Tuesday 24 May 2016, 8pm
Laraaji performs a live rendition of his classic album 'Ambient 3: Day of Radiance' (1980), the third installment of Brian Eno’s ambient music series.
LARAAJI - AMBIENT 3: DAY OF RADIANCE
Laraaji’s glistening album 'Ambient 3: Day of Radiance' has from the beginning been considered an outlier. Though widely celebrated at that the time of its release in 1980 - as the third installment of Brian Eno’s emerging ambient music series (Ambient 1-4) - the album also brought with it an aura of mystification. Where did it fit in? An uncharted synthesis of resonating zither textures, interlocking, hammered rhythms and 3-D sound treatments (courtesy of Eno) 'Day of Radiance' seemed to push open many doors at once, ambient music being only one of them.
Though there are certainly aspects of the album that find sonic common ground with other Eno-related 'ambient' projects, the album is not easily boxed into a singular genre. 'Day of Radiance' also mines the ethereal spiritualism of late 70’s New Age music (of which Laraaji is considered a pioneer), the harmonic and rhythmic repetitions of American classical minimalism (Terry Riley & Steve Reich) and traditional global sounds from India and Java (particularly gamelan music). And while Laraaji never explicitly embraced the 'Fourth World' theories of fellow visionary and Eno collaborator Jon Hassell, 'Day of Radiance' echoes a kindred exploratory exoticism.
“1980’s 'Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance' – a coruscating wash of zither and autoharp tones, and one of the most ecstatic ambient releases of the decade.” – FACT
“The album has a strong Eastern feel reminiscent of Javanese gamelan music, with ringing, percussive string tones and highly repetitive rhythms...Day of Radiance is a hypnotic listen.” – Pitchfork
“At once contemplative and joyous...Day Of Radiance established a template for the emerging New Age scene.” – Uncut
“Like Eno, the simplicity of the sound created by Laraaji here is deafening in its complexity. Layer upon layer of looped and repeated melodies create a wondrous cavalcade of near angelic sounds.” – Louder Than War
Laraaji is a musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He began playing music on the streets in the 1970s, improvising trance-inducing jams on a modified autoharp processed through various electronic effects. Brian Eno saw him playing one night in Washington Square Park and invited him to record an album for his seminal Ambient series (Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance, released 1980). Laraaji went on to release a prolific series of albums for a wide variety of labels, many of which he recorded himself at home and sold as cassettes during his street performances.
In September 2017 All Saints release a stunning pair of LPs of new studio recordings by the celestial music pioneer.
Bring On The Sun is an epic double album that runs the full gamut of ‘Laraaji music’, from blissed-out percussive jams to reflective vocal hymnals to trance-inducing drones. A perfect Laraaji entry-point on his never-ending creative journey through inner light. The record is recorded by Davey Jewell (Peaking Lights/Flaming Lips) and mixed by Carlos Niño (Leaving Records).
Sun Gong is a major new self-contained work experimenting with gong micro-tonalties processed through various electronic effects. The results are unlike any music he has made before - two side-long long-form pieces that evoke the sound of a shimmering metallic eternal wave.