James received a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Music Technology from Northwestern University . While studying composition at Northwestern James recorded several pieces for tape taking advantage of studio equipment including an ARP 2600 and a modular Moog system before moving to digital recording and exploring FM synthesis with the unique capabilities of the Yamaha TX81Z.
While designing audio hardware and software for Motorola’s then new digital tier of radios, James became interested in microphone feedback systems and began to explore this sonic territory through improvisation. Together with several musicians from Northwestern, James performed at various locations in Evanston and Chicago including Northwestern, as well as ISIM in Ann Arbor, the Spark Festival at the University of Minnesota, ICMC in New Orleans, and a performance of John Cage’s Musicircus at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
James has since moved on to develop iOS applications professionally and continues to explore the application of feedback systems in other genres of music such as rock and folk. Most recently James founded The Musicology Group to develop innovative signal processing tools for digital music creation and has currently released an application for iOS focusing on recreating the sound of vintage amplifiers, speaker cabinets, and effects found on countless records throughout recorded music history.