James M. Brody
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JAMES M. BRODY James M. Brody of Espanola, NM, formerly of New Cumberland, Baltimore, and San Antonio, TX, died as a result of a car accident on Sunday, April 11, 2010 in Roseville, MN. He was born July 13, 1941 in Clearfield, PA. He was the son of the late William and Virginia Brody of Harrisburg, PA. He studied music composition with Iannis Xenakis and Franz Kamin at Indiana University, where he received a master's degree. "An important figure in the development of electronic music in the Midwest," according to the American Music Center, Brody wrote the liner notes for the original Nonesuch LP of 'Iannis Xenakis - Electroacoustic Music'. He was co-founder of organizations in Bloomington, IN and San Antonio, TX, dedicated to presenting and performing works by local composers. In 1970 he taught composition, theory and electronic music at East Texas State University. Brody composed many electroacoustic and instrumental works, including a performance in 1994 of "Traces", commissioned and performed by the Harrisburg Symphony. He also served on the Harrisburg Symphony's Board of Directors. Brody was a guest composer at the Electronic and Computer Music Studio of The Peabody Institute and an active member and past president of the Baltimore Composers Forum. Based on the Hopi story of creation, his large-scale work "Techqua Ikachi!" was premiered at York College of Pennsylvania in 2004, where he was a lecturer from 2005-2007. Most recently he hosted a radio program on WKUNM-FM in Santa Fe called "Other Voices, Other Sounds." He was on a team to organize the music program for the Santa Fe Complex, where he recently participated in a program called "The Improvising Composer." Sufism was an essential and passionate part of his life and led him to meet and study with many spiritual teachers and their communities around the world, most closely with Pir Vilayat Khan and Reshad Feild. Brody is survived by his wife, Siri Neel Kaur Khalsa and her children: I. Gurushabad Singh Khalsa, of Philadelphia and Lakshmi Kaur Khalsa of Santa Cruz, NM; son David Brody and his wife Amy of Westminster MD; daughter Sophia Brody; granddaughter Laurelin of Corpus Christi, TX; brother Tom Brody and his wife Judy of Washington, D.C.; sister Ellen Hughes and her husband Nicholas of Mechanicsburg, PA; and many loving family members, friends and colleagues. A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 2 p.m. at the Santa Fe Complex. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Santa Fe Complex, 624 Agua Fria St., Santa Fe, NM, 87501; the Chalice Guild-Living School, 1807 Second St. #73, Santa Fe, NM; the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings, PO Box 1819, Santa Cruz, NM 87567; or to a charity of the donor's choosing.

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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Apr. 15, 2010.
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48 entries
April 24, 2014
Jim was a delightful person. I took his synthesizer class at ETSU in about 1970. He told me that there was another student that I should meet, who turned out to be Jay Cotton-- a main friend in my life, though another crazy person, like me. I meditated with Sarmad and Sharda's sufi group in Commerce for a few months and the chanting and Sarmad's koans were very helpful to me. I was able to enter a quiet place in the mind, though I have perhaps not spent enough time there. I needed an adviser of sound and energy and Jim was there with a twinkle in his eye and wisdom to offer. I am ever thankful for his advise and friendship and the experience of those evenings chanting with people bathed in some kind of shared light.
Gary Panter
April 23, 2014
Jim Brody was my Sufi teacher. I call him Jim rather than Sarmod, because he was one of the few ephemeral beings that could like the dervish spin in many worlds and keep sight of reality while uncovering the truth in the moment. Much love to this compassionate blissful soul.
Judith Prueitt - Prentice
July 17, 2013
A Salute to James Brody:
From Bach to Xenakis:
July 17, 2013
May 15, 2012
Sarmad was my sufi teacher when i lived in Houston many years ago. There is so much I will never forget. I just found out he has died but he is still with me in so many ways.
Candace Knapp
July 21, 2011
Dear Brody Family,

My condolences on your loss. It was with great sadness and joy that I learned of his passing from an internet search to attempt to reconnect. I knew Sarmad from his Greenwood adventure. I worked for him for several years in the late '70's as a cook, bookkeeper and assistant as well as visited regularly after I moved on to other endeavors. We spent many hours in those times discussing philosophy, science, politics and all things spiritual. He did San Antonio and the world a great service via this restaurant and whole foods grocery. The Greenwood was the center of the new age spiritual thought universe in SA during it's existence. Every guru, preacher, new age philosopher that came through town and all of there adherents came to eat and shop. Many times there would be after hours special events with these teachers and the opportunity to meet and discuss things in person. He also was a great supporter of the music community. I can not count the number of concert back stage catering events we prepared food for. He had a great love for all mankind and truly expressed this in his actions. Sarmad was always involved in some activity to assist others in their spiritual journey. He will be greatly missed by all. Again my condolences on your loss but please remember you will see him again.

Kindest regards,
Jim Barsch
April 9, 2011
This guy was the first music teacher I had at East Texas State University. He had the electronic music class where i met Gary Panter and both of us went on to do the Pee Wee herman Show and I just did the music for his recent Broadway show. I rented Sarmad's ( I would call him "Doormat Breathhard" and did a comic about him called "Song of Sarmad" and he'd laugh) house one summer. He was just at ET for one year filling in for Thomas "Shabda Nur" Wirtel. Brody/Sarmad was a most righteous dude and I'm only now getting this news and I'm definitely felling the loss.
Oddly, the first news I got New Year's Day was of the passing of the woman I shared Brody's house with in Commerce Texas and I got the news from two other "Commercites". Commerce Texas was where East Texas State University was and Brody was one of the ones that made it the special place it was. I loved that guy.
Jay Cotton
March 28, 2011
Siri Neel

My sympathies are with you and your children.
Kurt Smith
January 2, 2011
What a gentle, bright, beloved man! I am sorry to hear this news, though in many ways, Sarmad is ever loved, cherished, and present as when he walked among us. Thank You, David, for keeping this book online so that I may also find the way to leave my words along with other dear friends. Having recently departed Egypt and returned for a visit to central PA where I had the pleasure of knowing and studying with Sarmad/Abraham, Siri Neel, and children, my search led me to this news. You are all very missed here. I remember the love, kind and caring ways that assistance was always offered, honored, and shared. May Light and Love and Peace continue to bless you all - each and every day.
SSuzanne Grandon
June 16, 2010
Since 1964, I have been privileges to know and to make music with Sarmad and Franz. We inaugurated "Fiascos" on Sunday afternoons at his farm. We saw him in Dallas in the 70's and reunited with him and met Siri-neel in Penna. in the early 2000s. Our lives have been enriched and consecrated by Sarmad and Franz (Tom). bLESSINGS TO HIS FAMILY.
Linda & Mel Anderson-Baer
May 23, 2010
Dear Brody Family:
I met your daughter, Laurelin, yesterday at Schlitterbahn, and we have gotten to know each other. She is an amazing person, and I'm sure she would make her grandfather proud. I'm really sorry for the loss. I'm sure his memory will live on in you.
Take my condolences and friendship,
Josh D'Alessio
May 12, 2010
I was so sad to hear this news. I worked for Sarmad at the Greenwood restaurant in San Antonio in the late 70s. I babysat for his kids on several occasions (I remember how amazing his kids were even though they were quite small at the time... how bright and curious they were). (I also remember the living room at the house was always filled with musical instruments, mainly a huge xylophone or "vibes" as I think it's called.) I had gone with a friend of mine when she was applying for a job there and Sarmad offered me a job as well, even though I hadn't applied for one. A connection was made and I felt it was a positive move.

I remember Sarmad offered free soup to the poor who often showed up at the backdoor of the Greenwood.

I lost touch with both Sharda and Sarmad when the restaurant was sold in the early '80s and Sarmad moved to Pennsylvania. But I remember him as a kind and gentle soul. This guest book shows he was much loved.
Linda Weatherford (now Papa)
April 27, 2010
The staff of the Espanola Public Library wishes to express their condolences to the family of Jim Brody.
April 25, 2010
Do you know how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear.
For as you talk of God,
I see great parades with wildly colorful bands
Streaming from your mind and heart,
Carrying wonderful and secret messages
To every corner of the world.
I see saints bowing in the mountains
Hundreds of miles away
To the wonder of sounds
That break into light
From your most common words.

Do you know how how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear,
Yet, Hafiz
Could set you upon a Stage
And worship you forever!

Grace to Siri Neel, to my Asha and Sophia and to sweet Sharda.

I am sorry. I love you.
Sharon Shook
April 21, 2010
I saw Jim at while at SEAMUS, and we chatted about a few things. I wondered if I had seen him at ICMC in Sweden, but it turned out that it was just that his music alone had made such a strong, vivid impression on me.

The comic artist Gary Panter recently told me how much he had learned about electronic music from Jim at East Texas State.
Lawrence Fritts
April 21, 2010
I had the pleasure of James' company a few times at the occasional SEAMUS, and found him a sweet and gentle soul. Our condolences to James' family on their loss.
gregory taylor
April 21, 2010
We got to know him as Abraham. May his kindness and music continue to sound in our hearts and memories. Greetings of love and peace to all his family. (Karin Hein)
April 20, 2010
During a seminar with Reshad Feild in Swizzerlang I learned Abraham und I remember his adventure in the lake in front of Kastanienbaum, the place of the house of the Chalice-Circle.
Mein Herz ist bei seinen Angehörigen, vor allem seiner Frau Siri Neel Kaur Khalsa mit meinem tiefen Mitgefühl.
Siegbert Socher
Siegbert Socher
April 20, 2010
Please accept our deepest sympathies in your loss. You are in our hearts and prayers

Mary Jean Flamer & My Mom, Jean Cuccinello
Mary Jean Flamer
April 20, 2010
I was Jim's 3rd cousin and only met him twice but I was impressed by his peaceful and gentle energy. My mom was president of the Jim Brody fan club and we send our condolences to all his close family, his wife SiriNeel, his close friends, and his musical colleagues. James will be missed greatly.
April 19, 2010
Dear Sri Neel and Family, My condolences to you at this difficult time. James was a great soul with a heart of pure Love which was easily accessed through his deep kind eyes. His smile banished doubt and sadness in others. He was all about Love from beginning to end. Love and support, Jamil
jamil kilbride
April 19, 2010
I worked at the Greenwood Restaurant for many years when I was in college (1974-78) and knew Sarmad and Sharda and their children (wow, those kids must be quite grown) and Sarmad had a great and very positive influence on me and my other friends who worked at the Greenwood. The Greenwood was a vegetarian restaurant and was actually quite revolutionary for San Antonio at that time (and probably still would be today). Though I lost touch with Sarmad since he left San Antonio, I often think of him and wonder about what he was doing. I just learned of his tragic death from 2 former Greenwood employees. At the time I was working at Greenwood, I was also playing bass for a somewhat experimental band in San Antonio and my best friend and bandmate at that time died in a car/train collision and Sarmad was of great comfort to me then and I will alway remember that. He was a kind, spiritual and gracious man and he instituted a policy at The Greenwood to always provide free meals to the homeless people who would show up there. I think word got out about Sarmad's generosity and we had quite a few regular homeless patrons, one of whom (Robert)I remember quite well and who used to help out and I think Sarmad had a great influence on him and the man's chronic alcohism was abated for periods that he spent at the Greenwood and I attribute this positive effect to Sarmad and his way with people. There are so many things I could say about this great man and as I am writing this I am realizing how many times I have thought about him and the positive attitude he instilled in those who were fortunate enough to come into contact with him. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Sarmad's influence on this planet will be missed and will continue on through those who were fortunate enough to know you. Since my days at the Greenwood, I went on to get my law license, but am currently trying my hand at being an organic farmer here in Gruene, Texas and, now that I think about it, I think Sarmad possibly even had a hand in this choice. I could go on and on about Sarmad's contributions to this world, but will end here and remember Sarmad with the greatest admiration and affection.
Bill Jolly
April 19, 2010
How is it possible that I neglected to bring Sarmad to mind more often over the many years since I started working as dishwasher in the Greenwood? Why am I now so flushed with rememberance? Surely a good heart has a mysticism all it's own! Sarmad, you gave me that first promotion of my working life from dishwasher to cook.You gave me confidence. I helped you mow your lawn once and afterwards we stood tired and sweaty in the backyard,enjoying the sweet scent of cut grass, the breeze and dimming sun, to the vespertine music of the neighborhood; a barking dog blocks away, a child called home for dinner, a car horn and a carpenter's hammer all echoing between houses. I found in you someone who heard the same music that I heard. Thanks for all your sharing.
Don Hauser
April 18, 2010
April 18, 2010
I send our deepest sympathies to New Mexico today. Geoffrey and I wish we could be there with you today. I will keep you in my thoughts and I hope that the shared love at this memorial service will help you in this time of grief. Siri Neel, your sisters are with you. We embrace you with our circle. Love,
Carol Chromicky
April 18, 2010
Ya Salaam James M. Brody, Ya Salaam !
April 18, 2010
James, you and your smile will be missed.
April 18, 2010
To wife Siri Neel, my heart goes out to you in this tremendous loss of your dearest one. My sincere condolences to his entire family -- whom I have never met except for his brother Tom and his wife in DC in the early 90s. I am grateful to Sharda and Phil Krumm for having sent me this sad news so quickly. What a wonderful human being Sarmad was! And he was such a huge influence on my musical life-- all the music we performed together-- composed and improvised-- in San Antonio, Baltimore, NYC-- was truly some of the very most important work I have ever done. Sarmad brought so much light and enlightenment to this world- to all those who knew him-- he is now a new energy that we will learn to celebrate. I will entone his name from a West Texas Hill this afternoon, and listen for him in the wind.
Jane Henry
April 17, 2010
It saddens me to hear of Sarmad (James) Brody's untimely death. What a kind soul he was, supportive of all others in the best and worst times they may have experienced. His dedication helped found the Baltimore Composers Forum and he did bring in his teacher Franz Kamin on occasion. My thoughts will be with you all tomorrow.
Leslie Marrs
April 17, 2010
I was privileged to work with Sarmad in San Antonio, after his creation of the wonderful Greenwood Restaurant and the performance group CAPASA. He was funny, witty and brilliant, a fine musician and composer. It's a great loss for the world of new music, and a sad loss of an old friend.
Philip Krumm
April 17, 2010
What a great loss to the earth. What great jubilation in the heavens.

Savitri Gauthier
April 17, 2010
Dear Siri Neel:

The heart of my mother and myself go out to you in this time of loss. I know that we only met your husband a few times but I was impressed at how nice he was. I will never forget his submission of "Techqua Ikachi!" to my theatre group. While we ultimately chose not to produce the show; it did make a impression on us.

Your 1st Cousin once removed,

David M. Cicchelli
April 17, 2010
My dear James 'Sarmad' Brody. Whether or not your Spiritual Beingness is aware of these words or not; it comforts me a little to let You and your Loved Ones know that You will Live on in my mind as a Gentle Soul who brought moments of Reason and Compassion to a World desperately in need of more! Your Respect for and Se...eking of Wisdom was as Great as your Love for those of Us who Loved that about You! I am sad, but somehow knew You were preparing Your Self for the New Journey. Perhaps You will be like a Liberated Spirit and travel to a more Gentle World or maybe You will be that beautiful butterfly I will glimpse, amongst many others, this Spring...who can truly say? Missing You, JP, a Philosopher of Love & Reason.
Jean-Pierre Ady Fenyo, The Original New York City Free Advice Man.
Jean-Pierre Fenyo
April 17, 2010
Dearest Sarmad,

I have nothing but fond memories of the time you spent with the Baltimore Composers Forum, the talks we had, and how much you contributed in helping Dawn Culbertson launch the organization back in 1993. As you know, the BCF dedicated its concert last night to you. Your loved ones and friends will miss you greatly. I look forward to seeing you again, beyond the light.

George F. Spicka / Baltimore, MD
April 16, 2010
So sorry to hear of Sarmad's exit from our earthly stage, which was graced for an all-too-brief time by his wonderful and kind creative spirit and left very much the better for it. I was so lucky to have had him for a friend and colleague. His identity and his music will continue to be an essential part of the Universe. He was building for eternity.
William James Ross
April 16, 2010
Dear Ellen:

I didn't know Jim was your brother until now. My condolences to you and the entire family.
Dan Asia
April 16, 2010
When Jaladin Rumi died, God turned the heavens red with passion on receiving his Beloved poet and saint...need I say more. He was my beloved teacher and the most kind and complete (whole) man I shall ever know. I am so happy he found Siri Neel, the true love of his life.

As the sun must set
Those we love must pass from our lives,
Those left behind bewail the darkness,
The sun is undiminished,
Shining forever.
Sam Spikes
April 16, 2010
Siri Neel, I'm so sorry for your loss. I was shocked. Such a creative person will be missed. My codolences.
Your friend John Scheaffer
April 16, 2010
Dear Tom and Ellen and families -
Jim and I were good friends in high school. I am saddened to learn of his passing and amazed at how much I didn't know of him in the passing years. He surely leaves a strong mark and lasting memories!
I send you my sincere condolences and wish you good health.
Raisha Silberman Weintraub
April 15, 2010
On behalf of staff and artists at URBAN-15, we extend our admiration and gratitude to Sarmad for his brilliance, artistry and friendship. Our times together in the early 80's at the Third Coast New Music Project presentations remain high moments in our organization's history.

Sarmad, you brought calmness and wisdom to San Antonio. We have missed your leadership.

To his many firends, let us help each other travel a path toward goodness and clarity. From our Studio, prayers, gongs and drums will resonate at the exact time of the memorial ceremony in New Mexico this weekend.

George Cisneros
George Cisneros.
April 15, 2010
How can words express this pulling of the heart - Siri Neel - so much love to you, dear Lady
Sharda Brody
April 15, 2010
I played music with James in 2 projects: The "Official" Project & the Volunteers Collective - in Baltimore in the 1990s. We also performed John Cage & Franz Kamin pieces together. We both moved away from Baltimore & stayed in touch. James was a great guy & I'll remember him fondly for more reasons than I can even begin to list. The loss of both him & Franz Kamin is a much bigger loss to the community of composers than most people can even begin to imagine. I, at least, will continue to sing his praises. - "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE"
April 15, 2010
Dear Siri and family; I only met you once in Harrisburg and you spoke so lovingly of your husband. I offer my thoughts and prayers in your grief. Paul
April 15, 2010
With tremendous sadness, and care, please accept my most sincere condolensces to a most cherished friend Siri Neel, and Ellen & Nick. I wish you strength and the ability to celebrate such a giving, talented man. My thoughts are with you. = Elissa Feinstein
April 15, 2010
I worked with Jim on many training and other projects at Central Penn Computers in Camp Hill, PA. He was incredibly smart, gentle, friendly man who was a great mentor. He will be missed.
Mike Macchioni
April 15, 2010
Sorry for the loss of Jim, we will remember him with a wave, smile and greeting as he walked passed our home on Harrison Drive in New Cumberland.

Former Neighbor, Patricia Katzman
Patricia Katzman
April 15, 2010
Patricia Katzman
April 15, 2010
My dear friend ... I am so so very sorry for this shock and loss in your life ..I send you shared tears ... he was such a lovely ,gentle man ... It is good you are now there and can get consolation from so many ... I send you the same... I think of you both so often and always think of how happy you both were in moving there, in such a beautiful home. I am thinking of you even more , but with a heavy heart ... be well and mend ... your friend Michele Cocco
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