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Harold Budd

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Harold Budd The Pavilion Of Dreams album cover
3.82 | 35 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bismillahi 'Rrahman 'Rrahim (18:25)
2. Two Songs: Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord / Butterfly Sunday (6:26)
3. Madrigals Of The Rose Angel: Rosetti Noise / The Crystal Garden And A Coda (14:20)
4. Juno (8:26)

Total time 47:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Harold Budd / electric piano (1), piano & vocals (4), choir conductor (3), composer

- Marion Brown / alto sax (1)
- Richard Bernas / celesta (1), electric piano (3)
- Gavin Bryars / glockenspiel (1,4), celesta (3), vocals (4)
- Maggie Thomas / harp (1-3)
- Howard Rees / marimba (1), vibes (4)
- Jo Julian / marimba (1), vibes & vocals (4)
- Michael Nyman / marimba (1,4), vocals (4)
- John White / marimba (1), percussion & vocals (4)
- Nigel Shipway / percussion (3)
- Lynda Richardson / mezzo soprano vocals (2), chorus vocals (3)
- Alison Macgregor / chorus vocals (3)
- Lesley Reid / chorus vocals (3)
- Margaret Cable / chorus vocals (3)
- Muriel Dickenson / chorus vocals (3)
- Ursula Connors / chorus vocals (3)
- Brian Eno / vocals (4), producer

Releases information

An extended cycle of works begun in 1972

Artwork: John Bonis

LP Obscure ‎- OBS 10 (1978, UK)

CD Editions EG ‎- EEGCD 30 (1992, US) New cover
CD Virgin ‎- CDOVD482 (1997, Europe)

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HAROLD BUDD The Pavilion Of Dreams ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HAROLD BUDD The Pavilion Of Dreams reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of my favorite albums of all-time, Brian Eno's collaboration with his friend Harold Budd starts here, with these university compositions Harold had made for friends at school. Every song here is a jewel, spanning a spectrum from jazz to classical with New Age and experimental overtones throughout. I am especially drawn in by the harp, saxophone (which I usually dislike) and, of course, the choral and solo female voices. A perennial favorite that I've been playing since the 70s, the album never strays far from my playlists--especially in my massage work--and I never fail to find elements and nuances that I thoroughly enjoy with each and every listen. Also, each and every song stands on its own as a masterpiece, while the album as a whole (short as it is coming in at under 36 minutes), also qualifies as such. Beautiful stuff--perhaps Harold's best compositions ever. (Major seventh chords rule!)
Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars The Pavilion of Dreams is organic and well-composed modern classical and jazz inspired ambient music, and there really isn't anything quite like it. Piano, harp, operatic singing, saxophone, and chimes all play a part in creating 47 minutes of clearly composed beauty that paints laid back imagery like the most romantic scene in any film noir.

"Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim" is clearly very jazz influenced all throughout its almost 19 minute duration with noodling saxophone being main attraction, but unlike the constant progression of even Miles Davis' most inactive electric-era compositions, it really fails to grab any attention and remains a very elaborate background lounge jazz impressionistic soundscape. Beautiful nonetheless, but somehow just uninteresting.

"Two Songs" however is much more complete, yet barely ambient in the truest sense of the genre. These two compositions run together as one, basically, and are tied together in theme by the saddest of wordless female operatic soprano vocalization that remind me of Russian beauty Anna Netrebko's performance as Iolanta, the blind daughter of King Rene in P. Tchaikovsky's opera of the same name. The vocals of the "Two Songs" loom over the sensual and sunny harp, as if mocking the despondency of the vocals much in the same way that people will tell a depressed person "don't worry, it will be okay". This track works so well, in my opinion, because it sounds like actual memorable songs rather than nearly aimless jazz.

"Madrigals of the Rose Angel" is considerably thicker compared to the previous two tracks, which mostly because of the marimba and low-register electric piano playing, though the mellow mood of sadness still haunts the entire 14 minutes. But the composition does sound kind of like a madrigal, as advertised, like a morbidly heartbroken Antonio Jobim. Out of the four tracks on this album, I'd say "Madrigals" is the most pleasantly warm and dreamy sounding -- a side effect of the electric piano and marimba.

"Juno", however, is the most aimless track on this album. The chord progression is light and beautiful, and the marimba and electric piano both create the same warm sound as on the previous track, but the composition never really progresses. The same lounge music atmosphere ensues which simply makes this sound like more of the same.

While The Pavilion of Dreams is an outstandingly beautiful album with a moment of standout material, the super laid back jazz ambience doesn't vary itself at all besides adding or subtracting of one or two instruments. Because of this, I'd say that Harold Budd has created a great backdrop for a romantic hour with a loved one, or perhaps a soundtrack to the sunny days where for some reason you just feel like crying, but as an album of engaging music to really get involved in it seems somewhat insufficient.

Review by admireArt
3 stars A conflict of interests.

In "Pavilion of Dreams" recorded in 1976, later released in 1978, Harold Budd's second known "solo" release, (his first "The Oak of the Golden Dreams / Coeur D'Orr, 1970 is missing in this page), harbored himself with, what was known in 1976 as "new age", top notch fellow musicians, Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman, both as Budd, still active up to this day.

So what went wrong, as not to have achieved something, music-wise, far more "genial"?

The borders of, call it : "easy listenng", "new age" or "ambient" music , are kind of fragile but demanding. The musical structure has to respect those limits, in order to keep its goals. But as many "new agers" found out eventually, it is at the same time, a limited field of action, when it comes to the "colors" you are allowed to do with or as Brian Eno quotes: "Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting".

And sadly this effort is more ignorable, than interesting. It focuses on to many directions, but it does not really propose something new on none. Most of the setting of its moods, are "tingly" and "sparkly", the kind of sweet solutions, to a somewhat limited palette. The best is Marion Brown's saxophone lines, which remind me of John Coltrane's "super cool" long sax lines in the early 60's. The rest of the music relies to much on this kind of overly-sweet surfaces, that more than once are just plain mellow (or quiet uninteresting). The choral song ""Madrigals of the Rose Angel: 1. Rossetti Noise / 2. The Crystal Garden and a Coda", is the 5 star song, although it also suffers, the "twinkling" effect of the be it, glockenspiel, piano, celeste or harp, obsessively appearing everywhere.

Harold Budd eventually evolved, but here he is just gathering the pieces of his eventual and future musical "ambient" language.

***3 good, "promising" and that is it, PA stars

Latest members reviews

5 stars Ah! Here we are, reading a review on one of the most overlooked albums by one of the most overlooked figures in both ambient and "progressive electronic" canons. That is, one of those people who does not seem to wish for any kind of mass recognition. Why is this record largely ignored? Maybe not a l ... (read more)

Report this review (#613900) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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