Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laraaji – Ambient 3: Day of Radiance (1980)

I have already reviewed Ambient 1 and Ambient 2 on this blog. So now, here's the third album of the Ambient Series.

When I first heard it, it was probably my least favorite of the Ambient Series, because it is so different from the three others. But it grew on me with the years and I'm starting to enjoy it more each time I listen to it.

Laraaji (Edward Larry Gordon) is a musician from Philadelphia. He studied the violin, piano and trombone in his early years. However, he became famous when Brian Eno heard him play the dulcimer in Washington Square Park, and decided to introduce him to the world, producing this album.

The album really has an eastern mysticism feel (sometimes reminescent of the sound of gamelan music). The songs mix dulcimer and zither, with little or no electronic effect. The music is more intense in the beginning of the album (The Dance #1, #2 and #3) and start to slow down as the album progresses. You really feel that the album is getting slower as it plays, slowly disintegrating. My favorite tracks are Meditation #1 and Meditation #2 at the end of the album. Those two tracks sound more like the other albums of the Ambient Series.

After releasing Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, Laraaji has worked in meditation and yoga workshops and released other zither albums.


  1. Oh my god this album!!! I first heard it about twenty years ago, while tripping on acid, and it totally blew my mind! Very powerful, consciousness-expanding music. After I heard it, it took me many months to find out what it actually was---obviously there was no internet then. It has been a favorite ever since.

    Laraaji has a few other albums, some are quite magical, but this is truly unique (thanks to Eno, of course).

    1. Music is so everywhere nowadays, Im not your age, Ive almost always known the internet.

      But I remember there was something exciting when I asked the DJ what was playing and I was finally was able to buy the CD (before napster, limewire and soulseek).

      Rarity created desire. Not much is rare anymore, obviously that's a good thing. But it's a little bit boring sometimes !

    2. It's a mixed blessing, I suppose. And there's no turning back!

    3. Just wondering, where did you learn to sing like that? Did you take singning lesson from Lisa Gerrard?

    4. I've been a fan of Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins since their very first releases. Their work truly resonated with me, opened inner doors at a time when they were ready to open. When I heard Lisa Gerrard and Elizabeth Fraser sing, I knew why I was given the voice that I have, though it was a number of years before I actually started making music of my own. I haven't thought about it in a long time, thank you for asking!