Recorded at Basing Street Studios, London, England.
In 1978, THE PAVILION OF DREAMS marked Harold Budd's arrival on the international music scene. Decades removed, this release is still unique given its compositional grace and clever mixture of musical styles. On this album, Budd's music blends minimalism with contemporary classical and jazz balladry. The result is the emerging sound of ambient music, a style that was still new at the time.
THE PAVILION OF DREAMS includes four pieces. Unlike most modern ambient music, Budd's compositions feature chamber ensembles. Moreover, his work never falls back on electronics or washy keyboard patches. The longest composition, "Bismillahi 'Rrahman 'Rrahim," draws on the music of John Coltrane. Here, saxophonist Marion Brown plays with great restraint as Budd's plaintive melody floats over the rolling mallet percussion and cascading electric piano arpeggios. Other pieces feature the gentle harp playing of Maggie Thomas and an array of singers. "Two Songs" is the closest Budd comes to composing lieder, while the exploratory "Juno" requires the percussion ensemble to sing as they play. A hallmark in the ambient genre, this music will always sound fresh and compelling.
Harold Budd was exploring the parameters of minimalism long before his collaborations with Brian Eno raised the profile of "ambient" music in the late 1970s. As early as 1962 he was making a name for himself with his long-form compositions, which he based on exotic scales and sometimes unusual instrumentation, with an emphasis on mood, texture, and tone rather than melody and rhythm. His solo recordings on Eno's label in the mid-'70s led to their historic partnership on two groundbreaking albums, as well as fruitful collaborations with the Cocteau Twins, Daniel Lentz, and others. He continued to compose into the new millennium.
Bismillahi 'Rrahman 'Rrahim
Two Songs: Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord / Butterfly Sunday
Madrigals Of The Rose Angel: Rosetti Noise / The Crystal Garden And A Coda