Ambient legend and new age pioneer Laraaji is the latest artist to participate in NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Over the course of a fifteen-minute performance, Laraaji and Arji “OceAnanda” Cakouros use chimes, shakers, mbira, and Laraaji’s trademark zither to conjure up a gorgeous tapestry of radiant, meditative sound. Ecstatic chants and recitations are interspersed throughout (education! elevation! concentration!), along with riffs on more familiar phrases like “this little light of mine.”
Laraaji is best known for his work with Brian Eno on Ambient 3: Day of Radiance—part of the Ambient series that includes Music For Airports, The Plateaux of Mirror, and On Land. Eno famously came across Laraaji busking in Washington Square Park and dropped a card into his instrument case. Since that landmark 1980 collaboration, Laraaji has worked on numerous ambient and new age zither recordings and conducted meditation workshops across the world. In the past few years, he’s released a series of albums on All Saints Records and had reissues, rarities, and archival collections put out via Numero Group.