Review – The Pavilion of Dreams – Harold Budd

Harold Budd is often misclassified in America as a composer. I say that because American culture has such a narrow view of composers. You ask someone for their favorite composer, half of them will say, “Mozart” or “Beethoven” and the other half will say, “John Williams.” Harold Budd was so much more than a composer – he was a poet, a musician and a true artist.

Harold Budd’s first major thumbprint on our musical microcosm, The Pavilion of Dreams, set many standards and shattered through convention. While his music wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking to other innovative artists of the time, the mainstream consciousness took notice and made Harold Budd a household name in the world of Ambient or World Music. The opening track “”Bismillahi ‘Rrahman ‘Rrahim” transports you to a new world – or rather an alternate Earth that is so far removed from our Earth, that it might as well be a new world. Alto saxophones, glockenspiels, marimbas, vibraphones and so much more. It’s a breathtaking affirmation of life that melts right into Track 2 (which consists of two songs) “Two Songs: 1. Let Us Go into the House of the Lord / 2. Butterfly Sunday.” The vocalizations are angelic and the harp literally tugs at the soul of your heart.

This review does not do this innovative album justice. You should stop what you’re doing and listen to it immediately.

Track listing

  1. “Bismillahi ‘Rrahman ‘Rrahim” – 18:23
  2. “Two Songs: 1. Let Us Go into the House of the Lord / 2. Butterfly Sunday” – 6:19
  3. “Madrigals of the Rose Angel: 1. Rossetti Noise / 2. The Crystal Garden and a Coda” – 14:16
  4. “Juno” – 8:18
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