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The Pavilion of Dreams

"The road from my first colored graph piece in 1962 to my renunciation of composing in 1970 to my resurfacing as a composer in 1972 was a process of trying out an idea and when it was obviously successful abandoning it. The early graph piece was followed by the Rothko orchestra work, the pieces for Source Magazine, the Feldman-derived chamber works, the pieces typed out or written in longhand, the out-and-out conceptual works among other things, and the model drone works (which include the sax and organ "Coeur d'Orr" and "The Oak of the Golden Dreams", the latter based on the Balinese "Slendro" scale which scale I used again 18 years later on "The Real Dream of Sails").


"In 1970 with the "Candy-Apple Revision" (unspecified D-flat major) and "Lirio" (solo gong "for a long duration") I realized I had minimalized myself out of a career. It had taken ten years to reduce my language to zero but I loved the process of seeing it occur and not knowing when the end would come. By then I had opted out of avant-garde music generally; it seemed self-congratulatory and risk-free and my solution as to what to do next was to do nothing, to stop completely."


"I resurfaced as an artist in 1972 with "Madrigals of the Rose Angel", the first of what would be a cycle of works under the collective title The Pavilion of Dreams. Madrigals refused to accommodate or even acknowledge any issues in new music. The entire aesthetic was an existential prettiness; not the Platonic "to Kalon", but simply pretty: mindless, shallow and utterly devastating. Female chorus, harp and percussion seemed like a beautiful start. Its first performance was at a Franciscan church in California conducted by Daniel Lentz.


In a sense, the Two Songs are "in between" pieces. I wanted to acknowledge my fondness and regard for the music of John Coltrane and especially Pharoah Sanders whose paradisaical lyricism was magic to me.


With a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1975 I composed Bismillahi 'rrahim 'rrahim for Marion Brown. I had known Marion's work from his ESP recordings and of course Coltrane's "Ascension". We met while he was on tour of California. When he asked me for a work for his horn I was especially intrigued by the idea of two disparate languages coming together to form a third, unknown one. At the time, Marion was on the faculty at Wesleyan University and he produced a concert of "Bismillahi" and "Madrigals". A tape of that concert was "widely distributed" to say the least. It made its was to England among other places.


"Juno", for John Bergamo - percusion ensemble forced to sing. In the last two works I employed the singular beauties of Mexican mariachi marimbas.


"Pavilions" was recorded in London in 1976 at Basing Street Studios produced by Brian Eno and recorded by Rhett Davies. I met my English new music contemporaries: Brian, Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman. It was quite a time.



Los Angeles

October 1991 



A1   Bismillahi ´Rrahmani ´Rrahim

Composed by Harold Budd

Alto Saxophone – Marion Brown

Celesta – Richard Bernas

Electric Piano – Harold Budd

Glockenspiel – Gavin Bryars    

Harp – Maggie Thomas

Marimba – Howard Rees, Jo

Julian, John White, Michael Nyman


  Two Songs

Harp – Maggie Thomas

Vocals – Lynda Richardson


A2a  Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord

Composed By Harold Budd

A2b  Butterfly Sunday

Composed By John Coltrane

Adapted By Harold Budd

  Madrigals Of The Rose Angel

Composed By Harold Budd

Celesta – Gavin Bryars

Chorus – Alison Macgregor, Lesley

Reid, Lynda Richardson, Margaret

Cable, Muriel Dickinson, Ursula


Conductor – Harold Budd

Electric Piano – Richard Bernas

Harp – Maggie Thomas

Percussion – Nigel Shipway



B1a   Rossetti Noise

B1b   The Crystal Garden And A Coda

B2     Juno

Composed By Harold Budd

Glockenspiel – Gavin Bryars

Marimba – Michael Nyman

Percussion – John White

Piano – Harold Budd

Vibraphone – Howard Rees

Vibraphone [Vibes] – Jo Julian

Voice – Brian Eno, Gavin Bryars, Harold

Budd, Jo Julian, John White, Michael Nyman



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