Experimental ambient artist Norm Chambers dies aged 50
The Seattle producer was behind the aliases Panabrite and Jürgen Müller
Norm Chambers, the Seattle-based musician behind projects such as Panabrite, Jürgen Müller, Spiral Index and N Chambers, has died aged 50.
A friend of the artist Pete Prezzano, co-founder of Chicago label Love All Day which released several of Chambers’ albums, revealed in 2019 he was suffering from a rare form of sinus cancer, setting up a crowdfunder to pay for his care and treatment.
An update on the page announced his death on Monday, writing: “With great sadness I must report that around 1:30 PM today our dear friend Norm Chambers passed away at home, surrounded by his loved ones.
“Norm was a brilliant composer, sound designer and musician. He was an ardent, lifelong record collector, DJ and listener. Norm was also a talented graphic artist and designer. He was a true outdoorsman—enjoying hiking, cross-country skiing and camping. He adored his dogs. Above all, Norm was an ever-loving partner to his wonderful wife Kayoko.”
Chambers grew up in Salt Lake City before later settling in Seattle. He was a prolific musician who released numerous albums across his various aliases, and was a member of the groups Soft Mirage, with Christian Richer, and Water Bureau, with Daryl Groestch.
He was revered for the experimental and ambient sounds he was able to produce from analog instruments, as well as being an illustrator who often designed the artwork for his releases.
Panabrite was first and most prolific project, releasing his debut album ‘Paramount Hexagon’ in 2009.
One album, 2011’s ‘Science of the Sea’ under his Jürgen Müller alias, was presented as an archival find from the early ‘80s made by a German scientist and self-taught composer who had been studying oceans.and made music symbolic of his love of marine life.
Prezzano’s announcement concludes: “It was Norm’s music, and records more generally that brought me to know him some 15 years ago. I’m deeply and truly grateful for having made that connection. He relentlessly pursued new pathways and forms in sound, but did it in such a relaxed and unassuming way. It will always serve as a model to me on how to approach art and life in general. Even as he faced serious health issues, he continued to do what he loved with good humor and grace, and he never gave up. Everyone loved Norm’s early music, but he was never satisfied to go on repeating himself; always searching for unknown and fascinating terrain. I’ve learned so much from him, and am proud to have called him my friend.
“From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of Norm and his family, I thank you all for your support. I loved Norm very much and I know you did too.”