Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Serpent: In Quicksilver / Abandoned Cities
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop, Rock
Mid-price reissue of 1984 release, the full title is The Serpent (In Quicksilver)/Abandoned Cities. Consists of five solo keyboard works and one very interesting collaboration between Budd and pedal steel player Chas Smith... more »
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Mid-price reissue of 1984 release, the full title is The Serpent (In Quicksilver)/Abandoned Cities. Consists of five solo keyboard works and one very interesting collaboration between Budd and pedal steel player Chas Smith. That piece, titled 'Afar,' evokes some of the music Brian and Roger Enoand Daniel Lanois were making at around the same time to accompany a film about the Apollo space mission. Import only.
A quicksilver review
CK | Australia | 01/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I first stumbled across The Pearl about 20 years ago. Since then I have gradually accummulated more of Harold Budd's albums and Quicksilver is my 9th. The six songs of the Serpent in Quicksilver component of this album are very reminscent of The Pearl - that wonderful, echoing, sparse piano that always reminds me of a lonely field on a frosty morning.
However, I found Dark Star bleak and interminable. I have only managed to get through the entire 20 minutes once, an enforced listen while driving to see if anything happened to the composition half way through. It doesn't. I note in the cover notes that Dark Star was originally a 5 minute sketch - it should have stayed that length.
Abandoned Cities is equally lengthy, but thankfully less depressing.
If it wasn't for Dark Star I would have given this album 4 stars. But for Harold Budd enthusiasts, still worth the money.
One of my favorite Harold Budd recordings
Gordon M. Wagner | Suburbia | 02/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Powerful, imposing music -- good for epic passages in your life. Harold Budd is one of the few artists that I can think of who have truly expanded the scope of music in our strange and frightening postnuclear, postmodern, postfreedom era.
Definitely worth the money -- buy it now while it's available. It's not party music, but there's really something there, you know? This isn't wallpaper music."
Scott Fisher | 04/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These aren't Harold Budd's most accessible recordings, but they're well worth listening to. The songs from "The Serpent (in Quicksilver)" are more typical of many of his other albums in that they're short, sketchy things. Of these Afar is perhaps my favorite with the pedal steel.
The "Abandoned Cities" portion of the disk consists of "Dark Star" and "Abandoned Cities" which are long 20-minute pieces. These pieces come closer to being drones in which the changes are between consonance and dissonance of the slowly shifting parts. On a more basic level, there's a good amount of "beating" between the harmonics and perhaps from whatever effects were put on things. You can't be in a hurry with this stuff, and just let it wash over you as a kind of wall of shifting harmonics. It does evolve and goes somewhere slowly. This is the kind of music you need to feel more than hear, especially since a lot of the action is in the low bass range.
I absolutely love the fact that there is a slightly dissonant side, which some people interpret as "dark." It isn't really dark, but just very sustained with a huge focus on the evolving/beating timbres of the sounds. The stuff is brilliant and really exposes both Harold Budd's and Brian Eno's ideas about ambient music containing serious elements and some darkness in contrast to the "New Age" music of the time that superficially resembled some things they did, but was mostly simple and vacuous."