Jerry Hunt's obituary

NOTE: This was written by Michael Schell and released by oodiscs as Jerry's official obituary following his death.

Birome (zone): plane (fixture)Composer/performer Jerry Hunt died November 27, 1993 at his self-built home near Canton, Texas. The cause of death was lung cancer. Jerry was born in Waco, Texas, and attended North Texas State University. He worked as a pianist through 1969, performing in concerts of contemporary music. He also worked as a technical consultant for audio and video instrumentation and manufacturing, and served as music director and composer for many video and film production companies. Jerry is best known for a series of solo performances, begun in 1978, which feature theatrics and live electronic music based on "interrelated electronic, mechanic and social sound-sight interactive transactional systems". During the 1990s, he took on several collaborative projects, working with performance artist Karen Finley, visual artist Maria Blondeel and composer and software designer Joel Ryan.

A central theme in Jerry's work is shamanism as a cultural precedent for the agents of modern technology. A life-long student of mysticism and the occult, Jerry's theatrics were themselves highly suggestive of ceremonial practice, featuring stylized movement and gestures, and incorporating hand-made props such as staffs and rattles, often assembled from found objects. The accompanying music was typically produced by a complex array of computers, synthesizers and sensors programmed to respond to his stage motions. These systems were notable for their built-in random fallibility. A particular gesture or movement might cause an audible change in the music -- but it might not. The scheme worked frequently enough to reinforce the faith of the "believers", but failed often enough to reinforce the disbelief of the "skeptics", in much the same way as real religion.

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Original Material Copyright  1993 by Michael Schell. HTML Coding Copyright  2001 by Michael Schell. All Rights Reserved.