Avalon Sutra/As Long As I Can Hold My Breath
A two-CD combo, the composer and pianist’s last recording, Budd says he’s now expressed everything he wanted to. Three pieces in the Avalon suite titled “Arabesque” count down from 3 to 2 to 1, heading toward silence; and the 14 classically composed, ambiently rendered sections do shimmer on the edges of silence. Budd adds occasional soprano sax, flute and a string quartet to his delicate yet stark piano and synth lines, and each piece seems to suggest a place more than a feeling. But just where that might be is up to the listener. Budd’s modus is minimalist in intent—like Jean Follain’s poems, miniatures that reveal the transparence of the world—but impressionistic in execution, an elliptical and elegant mix. The second disc is a 69-minute re-mix of the last song of the suite by Akira Rabelais, a spacious, compelling and hypnotic wash, cloud music for a Nevada afternoon.