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Avalon Sutra [Original recording remastered]

Harold BuddAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2013 $14.85  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2014 $18.50  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Darla Records
  • ASIN: B00FXOO1P8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this 2004 two CD release from Avant Garde composer and musician Harold Budd. Avalon Sutra/As Long As I Can Hold My Breath was originally released on David Sylvian's SamadhiSound label.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful coda November 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
According to reports, Avalon Sutra is the final release from Harold Budd, and if that is indeed true, then at the very least he's going out on a strong note. A musician and composer for well over 4 decades, Budd has worked with the likes of Brian Eno and the Cocteau Twins (among others), scored films, and has assembled a large body of work that although somewhat new-agey at times, offers up remarkable consistency and even some great surprises (his By The Dawn's Early Light mixes spoken word, Native American themes, and ambient music like they were always meant to be together).

As mentioned above, one of the criticisms that I've always heard of Budd is that he's simply too soft (or new age, if you will), but let's face it, many of the early 'classic' ambient pieces (including Budd and Eno's Plateaux Of Mirrors, Eno's Music For Airports, etc etc) could easily fall into that category. Budd has shown over the years that he's one of the masters of calm and Avalon Sutra does nothing to break that streak. If anything, it's easily one of the better releases that he's put out, with subtle work from everyone involved to create another soothing release that doesn't relegate itself to wallpaper.

Largely piano driven, the album winds its way through 14 pieces that mix slightly varied instrumentation in a way that helps the album progress very nicely. The three-part "Arabesque" tracks all mingle expressive but subtle piano playing with soft beds of ambient drones and the slightly sharper tones of soprano saxophone played by John Gibson. "It's Steeper Near The Roses (for David Sylvian)" runs barely over a minute long, but is a touching vignette that blends heavily reverbed piano with warm strains of strings.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Igloo Magazine's REVIEW December 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Review by: James Knapman at [...]
(04.28.05) Samadhisound's fourth release (issued in late 2004) appears in the form of Harold Budd's last: Avalon Sutra, a double CD release featuring fourteen of Budd's classically pearlescent compositions on one disc, and a sixty-nine minute, one track remix of "As Long As I Can Hold My Breath" by Akira Rabelais with Budd and David Sylvian on the other. These are the parting works of an artist whose musical career has spanned three decades, and Budd now feels that he has fully expressed everything he wanted to through his music and wishes to retire. There could be no more fitting epitaph to Budd's work than Avalon Sutra, which presents to the listener a suite of often brief, classically ambient pieces of astounding beauty and delicacy.

Each piece has been intricately composed and performed on the piano with additional soprano saxophone, bass flute and on a number of pieces, a string quartet or the warm, hazy synthesizer and Rhodes accents that are common in Budd's work. That's almost as much as is constructive to say about them, in fact. Avalon Sutra is an almost emotionally neutral work; the experience and mastery that inform this album allow the pieces to transcend any immediately obvious emotional leanings leaving it entirely up to the listener to interpret, something of a rarity in music these days. Retrospective or introspective without becoming maudlin, they neatly avoid falling into unflatteringly rigid definitions such as 'autumnal' or 'melancholy,' indeed there is very little material here that can be categorized as 'autumnal;' such is the textural or emotional warmth that pervades each piece. Even the titles of the tracks reflect a sense of place rather than mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, sublime final work from Harold Budd October 2, 2005
By Eddie
Format:Audio CD
I first heard Harold Budd on his collaborative effort with Brian Eno on "Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror". I've listened to that more than some other Brian Eno CDs I have... to me, it really stands out as a great ambient work.

The 2-CD set, "Avalon Sutra/As Long As I Can Hold My Breath", has that same feel. The first CD is a thoughtful series of haunting pieces featuring piano, woodwind and strings. Each piece, while brief, seems to be a continuation of the previous one, like the whole CD is a long narrative composed of short sentences.

The second CD has just one hour-long piece -- " As Long As I Can Hold My Breath"-- a somewhat repetitive composition that, as you listen, becomes a musical mantra. About halfway through you realize that the music is quite hypnotic: interwoven into the rhythm of the steady ebb and flow of cello(?) is a lazy exchange between piano and violin.... just a few simple notes here and there, but it's the steady heartbeat of the cello (or viola, I'm not 100% on that one) that's really mesmerizing.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last Harold Budd album December 1, 2004
Format:Audio CD
After years of creating some of the best ambient music around, Harold Budd has decided to call it quits. You couldn't ask for a better swan song. This two CD set serves as both an excellent summation of his work to date, as well as a jumping point for those not familiar with his earlier works. Listening to this, you can hear elements and chords from Plateaux of Mirror and Pavilion of Dreams. There's also an hour-long piece (the title track) that suggests a less mournful Abandoned Cities, as well as collaborative pieces with flute and strings. A fine example of ambient music and an essential work for Budd enthusiasts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The luminous music of the heavens
Recent reports indicate that this isn't the final work from Harold Budd, after all -- but if it were, it would be an exceptionally graceful & moving farewell. Read more
Published on July 29, 2008 by William Timothy Lukeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Warmth and hypnotic rythym without the cheese
Well, most ambient albums have a vague cheesiness about them. Even the best ones can suffer slighty from it. Read more
Published on June 15, 2008 by Sean Kipling
5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful
Harold, if you take the trouble to read your reviews on Amazon, do us all a favour - don't retire!! This is a fine addition to a wonderful stable. Read more
Published on January 27, 2007 by CK
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the most transporting music you will ever hear
Imagine a rainy day with a bottle of wine spent dreaming of the things you once cherished. Lost loves, past friendships, the broken dreams of youth... Read more
Published on March 3, 2006 by Kirtan Nautiyal
5.0 out of 5 stars the most beautiful music i've ever heard need to say anything else. Makes you yearn for the lounge and sunset to contain this music. To hear a clip, go to [...]
Published on January 20, 2006 by Mariel Clemensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Avalon/Breath Swan Song
I have all the Budd recordings except for 'Abandoned Cities'.

The first of these disks, Avalon, is an expanded sound palette for Budd who has added glistening strings... Read more
Published on December 17, 2005 by Stephen Lindow
4.0 out of 5 stars The last and final work of Ambience



Hinduism. Read more
Published on March 21, 2005 by SystemStructure
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Coda
I was saddened to learn that this would be Harold Budd's final work. He reportedly has said he has nothing more to say. Read more
Published on March 11, 2005 by G. Katsoulis
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