One of my favorite composers died last December, yet another victim of this godforsaken pandemic. The irony, of course, is that Harold Budd’s music remains the closest thing to a curative that we have for these troubled times.
I came to Budd several years ago through his work with Brian Eno, specifically Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror and The Pearl. Today, a quick perusal of my album collection reveals 30-some records with his name somehow attached. Whether it’s his solo piano work, the collaborations with Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie or Eraldo Bernocchi or Daniel Lenz, or the stunning Avalon Sutra—released as his “final album” (not really) on David Sylvian’s boutique Samadhi Sound label, there’s always been a thread connecting Budd’s music: pure, unadulterated beauty.