Arrive Without Leaving, out October 12 via vinyl, digital download and streaming services via Flying Moonlight Records, is the new collaboration from LARAAJI, Dallas Acid, and Arji OceAnanda. The day after all parties shared a bill at National Sawdust at Vibramonk Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, all parties entered the recording studio for one six-hour session.
Christian Havins, who co-founded Dallas Acid with Michael Gerner adds, “We didn’t think it was actually going to happen until LARAAJI and Arji showed up at the studio. Until they did, we didn’t have time to think about it. But LARAAJI immediately went to work on the zither. We tried to keep up with him as best as we could. We tried not to get in the way. There was a lot of space open for us to do our thing.”
LARAAJI is a multi-instrumentalist best known for his performances on his self-designed (and electrified) zither. A pioneer in ambient music, his Brian Eno-produced breakout out was Ambient 3: Days of Radiance, produced by none other than Brian Eno. A former composition and piano student, stand-up comic, and actor, he soon embraced a spiritual path, recording a number of titles for various Eno imprints and creating music for meditation groups.
“It was complete improvisation,” says Dallas Acid Member Linda Beecroft, “like painting the air with music.” She adds that Arji’s contributions were especially deft. “She played so beautifully,” Beecroft notes.
Arji OceAnanda (Cakourous) is a sound healer, musician, Reiki master and Dreamwork teacher based in upstate New York, whose teachings are rooted in Hellenic Asclepian and Pythagorean traditions and a frequent LARAAJI collaborator.
From there, the materials were edited and arranged by Christian Havins and Dallas Acid, then mixed by Jeff Ziegler (Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs) at Uniform Recording in Philadelphia with LARAAJI and Dallas Acid sharing production credits.
Editing the sessions, Gerner says, was a matter of deep listening. “It was about picking out 40 minutes or so of material that had similar themes. There were a few motifs we kept going back to in the session we tried to take the best moments that shared a certain aesthetic.”
Eventually, the Dallas Acid members began sharing those moments with their collaborators, which led to a collective agreement on the best passages.
Will there be more collaboration between the parties in the future? Gerner says it’s possible. “We’re keeping an open mind,” he says.