The Cosmic Comedy of Laraaji :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

As evidenced by our last conversation with composer and teacher Laraaji, the man has a magical way with words. While so often contemplative music is defined by its serenity and placidity --to be clear, this is a feature, not a bug -- Laraaji's music balances its calm with spikes of animated joy. On his two new albums, Sun Gong and Bring on the Sun, he eases into worlds of pure sound vibration, creating a vibrant set of albums which convey his playful mysticism.

Laraaji :: Harmonica Drone

In advance of a reissue of his 1984 LP Vision Songs by Numero Group in January 2018, Laraaji joined AD via Skype to explore how his background as a comedian influences and infuses his work with its particular  humor and radiance.

Aquarium Drunkard: You have two new albums,  Sun Gong and Bring on the Sun. Do they have a connection in your mind?

Laaraji: They were recorded in the same three-day session.   The gong by itself is a direction of music, more of a sound vibration exploration. I use it for meditation and journeying.

AD: How does the sun tie into the proceedings?

Laraaji: During the improvisation in the studio, a song emerged, and the chorus line was, “Bring on the sun.” Matthew Jones of Warp Records liked that as a title of the album, even though the song didn’t make it to the album. Sun Gong was also suggested by Jones before we even started the recording, which sounded great to me. [I am drawn to] the energy of the sun, the significance of the sun as an all-radiating, eternal service being up in there in the sky.

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