Laraaji at Beyond the Clouds
Brian Eno collaborator and healer of woes, the groovy ambient composer creates an uplifting atmosphere at RBMA Festival NY 2017.
One day in 1979, Edward Larry Gordon was playing music in Washington Square Park when a man passed by, gave him his phone number and got chatting. That man was Brian Eno, and this slightest of interactions led to Gordon’s best-known album as Laraaji – Ambient 3: Days of Radiance, the third in Eno’s lauded Ambient album series. Working within the realm of New Age electronics and experimental ambience, Philadelphia-born multi-instrumentalist Laraaji cuts a friendly and unusual figure: armed with his warm personal philosophy, drawing on Eastern mysticisms; his history of re-shaping musical instruments to suit his sonic ideas, like converting a zither into an electronic instrument to be played like a piano. Since the late ’70s, Laraaji has worked with ambient giants like Eno and Ashram ensemble leaders, released dozens of solo and collaborative albums, and ran Laughter Meditation Workshops that use laughter as a powerful force that can bring people together.