Harold Budd is a one of a kind modern neo-classical artist creating high-callibre and complex music with unique and subtle tension and abstraction, and simultaneous almost-pastoral but as-often otherworldly mood. Within the first three notes of a Budd composition, with trademark fresh-as-improvisation sound, whether deep dark or bright light, the listener is transcended to an enlightened state within the balance of empty space, sometimes wistful nostalgia, frequent idealism and always persistent love and beauty.
In The Mist is the artist purely distilled. It is the music of Harold Budd at its most raw, emotive and minimalist. In addition, Harold is writing for string quartet. In The Mist is comprised of three distinct movements. Tracks 1-5, The Whispers, are minimalist, tonal, sometimes tone-bending piano compositions. Tracks 6-8, The Gun Fighters, are more dramatic piano compositions with sparse electronic effects and percussive elements. Tracks 9-13, Shadows, are new Harold Budd string quartets, which add an additional component of interest - minimal, abstract, moody compositions.
All Music Guide calls Harold "an American ambient/neo-classical composer". He is absolutely the World's number one minimalist, ambient, modern classical composer. That said, he abhors the word ambient. "Ambient: Everytime I read this word I cringe: I've been kidnapped by something I neither know of nor care about; it's better by 1000 times than "New Age" from 2 decades ago, but still..." Although his work is often called ambient, minimal and classical, these labels do no justice to the quiet beauty and uniqueness of the work.
"First impressions. VERY empty. A sad edge to a lot of the pieces. Nice choice of synthetic sounds.... Damn that's an empty landscape. De Chirico must be shitting himself." --Andy Partridge
"Tone bending: Interesting. Mike and I spent a lot of time getting a particular feel or sound I thought should be there. It all began with the 4tets on the first day's recording. I love string music but I hate the sceeching sound of string 4tets, thus we got to work after lunch. Took the highs out, softerned some attacks... very slight chorus reverb... then I asked for a harmonizer set at 101: no harmonizer, so: on Mike's program we simulated that, or close to it, and that was it. In fact, except for the first piece, we used it for the entire mix (not every piece "harmonized", however, -- piece-by-piece adjustments, alterations...)." --Harold Budd
1. Haru Spring
2. The Whispers
3. The Startled
4. The Foundry (for Mika Vainio)
5. The Art of Mirrors (after Derek Jarman)
6. Three-Fingered Jack
7. Greek George
8. Black Bart
9. Come Back To Me In Dreams
11.Sun At 6 Windows
12.The Panther of Small Favors
13.Mars and the Artist (after Cy Twombly)
Recorded and mixed by Michael Coleman at Orangewood Studio, Mesa, Arizona, March 2011.
String Quartet (9-13):
Linda J. Lambie, violin
Hisami Lijima, violin
Peter Rosato, viola
Richard Bock, cello
Special thanks: Cameron Allan, Linda J. Lambie.