Harold Budd, an innovative American composer who helped pioneer the genre of ambient music has died at the age of 84, due to COVID-19 complications.
Budd who collaborated with Brian Eno and Cocteau Twins, and his solo work combined elements of jazz, minimalism and more inspired experimental electronic music.
The official page on facebook confirmed the news “HAROLD BUDD 1936-2020. Harold Budd passed away today at the age 84 years old from complications of COVID-19.
Thank you to all of the friends and fans who have so wonderfully supported him through the years. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Born in Los Angeles, California (1936), Harold Budd had music ingrained from childhood. Budd developed a style of piano playing he deemed “soft pedal”. The official website stated “Although Harold’s music is intimately associated with his unique “soft pedal” style of piano, he did not actually take up the instrument until his late 30’s. He rebelled against the conventional notion that composers should also be keyboardists.
After high school, Harold went to work at Northrup, working a blue collar job to support the family. At 21, he decided to get himself an education and enrolled at Los Angeles Community College for a course in music theory. “From that moment on,” he recalls, “I had an insatiable appetite. Harmony, counterpoint, Renaissance music: I really heard it for the first time.”
Cocteau Twins posted “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Harold Budd. Rest in peace, poet of the piano.
Here’s the raw footage of Harold and Robin playing live in Prague in 2013. Harold was hidden behind the piano all the time…”