(CelebrityAccess) — American avant-garde composer Harold Budd, known for his pioneering minimalist music, and for his collaborations with artists such as Brian Eno and Robin Guthrie, has died. He was 84.
Budd’s manager, Steve Takaki, told Rolling Stone that Budd died from complications of coronavirus.
A native of Los Angeles, Budd grew up in Victorville California, and after a hitch in the army where he performed in the regimental band, he went on to study music at the University of Southern California.
After graduation, he accepted a teaching position at the California Institute for the Arts and began composing music that drew from avant-garde and jazz influences. His 1972 work Madrigals of the Rose Angel came to the attention of Brian Eno, who brought Budd to London and signed him to his Obscure Records label.
In 1978, he released his debut album The Pavilion of Dreams, which included only 4 tracks, two of which clocked in at more than 14 minutes long.
While he was often associated with the ambient movement, Budd eschewed the label, telling Jason Hoffer in 2012 that he felt “kidnapped” by the genre.
Budd refined his sound in collaborations with Eno, on albums such as 1980’s The Plateaux of Mirror and 1984’s The Pearl, creating an atmospheric style of piano that he called ‘soft pedal.’
He also collaborated with Scottish musician Robin Guthrie and his group Cocteau Twins, including the 1985 album The Moon and the Melodies as well as soundtracks for American filmmaker Greg Araki films Mysterious Skin (2004) and White Bird in a Blizzard (2014).