Laraaji

Laraaji (born Edward Larry Gordon, 1943) is an American multi-instrumentalist specializing in piano, zither and mbira.

Laraaji
Laraaji in 2019
Laraaji in 2019
Background information
Birth nameEdward Larry Gordon
Also known asLaraaji Nadabrahmananda[1][2]
Born1943 (age 77–78)
OriginPhiladelphia, United States
GenresAmbient, drone, new age
Occupation(s)musician
InstrumentsZither, hammered dulcimer, piano, violin, music sequencer, keyboards
Years active1979–present
WebsiteLaraaji.blogspot.com

Early life and careerEdit

Born Edward Larry Gordon in Philadelphia, he studied violin, piano, trombone and voice in his early years in New Jersey.[3] He attended Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C., where he studied composition and piano.[4] After studying at Howard, he spent time in New York City pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian and actor.[5]

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.[6]

The following year he was encountered by Brian Eno while playing in Washington Square Park,[7] who went on to produce his most widely recognized release, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, the third installment of Brian Eno's Ambient series.[8] 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.[citation needed]

Laraaji's also started the Laughter Meditation Workshops which he still presents around the globe.[9]

ReleasesEdit

  • 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 (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)[10]
  • Two Sides of Laraaji (Laraaji - 2013)
  • Sun Gong (Laraaji - 2017)[11][12]
  • Bring On The Sun (Laraaji - 2017)[11][12]
  • Arrive Without Leaving (Flying Moonlight - 2018) (with Arji OceAnanda & Dallas Acid)[13]
  • Dreams of Sleep and Wakes of Sound (Laraaji, Merz, Shahzad Ismaily - 2019)[14][15]
  • Sun Piano (Laraaji - 2020)[16][17]
  • Moon Piano (Laraaji - 2020)

With othersEdit

  • Automatic (Gyroscope – 1994) – as part of Channel Light Vessel
  • Excellent Spirits (All Saints Records, 1996) – as part of Channel Light Vessel

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Laraaji Nadananda". Dwij.org. 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Laraaji. "LaraaJi NadaBrahmAnanda" (Blog). Laraaji.blogpsot.com. Retrieved September 14, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Laraaji - Biography". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Aref, Omar (June 21, 2009). "Ambient laughter". New Straits Times. ProQuest 272173874.
  5. ^ Galil, Leor. "Zither maestro Laraaji continues exploring musical paths no one else can see". Chicago Reader. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  6. ^ Beta, Andy (August 21, 2015). "From Stand-Up Comic to Master of Trance Music". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  7. ^ Mark Richardson (August 7, 2015). "Laraaji: All In One Peace Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Pattison, Louis (November 2015). "Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance". Uncut. ProQuest 1737438785.
  9. ^ "Laraaji: the Brian Eno of laughter | Music". The Guardian. February 20, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Blues Control / Laraaji: FRKWYS Vol. 8". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ a b "Laraaji: Sun Gong / Bring on the Sun". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b "Laraaji: Sun Gong/Bring on the Sun review – shimmering sonic explorations". The Guardian. September 14, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Laraaji / Arji OceAnanda / Dallas Acid: Arrive Without Leaving". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Lewis, John (June 21, 2019). "Merz/Laraaji/Ismaily: Dreams of Sleep and Wakes of Sound review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Laraaji: Sun Piano". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Lewis, John (July 10, 2020). "Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño: Chicago Waves review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 12, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit