This sublime, tranquil recording features 11 haunting ambient tone poems for treated piano. They are crafted from simple chords, arpeggios, or melodies that are frequently trailed by delicate electronic whispers to produce dreamy results. Even though Budd and Eno chose to compose and record in a minimalist style, their gorgeous, moody music evokes so much more, for the reverberating spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves. In an interesting experiment, both "Against the Sky" and "An Echo of Night" explore the same melancholic musical theme in different settings--the former is a sparse piano piece with gentle electronic treatments, the latter is a murky synth work set against a nocturnal outdoor backdrop. (Budd later explored the theme again as the ethereal elegy "Olancha Farewell" on his 1986 solo album, Lovely Thunder
.) Beautifully understated, the slow-motion ballet of The Pearl
is a piece of striking ambient impressionism that was highly original in its day, well before the myriads of New Age imitators its composers spawned, and it remains fresh and vital two decades later. --Bryan Reesman
UK reissue of this digitally remastered edition of Harold Budd's 1984 collaboration with Brian Eno. 11 tracks. Virgin. 2009.