Harold Budd

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About Harold Budd

A poet of the sustain pedal, Harold Budd pioneered new dimensions in ambient music from the late ‘70s onward. Born in Los Angeles in 1936, he played drums as a teenager before studying avant-garde composition in the ‘60s, but his big break didn’t come until 1978, when Brian Eno released his debut, The Pavilion of Dreams, a dreamlike fusion of ambient and jazz. Budd’s 1984 collaboration with Eno, The Pearl, established the contemplative style of piano—hushed, delicate, introspective—that would define much of his most beloved work. Among his most intimate recordings is 2003’s La Bella Vista, a private, impromptu living-room performance that producer Daniel Lanois captured on tape without the pianist’s knowledge. Budd’s influence on later generations stems in part from his 1986 team up with the Cocteau Twins, The Moon and the Melodies, a landmark fusion of ambient and New Wave. Budd would continue collaborating with the Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie throughout his life, including on 2020’s Another Flower, released just days before Budd’s death at 84.

Los Angeles, CA, United States of America
May 24, 1936