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.