Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recording: Laraaji

Artist: Laraaji / Laraaji and friends feat. Diely Mori Tounkara

Songs: [solo excerpt] / [final section]

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant IX"), October 16, 2014.

Laraaji - [solo excerpt]

Laraaji + Diely Mori Tounkara + Friends - [final section]

A night of sacred music, courtesy of electro-zither mystic Laraaji. Seated serenely cross-legged on stage, he began his set on his own, building up waves of rippling notes and peaceful drones before being joined by Scott Peterson on double bass and Brandon Valdivia and Colin Fisher (the members of Not The Wind, Not The Flag) on percussion and guitar. It should be noted that Peterson, of Prince Enoki's Insect Orchestra and many other projects, was the linchpin on this night, having worked with Laraaji before in the past as well as being connected through the yoga scene. (The active meditative properties of yoga, especially the "laughing yoga" that Laraaji is a practitioner of, are an entirely apt metaphor for the night's vibe.)

With the group in place, the music moved into some gently-forceful grooves, with lots of beautiful interplay that got even deeper when opener, kora master Diely Mori Tounkara, joined in. That opened up the space for a series of gorgeous frissons, with overlapping melodic runs rubbing up against one another. It also pushed guitarist Fisher into an interesting space that he doesn't always explore in other contexts, pulling back from the shredding he's capable of for a series of relaxed-but-fiery back-and-forths with Tounkara. A really beautiful night, and good for whatever ails you.

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