Notable Lyrics

Three months ago, I moved into an apartment by myself. Each building has eight apartments, four on the bottom and four on top, each with a fenced in balcony or porch. It’s funny looking at the building across from mine, because each balcony is filled with plants, wicker furniture and other pricey outdoor decor. Over in my building, nobody has any furniture or decor… Just empty slabs of concrete and lonely stacks of brick. That being said, there’s a few pigeons who have made camp in the empty space between the pillars and the roof on my balcony. Every morning I get greeted by the same “coos,” but I’m reminded of so much more.

To me, the voice is an instrument of equal or no greater importance than any instrument that accompanies it. At times, I feel singers and their lyrical output wrongfully persuade people to objectify music based off of personal experiences in relation to the lyrics, rather than purely off of personal experience alone. At this point I could ramble about how atmosphere is what’s really important and that each instrument should work together to culminate into a consistent atmosphere from which you can derive your personal experience, but I’ll stop myself short. I don’t completely hate lyrics or singers, I just wish we changed our approach to listening to them. That being said, occasionally they do stand out, and I can’t help but to ignore my own philosophies on the subject.

Grouper – “Come Softly”

I’ve been waiting
For you too
Come gently
To me

In night time
I feel you

Come softly

The sky breathes
A mirror

To see

A soft light

In a mirror
You are mine

The only
Thing caring
In me

A soft light
Come gently

Harold Budd – The Pavilion of Dreams

Harold Budd // The Pavilion of Dreams // Obscure // 1978

When discussing the origins of ambient music, I frequently cite the following four artists:

  1. Brian Eno – Ambient, art pop
  2. Steve Roach – Ambient, Tribal ambient, progressive electronic, space ambient
  3. Robert Rich – Ambient, dark ambient, drone
  4. Jon Hassell – Tribal ambient, jazz fusion

Harold Budd always gets left out, but recently I’ve been checking into his music beyond the two Brian Eno compilations (Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror [1980] and The Pearl [1984]), and ¬†and I have to say I’m significantly impressed. His sound reaches a delicate level of playfulness that really isn’t ever touched on by any of the other seminal ambient musicians. It’s so gentle and free in a way that life rarely is and offers a fleeting glimpse of something we all spend way too much time thinking about.

Good looking out, Harold Budd.