Laraaji (born Edward Larry Gordon, 3rd May 1943) is an American multi-instrumentalist specializing in piano, zither and mbira. His albums include the 1980 release Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, produced by Brian Eno as part of his Ambient series.
|Birth name||Edward Larry Gordon|
|Also known as||Laraaji Nadabrahmananda|
|Born||1943 (age 78–79)|
|Origin||Philadelphia, United States|
|Genres||Ambient, new age|
|Instruments||Zither, hammered dulcimer, piano, violin, music sequencer, keyboards|
Early life and careerEdit
Born Edward Larry Gordon in Philadelphia, he studied violin, piano, trombone and voice in his early years in New Jersey. He attended Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C., where he studied composition and piano. After studying at Howard, he spent time in New York City pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian and actor, as well as playing Fender Rhodes electric piano in a jazz-rock band ‘Winds of Change’.
In the early 1970s, he began to study Eastern mysticism and believed he'd found a new path for his music and his life. It was also at this time he bought his first zither from a local pawn shop. Converting it to an electronic instrument, he began to experiment using the instrument like a piano. By 1978, he developed enough skill to begin busking in the parks and on the sidewalks of New York. He favored the northeast corner of Washington Square Park, where he would improvise for hours on end with his eyes closed.
The following year he was encountered by Brian Eno while playing in Washington Square Park, who went on to produce his most widely recognized release, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, the third installment of Brian Eno's Ambient series. This was his first album released under the name of Laraaji.
This international exposure led to requests for longer versions of his compositions which he supplied to meditation groups on cassette tapes. It also resulted in an expansion of his mystic studies with such gurus as Swami Satchidananda and Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, founder of the Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York.
Laraaji also started the Laughter Meditation Workshops, which he still presents around the globe.
- Celestial Vibration (Swan, 1978) – under the name Edward Larry Gordon
- Lotus-Collage (Laraaji – 1979)
- Ambient 3: Day of Radiance (Editions EG, 1980) – produced by Brian Eno
- I Am Ocean (Celestial Vibration – 1981)
- Unicorns in Paradise (Laraaji – 1981)
- Rhythm N' Bliss (Third Ear, 1982)
- Om Namah Shivaya (Celestial Vibration, 1984)
- Sun Zither (Laraaji – 1984)
- Vision Songs #1 (Laraaji – 1984)
- Open Sky (Celestial Vibration, 1985) – with Brother Ah
- Live at WNYC (Laraaji – 1985)
- One – All Loving One (Laraaji – 1985)
- Celestial Realms (Spirit Music, 1986) – with Lyghte a.k.a. Jonathan Goldman)
- Once Upon a Zither (Laraaji – 1986)
- Essence/Universe (Audion, 1987)
- Music for Films III (Opal, 1988) – various artists
- Zither Bliss (Laraaji – 1987)
- White Light Music (Laraaji – 1987)
- Urban Saint (Laraaji – 1987)
- Sol (Laraaji – 1987) – with Mark Kramer
- Freeflow – I'm in Heaven (Celestial Vibration, 1980s)
- I Am Healing (Celestial Vibration, 1980s) – with Shree Vena
- I Am Loved (Laraaji – 1980s)
- I Am Sky (Laraaji – 1980s)
- Bring Forth (Your Highest Vision) (Laraaji – 1980s)
- Selected New Music III (Clear Music, 1991) – various artists
- Flow Goes the Universe (All Saints Records, 1992) – produced by Michael Brook
- The Way Out Is the Way In (All Saints Records, 1995) – with Audio Active
- Islands (Sine – 1995) – with Roger Eno
- Cascade(a.k.a.Enlighten)(Relaxation Co. – 1997)
- Divination/Sacrifice (Meta 1998) – with Bill Laswell
- Celestial Reiki (Etherean – 2000) – with Jonathan Goldman
- Shiva Shakti Groove (Collective – 2000)
- Celestial Zone (Laraaji – 2002)
- My Orangeness (VelNet – 2002)
- Celestial Reiki II (Etherean – 2002) – with Jonathan Goldman and Sarah Benson
- Water & Soft Zither (Laraaji – 2004)
- Laughter: The Best Medicine (Laraaji – 2004)
- Chakra Balancing Music(Laraaji – 2004)
- In-A-Celestial-Water-Garden/release/3834417 In a Celestial Water Garden(Laraaji -2005)
- Sonic Sketches (with Nadi Burton – 2006)
- Song of Indra (with Phil Gruber – 2006)
- Ambient Zither in G Pentatonic (Laraaji – 2007)
- Mountain Creek Water (Laraaji – 2007)
- Sonic Portals (Laraaji – 2008)
- FRKWYS Vol. 8 (Blues Control and Laraaji – 2011)
- Two Sides of Laraaji (Laraaji - 2013)
- Sun Gong (Laraaji - 2017)
- Bring On The Sun (Laraaji - 2017)
- Arrive Without Leaving (Flying Moonlight - 2018) (with Arji OceAnanda & Dallas Acid)
- Dreams of Sleep and Wakes of Sound (Laraaji, Merz, Shahzad Ismaily - 2019)
- Sun Piano (Laraaji - 2020)
- Moon Piano (Laraaji - 2020)
- Through Luminous Eyes (All Saints Records - 2020) cassette only, available as triple cassette boxset with Sun Piano and Moon Piano.
- Circle of Celebration (NOUS with Laraaji and Arji OceAnanda - 2021) https://www.oursilentcanvas.org/nouslaraaji
- "Laraaji Nadananda". Dwij.org. 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
- Laraaji. "LaraaJi NadaBrahmAnanda" (Blog). Laraaji.blogpsot.com. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
- "Laraaji - Biography". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Aref, Omar (June 21, 2009). "Ambient laughter". New Straits Times. ProQuest 272173874.
- Galil, Leor. "Zither maestro Laraaji continues exploring musical paths no one else can see". Chicago Reader. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- Beta, Andy (August 21, 2015). "From Stand-Up Comic to Master of Trance Music". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- Mark Richardson (August 7, 2015). "Laraaji: All In One Peace Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Pattison, Louis (November 2015). "Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance". Uncut. ProQuest 1737438785.
- "Laraaji: the Brian Eno of laughter | Music". The Guardian. February 20, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "Blues Control / Laraaji: FRKWYS Vol. 8". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Laraaji:Sun Gong and Bring on the Sun". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Laraaji:Sun Gong and Bring on the Sun review – shimmering sonic explorations". The Guardian. September 14, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Laraaji / Arji OceAnanda /Dallas Acid: Arrive Without Leaving". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Laraaji, Merz and Shahzad Ismaily: Dreams of Sleep and Wakes of Sound — an experimental odyssey". www.ft.com. July 5, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- Lewis, John (June 21, 2019). "Merz/Laraaji/Ismaily: Dreams of Sleep and Wakes of Sound review". The%20Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Laraaji: Sun Piano". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- Lewis, John (July 10, 2020). "Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño: Chicago Waves review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 12, 2020.