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Gordon in 2019
|Birth name||Edward Larry Gordon|
|Also known as||Laraaji Nadabrahmananda|
|Born||1943 (age 76–77)|
|Origin||Philadelphia, United States|
|Genres||Ambient, drone, new age|
|Instruments||Zither, hammered dulcimer, piano, violin, music sequencer, keyboards|
Early life and career
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.
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 "discovered" by Brian Eno while playing in Washington Square Park. The result was 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's also started the Laughter Meditation Workshops which he still presents around the globe.
- Celestial Vibration (Swan – 1978)
- 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)(w. Brother Ah)
- Live at WNYC (Laraaji – 1985)
- One – All Loving One (Laraaji – 1985)
- Celestial Realms (Spirit Music – 1986) (w. Lyghte a.k.a. Jonathan Goldman)
- Once Upon a Zither (Laraaji – 1986)
- Essence/Universe (Jem – 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) (w. Mark Kramer)
- Freeflow – I'm in Heaven (Celestial Vibration – 1980s)
- I Am Healing (Celestial Vibration – 1980s) (w. 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)
- Automatic (Gyroscope – 1994) (as part of Channel Light Vessel)
- The Way Out Is the Way In (All Saints Records- 1995) (with Audio Active)
- Islands (Sine – 1995) (w. Roger Eno)
- Excellent Spirits (All Saints Records – 1996) (as part of Channel Light Vessel)
- Cascade (a.k.a. Enlighten) (Relaxation Co. – 1997)
- Divination/Sacrifice (Meta 1998) (w. Bill Laswell)
- Celestial Reiki (Etherean – 2000) (w. Jonathan Goldman)
- Shiva Shakti Groove (Collective – 2000)
- Celestial Zone (Laraaji – 2002)
- My Orangeness (VelNet – 2002)
- Celestial Reiki II (Etherean – 2002) (w. Jonathan Goldman & 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 (w. Nadi Burton – 2006)
- Song of Indra (w. Phil Gruber – 2006)
- Ambient Zither in G Pentatonic (Laraaji – 2007)
- Mountain Creek Water (Laraaji – 2007)
- Sonic Portals (Laraaji – 2008)
- FRKWYS Vol. 8 (Blues Control & Laraaji – 2011)
- Two Sides of Laraaji (Laraaji - 2013)
- Sun Gong (Laraaji - 2017)
- Bring On The Sun (Laraaji - 2017)
- Arrive Without Leaving (Flying Moonlight - 2018) (w. Arji OceAnanda & Dallas Acid)
- Sun Piano (Laraaji - 2020)
- Moon Piano (Laraaji - 2020)
- "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.