New York's African-American musician Laraaji (Edward Larry Gordon) performed trance/cosmic music
with mystical overtones for amplified zither on the two 24-minute suites of
Celestial Vibrations (1978): All Pervading and Bethelehem.
This was a case of "free-jazz meets ambient music".
Discovered by Brian Eno, Laraaji was able to market
Day Of Radiance (1980) as ambient music. In reality
The Dance #1 is an essay of ferocious minimalist pattern a` la
The Dance #2 is slightly gentler, Chinese-sounding with a little
more variation, but still a very percussive piece.
The 19-minute Meditation #1 is the closest thing to ambient music:
a delicate filigree of tones that floats like a feather in a sunny sky,
attaining the transcendental quality of an angelic choir, and eventually
Meditation #2 is even slower and more subdued, almost sinister in
the way it does not coalesce in a coherent flow despite a sudden and brief surge.
Celestial Realms (1986) and Essence/ Universe (1987) are
perhaps more profound albums, notably the oneiric 30-minute Universe,
a slowly revolving of celestial nebulae.
Sun Zither contains more zither solos.
The 25-minute suite Being Here, off Flow Goes The Universe (1992),
is perhaps his most virtuoso concerto, a slow and elegant metamorphosis during
which the zither's floating timbres evoke other instruments of the orchestra,
interact with each other, emanate each other, are swallowed into each other
and, generally, continuously reinvent themselves while maintaining the
overall shape of a cosmic nebula.
Space Choir and In Continuum
are facile new-age music (the latter simulates a synthesizer, the latter
The 12-minute A Cave In England is simply a humble commentary to
the field recording of water falling into the cave.
Zither Dance returns to the minimalist patterns of his beginnings.
Laughing In Tongues a jovial cabarettish
song that seems to hark to folk music.
Laraaji also released several self-produced cassettes.
Il newyorkese Laraaji (Edward Larry Gordon) esegue musica da trance
mistica per cetra amplificata, che Brian Eno tentò di vendere come una branca della musica
Celestial Realms e Celestial Vibrations sono le prove
più sublimi nella sua vena per meditazione.
Day Of Radiance è l'album che lo
accomunò alla scuola di Eno, e Essence/ Universe ne
continua il concetto.
Sun Zither contiene assoli allo strumento.
La suite Being Here, su Flow Goes The Universe,
è soprattutto un pretesto per giocare con i timbri dell'amplificazione, trasforma la cetra in arpa o
dulcimer. Sullo stesso album Zither Dance e Laughing In Tongues segnalano anche una
variante più giocosa della sua arte.
Laraaji è anche titolare di una serie di cassette di musica
The title of
My Orangeness (Vel, 2001) relates to his ondness for wearing orange.
Celestial Reiki (2000) and
Celestial Reiki II (2004)
were collaborations with Jonathan Goldman.
Frkwys Vol. 8 (2011) was an 88-minute collaboration with Blues Control.
The double-disc Celestial Music (2013),
Connecting With the Inner Healer Through Music (2015),
Be Still and Glow (2016),
Om Namah Shivaya (2016)
Sun Transformations (2018) contains remixes.
Unicorns in Paradise (2015) collects music performed in 1981
with an electric keyboard and an open-tuned zither harp.
Sun Gong (2017) turned to gongs and chimes.
Bring on the Sun (2017) is one of his most varied collections,
with compositions in a number of different styles.
Various collaborations are documented on
Arrive Without Leaving (2018),
The Onrush of Eternity (2019) and
Dreams of Sleep and Wakes of Sound (2019).
Sun Piano (2020) was his first album of piano solos.