Harold Budd - search and destroy

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well I wouldn't destroy anything of course. Not even the records with his spoken word poetry included, though I don't listen to those terribly often.

Prompted by me picking up Budd & Robin Guthrie's new soundtrack album, Mysterious Skin... it's very much a casual revisiting of Moon and the Melodies, so much so that the first few tracks kind of fight me a bit as being too familiar, but then Budd kicks in and before long it's clear that they're still the only people who can make music like this.

good to be hearing this after Avalon Sutra, which was announced as his final solo record. Which I appreciate, though the sax & chamber arrangements are so frosty and removed that I haven't been able to enter into it as much.

top tier favorites - The Pearl, Lovely Thunder, The Serpent in Quicksilver
also: Plateaux of Mirror, Pavillion of Dreams, Luxa. as well as White Arcades.

I've got most of the others as well, my favorite recent record is definitely La Bella Vista, no electronics at all, just piano...

I was on the same bill as him once in 98 or so, he played a beautiful 25 minute set on grand piano with the chorus and reverb processing piled on so heavy that the sound was on the brink of absolutely beautiful feedback the entire time. At the end of his set, our applause was picked up by the microphone and was coming back through the speakers at nearly the same volume as the applause itself, a reflected wall of light shimmering noise.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 27 June 2005 01:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, the pearl, plateaux of mirror, pavillion of dreams, white arcades: these are all amazing, gorgeous pieces. actually the only other album of his I've heard is Glyph which I remember being, actually, bad.

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 27 June 2005 02:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'd call that one a Hector Zazou record with Budd samples on top. Sold it back about a month after it came out, though there are times when i wish I still had it just to check.

after Mysterious Skin I went back to Pavillion. Side two is impossibly lovely. When I bought it the first time, coming from the electro-acoustic ambient albums for EG, I was thrown by this one, but these days it sounds like some of his best.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 27 June 2005 04:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Of what I've heard, the essential ones for me are: The Pearl, Moon and the Melodies, Pavilion of Dreams, She Is a Phantom (w/Zeitgeist) and Ambient 2 (probably in that order). These are followed by White Arcades and Lovely Thunder, which both have some great tracks on them.

After that ('good but not essential'): Serpent in Quicksilver and Abandoned Cities, By the Dawn's Early Light. The only two that I found lackluster are Luxa and Glyph (w/Zazou).

Joe (Joe), Monday, 27 June 2005 11:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, have The Room as well. Don't know where I'd put that one...

Joe (Joe), Monday, 27 June 2005 11:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
The double album with John Foxx is nice... (Translucence / Drift Music) pretty much covers all the bases with one disc being mostly gentle synth textures and the other all soft-pedal piano...

The collaboration with Andy Partridge is likely out of print (Through the Hill). It was nice moments but always reminds me that any Budd album with poetry reading soon becomes less worthy.

Never got into the Alice Coltrane-influenced Pavilions of Dreams.

Moon and Melodies and Abandoned Cities/Serpent in Quicksilver (due for re-issue next month) are my faves.

"Children on the Hill" is maybe the peak.

Duke Dubuque (Duke Dubuque), Saturday, 21 January 2006 20:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

plateaux of mirror is it for me. the piano sounds as if it had exactly the dose of absinth you need to feel out of this world.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Saturday, 21 January 2006 20:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

search: mysterious skin soundtrack.

blackmail (blackmail.is.my.life), Saturday, 21 January 2006 21:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Hey, he has two new albums with Robin Guthrie coming out. I thought he had retired?

Joe, Monday, 11 June 2007 23:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I have really got to catch up with the stuff Guthrie's been doing - Budd, Violet Indiana, the new Schnauss album etc.

Trayce, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

guthrie just remixed a couple of tracks for the new ulrich schnauss EP, i don't think he had anything to do with producing the album.

darla certainly seems to have put him to work remixing their artists lately. he did one for the new alsace lorraine that's nice.

oops, this is actually a harold budd thread.

f. hazel, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh remixes, ok. I thought he'd done some production.

Trayce, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 02:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've heard one of the collaborations with Robin Gunthrie, After the Night Falls. It's nice if a little new-agey in stretches.

The Macallan 18 Year, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 15:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ditto for the companion LP...still, pretty lovely in places...

henry s, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 16:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

saw the new Budd / Guthrie albums in the store this weekend, but paused

anyone who's heard them, do they actually sound like collaborations? Mysterious Skin sounded like alternating solo tracks from each of them, and I liked it, some good moments, but in the end I'm not sure it could compete with Moon and the Melodies, so I'm almost hoping the new ones were an attempt to actually work together...

Milton Parker, Monday, 25 June 2007 19:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm not familiar with the ones you cite, but of the new stuff, it's clearly the trademark Cocteau glimmering guitar set against barely-there piano twinklings...

henry s, Monday, 25 June 2007 19:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also there is "Perhaps", a live solo piano album (download only) on David Sylvain's SamadhiSound label. Looks like it came out in February of this year.

Edward Bax, Tuesday, 26 June 2007 04:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No love for Music for Three Pianos, with Budd, Daniel Lentz and Ruben Garcia? Some really nice stuff on there.

Tim R-J, Tuesday, 26 June 2007 09:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Must get my hands on the Budd/Guthrie stuff dammit. I love "Moon and the Melodies".

Trayce, Tuesday, 26 June 2007 10:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No love for Music for Three Pianos, with Budd, Daniel Lentz and Ruben Garcia?

Oh, I give much love for Three Pianos.

Edward Bax, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

anyone else think La Bella Vista is his best album?

Milton Parker, Monday, 10 March 2008 22:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

La Bella Vista and Music for 3 pianos

Dan I., Thursday, 11 December 2008 13:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

Coincidentally I started my rainy day off listening to The Pavilion of Dreams, but now this thread has put me into a day-long Buddfest.

I mostly agree with the consensus favorites listed above, plus The Room. I think Luxa is a little better than some do--it's kind of a mix of all styles he's tried over the years, which makes for an uneven flow though. Avalon Sutra has a bit of that problem but is better overall.

Much as I love both Budd and Cocteau Twins, that Robin Guthrie watery mid-range production sounds better on guitars than it does piano to my ears, so Lovely Thunder and some of The Moon and the Melodies get dropped a notch. The two new Budd-Guthrie collabs sound better to me if somewhat familiar (which doesn't bother me at all).

The live album Agua is excellent and (provided there was no studio tweaking later) shows that he really could recreate those sounds on stage.

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I am quite enjoying The White Arcades of late. Of the records I know, it seems his most synthed out. Which despite his lovely piano playing is not an altogether bad thing.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 18 July 2011 15:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Can we revive this? I've been listening to a ton of The Pearl of late and trying to suck up everything I can about how Eno and Lanois did it.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:57 (five years ago) Permalink

i've only heard The Pearl and Pavillion of Dreams, the latter of which has quickly become one of my favorite ambient albums ever. incredible sleepytimes. I've got a nice copy of The Pearl, I should revisit it. Can't flip a record when it's sleepytime, though.

Thanks WEBSITE!! (Z S), Saturday, 13 October 2012 01:06 (five years ago) Permalink

if you are into the Serpent in Quicksilver / Abandoned Cities era, this is great: http://rootstrata.com/rootblog/?p=5869

the one he put out last year, In The Mist, has a lot of wide-ranging moods on it, making it hard for me to throw it on and leave it on, but the good pieces on it are great, such a relief he was lying when he said he was retiring

La Bella Vista is all time

Milton Parker, Saturday, 13 October 2012 01:22 (five years ago) Permalink

He's been on a tear lately! Song for Lost Blossoms, Candylion, and Little Windows are all completely great.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Saturday, 13 October 2012 06:17 (five years ago) Permalink

More live stuff: Harold Budd @ Redcat, Los Angeles, 9/18/2004. (Streaming Quicktime only, I'm afraid.)

Almost 2 hour's worth--1st hour is music composed by Budd but performed by Clive Wright, Alex Cline, and a string quartet; 2nd hour is Budd himself with guest Jon Gibson.

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 13 October 2012 06:58 (five years ago) Permalink

if you are into the Serpent in Quicksilver / Abandoned Cities era, this is great: http://rootstrata.com/rootblog/?p=5869

Just pulled this down. Live Budd is an interesting proposition.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 18 October 2012 01:04 (five years ago) Permalink

Looking for the original "Children on the Hill" online, but can't find it.

Are either of these it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzwFtBVD9hQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGLMI41xDhI

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 18 October 2012 15:10 (five years ago) Permalink

First one is the one from this chockfull 1983 Crépuscule compilation -- http://www.discogs.com/Various-From-Brussels-With-Love-1983-Edition/release/2005886 -- almost everything on it is alternate or unreleased versions

Second one is the 1981 version from 'The Serpent (In Quicksilver)'

Milton Parker, Thursday, 18 October 2012 17:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Gah, so neither. I can't find either of these records anywhere online right now. Boo.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:06 (five years ago) Permalink

correcting myself: compilation originally came out in 1980

http://www.discogs.com/Various-From-Brussels-With-Love/master/32946

slightly shorter CD version came out recently - http://www.amazon.com/From-Brussels-With-Various-Artists/dp/B000K97MUC

Milton Parker, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Sorry, "either of these records" == Serpent/Abandoned Cities

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:11 (five years ago) Permalink

Ergo, the original is available nowhere.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Wait, found it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Harold+Budd+Children+On+The+Hill

Still not available to purchase, however.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:57 (five years ago) Permalink

It's not hard to snag a used CD copy on Amazon for $5-15.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:20 (five years ago) Permalink

Still Budding. I like the viola on By the Dawn's Early Light.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 04:51 (five years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

How does everyone rate the collabs with Clive Wright? I know nothing of Wright but my local shop has three albums (all on Darla, of all labels).

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 4 February 2013 23:35 (five years ago) Permalink

budd don't

☏ (am0n), Monday, 4 February 2013 23:41 (five years ago) Permalink

I listen to the Clive Wright collaborations far more than the Robin Guthrie ones, although I like them both.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 4 February 2013 23:51 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

So, I broke down and bought Little Windows, and I love it. Parts of it remind me of Popol Vuh, others remind me of Evening Star. I really love what Wright is doing on guitar and I wonder if the other Budd / Wright collaborations feature him so prominently? If so, I'm buying 'em all. Loving this dude right now.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Saturday, 23 February 2013 14:59 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

i finally found a copy of Pavilion of Dreams this afternoon. it's a fantastic record to listen to flip over and over again.

Never got into the Alice Coltrane-influenced Pavilions of Dreams.

- duke dubuque, 7 years ago

does anyone know if there's more behind this or if this is just a duke dubuque personal opinion? i know that one of the songs uses a pharoah sanders arrangement as a starting point, and another uses a john coltrane adaptation.

Z S, Sunday, 23 June 2013 04:47 (five years ago) Permalink

i mean, i get that pavilion of dreams sounds like it's influenced by alice, i was just wondering if budd ever acknowledged it publicly

Z S, Sunday, 23 June 2013 04:48 (five years ago) Permalink

samples here sound lovely
http://rootstrata.com/release/RS96
Recorded live December 8, 2006 at a memorial event for James Tenney at California Institute of the Arts, Perhaps is Harold Budd sublimely distilled. Striking in its restraint & simplicity yet profoundly resonant in its depth & message, it is both eulogy to a departed friend and defining statement from an artist at the apotheosis of his career.

Originally available only digitally (and only from SamadhiSound's website), Perhaps sees its first ever and much deserved physical release in double LP and CD formats, mastered and cut at D&M in Berlin.

tylerw, Wednesday, 3 July 2013 21:00 (five years ago) Permalink

https://soundcloud.com/rootstrata/templar/s-yskB1

geeta, Wednesday, 3 July 2013 22:16 (five years ago) Permalink

oh that's a good one. happy it's getting an edition. Wanders a little more than La Bella Vista, where every second counts, but it's nice to wander too -- that was a good year

dragged Bandits of Stature out last week, his CD of new string quartets from last year -- growing on me

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 3 July 2013 22:19 (five years ago) Permalink

re: ZS's q about alice coltrane -- have never read budd explicitly mention her, but i imagine he is familiar. marion brown from pavilions of dreams played w/ john coltrane, fwiw.

tylerw, Wednesday, 3 July 2013 22:25 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

He's got a 2CD career retrospecitve ("Wind In Lonely Fences") and a 7 disc (or is it vinyl only?) box "Buddbox" covering, I think, his last 30 years.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 5 November 2013 01:11 (four years ago) Permalink

The Eno-related record label All Saints (run, I think, by Eno's brother-in-law) is doing a big reissue campaign, and Buddbox is just the 7 Budd CDs that Opal/Gyroscope/All Saints originally released between 1988 and 1996: The Serpent (In Quicksilver), Abandoned Cities, The White Arcades, By the Dawn's Early Light, Music for 3 Pianos (w/Daniel Lentz & Ruben Garcia), Through the Hill (w/Andy Partridge) and Luxa. Doesn't look like there's anything new in it.

Serpent, Abandoned Cities and Through the Hill are coming out on vinyl too.

No track list on Wind in Lonely Fences yet.

All Saints has already rereleased a couple of Laraaji CDs plus a 2-CD retrospective Celestial Music, at least half of which looks to be previously cassette-only tracks.

Hideous Lump, Tuesday, 5 November 2013 04:00 (four years ago) Permalink

got promos of both today, not sure if tracklists match

the late great, Tuesday, 5 November 2013 06:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the clarification, Lamp. I don't own anything but have heard enough to be interested in the 2CD comp. Tracklisting for the retrospective:

Disc: 1
1. The Oak Of The Golden Dreams (1970)
2. Bismillahi'Rrahman'Rrahim (1978) with Marion Brown & Gavin Bryars
3. Wind In Lonely Fences (1980) with Brian Eno
4. Wanderer (1981)
5. Dark Star (1984)
6. The Pearl (1984) with Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois

Disc: 2
1. Ooze Out And Away, Onehow (1986) with Cocteau Twins
2. Ice Floes In Eden (1986)
3. Algebra Of Darkness (1988)
4. A Child In A Sylvan Field (1991)
5. The Messenger (1992) with Ruben Garcia & Daniel Lentz
6. Hand 20 (1994) with Andy Partridge
7. She's By The Window (1994) with Zeitgeist
8. Nove Alberi (1996)
9. Adult (2003) with John Foxx
10. Arabesque 2 (2004)
11. How Distant Your Heart (2007) with Robin Guthrie
12. Mars And The Artist (2011)

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 5 November 2013 14:21 (four years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
two years pass...

Loved this video w Clive Wright I came across on YT a few weeks ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXUwmJwO_C4&app=desktop

I think what I loved the most was that they appear to have played this on a whim in their living room.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 11 February 2017 15:12 (one year ago) Permalink

that's great! I am thinking Pensive Aphrodite is their master work together.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Saturday, 11 February 2017 16:26 (one year ago) Permalink

Interestingly, it was completely improvised and the first thing they worked on together:

The very first piece Harold Budd and Clive Wright worked on became the 30 minute opening track of A Song of Lost Blossoms. Called “Pensive Aphrodite,” it’s a pure improvisation for electric guitar and keyboard. Harold says they didn’t establish any parameters, including key signature, before playing.

Harold Budd: Not a thing. I think probably the key I chose because it’s the first sound you hear.

Clive Wright:”Pensive Aphrodite” is a performance because it was actually recorded straight to a two-track. We ended up recording it straight to CD. It was like one of those cuts, it just goes straight to a recording CD player.


https://echoesblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/harold-budd-clive-wright-interview/

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:23 (one year ago) Permalink

The live album Agua is excellent and (provided there was no studio tweaking later) shows that he really could recreate those sounds on stage.

Just downloadedAgua. I enjoy it as well. Apparently it was recorded in 1989 on whatever passed for his tour following The White Arcades. I gather from Discogs that most of the titles on the CD pressing are actually incorrect. But does anyone know what the deal with this was? Is this actually live? There are lots of fade-ins and -outs that suggest not.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:27 (one year ago) Permalink

The Little Glass, with Akira Rabelais, is quite lovely. Disc #1 consists of both lapidary and protracted works for solo piano by both musicians, reminiscent of Alexander Malter's self-perpetuating variations on Arvo Pärt's Für Alina. Disc #2 is all A. Rabelais: he disorients and refracts disc #1's acoustic material until it others itself—far more than a photographic negative, as it were.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 15 February 2017 16:38 (one year ago) Permalink

Agua - Holy shit, there's video! It was a whole Opal Records artists show: Harold Budd (2 tracks), Laraaji (2), Michael Brook (3), Roedelius (1), Roger Eno (1).

The video is in 3 parts, about 45 minutes total. Here's part 1--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJLtB74xcQQ

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 16 February 2017 04:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Wowza, indeed. A big of snooping around online suggests that this was recorded in a cave(!!) on the Canary Islands as part of the Opal Evening shows these guys all took part in around this time. There's a nice description of what Eno was doing w these shows from David Shephard's book here.

You can see Budd playing a bit from The Moon and the Melodies on it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7Wfu3o0gqo

For this show, it was pretty clear Budd was playing piano over tapes -- not a bad thing, actually as the backing tracks are quite delicate and not surprising insofar as he was more or less touring The White Arcades at this point, for which there was a lot of overdubbing. Worth noting that the rest of the show is really good as well. Laraaji's performance is really solid -- and processed either or live or in post-production by Michael Brook, who seems to have executive produced this show and remixed the audio (Brook also produced Laraaji's Flow Goes The Universe (1992) and Roger Eno's excellent Between Tides from 1988). Seems that Roger Eno and Laraaji's performances were released on a record called Islands. Also, kind of unrelated: the Roedelius piece in this show is "Lustwandel" from 1981.

Given all these excerpts, one wonders if there is more video floating around somewhere ...

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 16 February 2017 14:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks for linking that interview up there, Naive Teen... this part cracked me up:

Clive Wright: Candylion was conceived by Harold Budd as a second album in a triptych , a desert triptych . So, thematically, it’s about the desert.
Harold Budd: I don’t really think so. They are not. They have nothing to do with the landscape. I don’t feel wedded to the landscape that way. That faux romance of the western deserts, I don’t buy it.

I think the Budd/Wright trilogy (Song for Lost Blossoms, Candylion, and Little Windows) is very deserty. But whatever, it's awesome.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Thursday, 16 February 2017 14:56 (one year ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

u kno u are truly on an ambient tip when u think "I need to skip this harold budd song, he is just striking those piano keys too aggressively!"

Brian Eno delenda est!

Dan I., Tuesday, 13 February 2018 20:51 (six months ago) Permalink

lol I think Budd is kinda mad that his work gets classified as ambient

brimstead, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:01 (six months ago) Permalink

authorial intent means nothing!

Dan I., Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:09 (six months ago) Permalink

(tbf to budd tho, i am repulsed by everything else in the world that is called 'ambient'--he alone is a shiny muted jewel)

Dan I., Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:11 (six months ago) Permalink

hahaha, watch Clive Wright's Youtube videos sometime

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:55 (six months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYJkH6mdbAY

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:58 (six months ago) Permalink

it's got the desert, and UFOs, and a dog... I love this video so much

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 22:00 (six months ago) Permalink


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