Laraaji “Through Luminous Eyes”

Through Luminous Eyes is the final release of a trio that All Saints put out through the latter half of 2020. It follows two solo piano improvisation albums – Sun Piano and Moon Piano – and adds his trademark zither to the mix. Spiritual vistas emerge through the interplay between the zither and piano transporting you through space and time and into a place where solace reverberates through the walls. 

Incredibly, all the music here was played live with no overdubs. Laraaji played piano with one hand, zither with the other. I often think about music and art that channels otherworldly spirits and energies, though it’s exceedingly rare, but Through Luminous Eyes is like bathing in the ethereal borealis. Eyes closed, breath slowed; you are transported to another world. Cosmic mountains of illuminated ambience lifts moods and sets designs against the darkness ahead. Of all Laraaji’s recent work, I get utterly lost within these drifting aural stairways. Music can be heaven when you have the right guide. 

Throughout its brief running time, Through Luminous Eyes effervesces what the phrase ‘healing music’ means. Laraaji forges restorative silver galaxies of contemplative sound that, if you let down your guard, envelop you like a warm, thoughtful embrace. These songs are from another place, shared with the truest intentions. 

Laraaji saved my life in 2020. Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, but during some of the hardest moments in summer as uncertainty and burnout from the pandemic mounted, every morning I was able to find grounding in Laraaji’s existential music. My admiration for not just his work, but for the energy he pours into the world by simply being his true self is at all-time high. Experiencing one of his laughter workshops is one of my big goals post-pandemic. Laraaji is a treasure.