The 1978 recording debut from reformed avant-garde composer and eventual ambient forerunner Harold Budd consists of four chamber works (written between 1972 and 1975) that use varying combinations of harp, mallet instruments, piano, saxophone, and female or male vocals. Two years before his fateful first studio collaboration with Brian Eno (who produced this album), Budd was creating hypnotic music in an acoustic mode. All of the works herein--including "Two Rooms," whose latter half is an adaptation of John Coltrane's "After the Rain"--sustain a similarly dreamy vibe. An important credo for Budd was to make music as pretty as possible as an antidote to the noisy avant-garde he had escaped from. One cannot fault him for the lovely sounds he creates here, although fans familiar with his more cinematic works might be caught off-guard. Regardless, the pleasant Pavilion of Dreams provides insight into Budd's past, and it offers the same somniferous effect as a gentle lullaby, making it perfect for late-evening listening.(-Bryan Reesman)
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