Personnel includes: Brian Eno (various instruments); Harold Budd (piano).
The music of California-born composer Harold Budd has little in common with the hypnotic Eastern-influenced pulsing of fellow minimalists like Philip Glass or Terry Riley. Instead, his sometimes atonal but often pastoral and lulling compositions for piano most recall the influence of Erik Satie. For their second collaboration, THE PEARL, Budd and co-writer/producer Brian Eno eschew the lengthy explorations of their previous album, THE PLATEAUX OF MIRRORS, in favor of 11 brief miniatures between two and five minutes each. Given evocative, imagistic titles like "Late October" and "Lost in the Humming Air," Budd's watery, occasionally jazz-inflected piano solos are subtly supported by non-obtrusive layers of synthesizers, tape effects and other instrumentation by Eno and co-producer Daniel Lanois. Less trance-inducing than Eno's full-fledged ambient works, THE PEARL is nonetheless a gentle and quiet record as accessible to fans of Satie and Bill Evans as it is to minimalist and ambient enthusiasts.