central African Republic.  By 1989, he had devised a computer system called UNIVEX, which could translate graphical images into musical results.  By this time, due to his commitments, he had to cut down on his hours at the appliance store.