Harold Budd & Clive Wright

A Song for Lost Blossoms

by Ian Mathers

6 October 2008

 

Harold Budd has come a long way since his seminal collaborations with Briano Eno (The Plateau of Mirror and The Pearl, the latter also including Daniel Lanois). Of course, since he’s a proponent of starkly minimal ambient, that’s another way of saying he hasn’t changed much at all. His newest work, a seventy-five minute album with Clive Wright from Cock Robin (of all places), would test your patience if it ever called that much attention to itself. It opens with the half-hour and change of “Pensive Aphrodite”, great glacial drifts of beauty piled up beneath Wright’s guitar (flaring intermittently like a more polite Fripp circa No Pussyfooting). 

The problem, though, is that Budd works in (and largely invented, let’s not forget) a genre where a certain kind of restrained beauty isn’t a goal so much as an entrance requirement, and “Pensive Aphrodite” doesn’t do much more than fulfill it. It’s pleasurable, perhaps useful, but in the same way as a million other neo-ambient excursions. The shorter tracks here tend to work better, whether it’s the title track which hosts a poetry reading, the restrained cymbal(?) hiss throughout “Of Many Mirrors,” the almost voices curling through “The Saint of Whispers” or even just Budd’s piano acting up a bit on the closing “Blind Flowers”. Lovely, impressive in its monolithic bulk, but for serious fans of the genre or composer only.

cover art

Harold Budd & Clive Wright

A Song for Lost Blossoms

(Darla)
US: 23 Sep 2008
UK: 7 Oct 2008

A Song for Lost Blossoms

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article