Personnel: Harold Budd (various instruments); Terrence Budd (acoustic guitar); Chas Smith (pedal steel guitar, metal crotales).
Recorded at Orangewood Studios, Mesa, Arizona.
Personnel: Harold Budd (piano, synthesizer).
When Harold Budd makes "space music," he doesn't conjure images of galaxies and planets. He is an architect of small spaces--rooms lit, or unlit, by sun, moon, or candle. THE ROOM began as a single piece on Budd's 1988 album THE WHITE ARCADES, and refracted into a number of other studies, 12 of which are captured here. A new recording of the original composition, "The Room," also appears at the very end.
As with all of Budd's albums, reverb and silence play a big role. These rooms echo with both emptiness and warmth. Budd uses chimes, distortion and, most effectively, the deep strains of a Hammond organ to sketch the contours of each sonic chamber. The occasional guitar appears, as in the compelling conversation between acoustic piano and pedal steel guitar in "Room of Ancillary Dreams." Budd makes startling use of feedback on "The Candied Room," transforming simple piano chords into shimmering salvos of harp-like sound. Compositionally, the highlight of this record is "The Room of Mirrors," a quietly dramatic organ fugue. Although Budd is not a piano virtuoso, his genius is in wresting commanding and complex sounds from a limited palette and a single source of inspiration.
Alternative Press (12/00, p.92) - 4 out of 5 - "...A celestial escape....Budd is still meditating in front of his piano after all these years....coaxing short, gentle runs and hanging, sustained chords...surrounding his contemplative melodies with light clouds of floating, synthesized atmospherics..."
The Wire (10/00, p.61) - "...[His] music freights the haunted air of desert landscapes, the gravity of San Franciscan beat prosody from the 50s and a homeopathic tincture of the exotica composers whose music washed over the Pacific Coast during the same era..."
Mojo (Publisher) (12/00, p.114) - "...Gently caressed grand piano and Fender Rhodes, with various luxuriant reverbs the only real accompaniment. It's delicious stuff....A near-perfectly balanced essay in less is more-ism."