Resonant Thoughts: Harold Budd On New Age Music

“Well I’ll tell you very frankly that this whole ‘new age’ business is very distasteful to me. I don’t like being even considered in that category and I have almost no respect for it at all. To me it’s a kind of arrogant philosophical point of view where music has a metaphysical or biological function. I agree that music has a metaphysical function but when that’s your whole point of view, when it isn’t just a thing that happens out of the normal course of events, I think it becomes arrogant and rather precious. It smacks to me very much of science fiction religion and that’s not me. It’s very lightweight and very bothersome to me. ‘New age music’ is a marketing ploy and I don’t think it has anything to do with the actual truth about the meaning of the music. The only thing that rings my bell is serious music and music is that way when it’s impossible to analyse: ‘new age music’ is easily analysed.”

Harold Budd, Sound On Sound (1986)