100 Things #34: Colorful Fortune, Harold Budd’s collection of written work.

This time around, I will gush.

I was introduced to Harold Budd by proxy. I found out that he had a hand in a few of the Cocteau Twins’s songs, and I had to find out who this man was, on account of the fact that I am a HUGE fan of the Cocteau Twins. To my surprise I see that not only has he got his own work out there, there is a lot to choose from.

I begin my exploration with an album co-created by him and Zeitgeist, titled She is a Phantom.

In the middle of the gentle, chamber ambient, there are pieces that have…not lyrics, but verse, recited over the music. The man’s poetry lifts over the music, creating images at once lovely and disturbing—and in the case of “We Step Across,” humorously jarring. I start hunting around, discovering that a small imprint has printed a limited edition collection of his work: 50 hardbacks and 200 trade paperbacks.

I was lucky to score a paperback. It’s one of my treasures now, stored on the shelf carefully shielded from damage.

I did read it first, after washing my hands thoroughly, drying them on linen towels, drying my hands a second time on a different towel, and then very carefully before opening the first page and getting a strong hit of that delicious new-book smell. I read slowly, savoring the text, and the feel of the expensive pages under my fingertips. Then, carefully, I took the text down, saving it to a document I could put on my readers and safely carry everywhere.

I have no idea if there are any remaining copies to be had. That can always be checked, though.

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