Laraaji and Sun Araw
Laraaji and Sun Araw
on a scholarship to study composition and piano. After studying at Howard, he spent time in New York pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian and actor. In the early seventies he began to study Eastern mysticism and believed he'd found a new path for his music and his life. It was also at this time he bought his first zither from a local pawn shop. Converting it to an electronic instrument, he began to experiment using the instrument like a piano.
By 1978, he developed enough skill to begin busking in the parks and on the sidewalks of New York. The following year he was "discovered" by Brian Eno while playing in Washington Square Park. The result was his most widely-recognized release, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance, the third instalment of Eno's Ambient series. This was his first album released under the name of Laraaji. This international exposure led to many requests for longer versions of his compositions which he supplied to many meditation groups on cassette tapes. It also resulted in an expansion of his mystic studies with such gurus as Swami Satchidananda and Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, founder of the Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York. Cameron Stallones began his musical career as a founding member of the experimental psychedelic rock collective Magic Lantern.
Soon after, demos originally intended to light the Lantern became the first Sun Araw LP: The Phynx. Sun Araw blossomed as a solo project in attempted geosynchronous orbit with the Eternal Now: oblique six-dimensional transmissions from changeless environs. Structural and spiritual inspiration for Sun Araw comes primarily from Cameron’s first artistic love: film and filmmakers, especially those invested in the long-take (Tarkovsky, Altman, Bela Tarr, Greenaway). Devoted to long-form mantric music, the ethos is similar: straight lampin’ in deep focus, angle after angle on the melodic object, gaining strength from the subsequent breakdown of the illusion of fixed perspective.
Since 2007, 4 full-length LPs, 3 EPs, and 5 cassettes have walked the mind-planes from psychedelic drone to melted afrobeat, from warped dub to minimal composition. These releases have been praised in Wire Magazine (who selected Heavy Deeds as one of the top 50 records of 2008, and On Patrol in the top 50 of 2010), The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Uncut Magazine, Mojo, Pitchfork, and beyond. Sun Araw has performed in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand with hundreds of artists including luminaries like Christian Fennesz and Konono No. 1.
In early 2011, Cameron and M. Geddes Gengras traveled to Jamaica where they produced and recorded a collaboration album with roots reggae legends The Congos, set for release in the fall. While in and around Kingston, they also began producing dancehall singles and tracking local toasters under the name Duppy Gun Productions, which will be seeing release this summer. Spiraling outwards along mandalic patterns, Sun Araw has become a total vehicle for artistic expression as Cameron creates the extensive artwork for each release, writes detailed liner notes, and has directed the music video for the single “Deep Cover.” Read more on Last.fm.
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