Jazz-Zither-Piano-Man Laraaji Discusses His Decades of Meditative Improvisations: A Nakedly Examined Music Podcast Conversation (#134)

Jazz mul­ti-instru­men­tal­ist Edward Lar­ry Gor­don Jr. became Laraa­ji around the same time he start­ed releas­ing med­i­ta­tive zither music in the late 70s and was then dis­cov­ered by Bri­an Eno, who pro­duced “The Dance No. 1” from  Ambi­ent 3: Day of Radi­ance (1980). Laraa­ji has since had around 40 releas­es of large­ly impro­vised music, and this inter­view (below) explores his approach toward impro­vi­sa­tion on numer­ous instru­ments, play­ing “func­tion­al” music intend­ed to aid med­i­ta­tion and reflec­tion, and the evo­lu­tion of Laraa­ji’s unique musi­cal vision.

Each episode of Naked­ly Exam­ined Music fea­tures full-length pre­sen­ta­tions of four record­ings dis­cussed by the artist with your host Mark Lin­sen­may­er. Here we present “Hold on to the Vision” and “Shenan­doah” from Laraa­ji’s lat­est release, Sun Piano (2020), the sin­gle edit of “Intro­spec­tion” from Bring On the Sun (2017), and “All of a Sud­den,” a 1986 vocal tune released on Vision Songs, Vol. 1 (2017). Get more infor­ma­tion at laraaji.blogspot.com.

Want more? Hear all of “The Dance No. 1.” Watch the live TV ver­sion of “All of a Sud­den” we dis­cuss, as well anoth­er episode of Celestrana fea­tur­ing Dr. Love the pup­pet. Watch a sim­i­lar, recent iso­la­tion stream also fea­tur­ing Dr. Love and much more. Lis­ten to the full glo­ry of “Intro­spec­tion” and the trip that is “Sun Gong.” Check out some live gong play­ing. Here’s a remix of “Intro­spec­tion” by Dntel.

Find the archive of song­writer inter­views at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com or get the ad-free feed at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Naked­ly Exam­ined Music is a pod­cast. Mark Lin­sen­may­er also hosts The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Phi­los­o­phy Pod­cast and Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast, and releas­es music under the name Mark Lint.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.