On stage a sjuttiosexårig black man in the orange shirt and pants and says that he goes to a ”peace garden” and there is light everywhere. The table as his instrument is draped with a batikfärgat orange fabric. He tends to keep in, what he calls ”skrattworkshops” and often making the music for the meditations on home cassettes. He has taken the name Laraaji Nadabrahmanda (but really called Edward Larry Gordon).
He should be difficult to take really seriously. But there is a reason that Laraaji is filmed in a night of experimental music under the name ”the Sunday drone IV”.
Danish Offermose produced the powerful rumbling to electronic music that is similar to a requiem. And Scottish Iona Fortune creates compositions that clinks of high glasklanger and deep bass sound. She plays for the turn, with the side towards the audience, like a traditional concert pianist.
Laraaji was born in 1943 in Philadelphia. He studied music at a young age, later he played elpiano in jazzrockband. When he in the 1970s came across a zither at a pawn shop, everything changed. He fell in love with the sound of the string instrument, electrified it and started playing on the streets in New York city.
and then played into the Laraaji album ”Ambient 3: Day of radiance”. Since then he has published about fifty albums with klangrik improvised music. Laraaji is a headstrong visionary and makes me think of the other american eccentrics, Sun Ra, Moondog or Harry Partch.
He opens the concert by playing the brittle toner on the cittran that is slowly reinforced with the help of echo. He builds slowly up his sound with the help of bells, a tumpiano and a large gong. He sings short phrases that are looped.
It's not fuzzy, he is fully aware of every detail in the music. It is almost tactile, he creates sounds based on what the hands are looking for. We are sitting inside in a changing soundscape where time and space slowly disappears. Fascinating, enchanting.
Even his own perception of time seems to dissolve. In the end, he plays encore after encore, while the audience starts to go home. I have time to think: ”Now we are clapping, not more, otherwise he might continue all night.”
Then he stops.
Read more music reviews of Magnus Säll, for example, if the Kokokos home made punkfunk from Kinshasa .