Ambient 3: Day of Radiance



by Benjamin Kuettel STAFF
December 15th, 2017 | 9 replies

Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Two musical innovators come together to bring about a mesmerizing and ethereal work of art.

The story of how Ambient 3: Day of Radiance came about is one that seems common in regard to Brian Eno’s collaborations. Edward Larry Gordon and Brian Eno met by chance, the kind of encounter that has spawned other Brian Eno’s collaborations, and this is certainly one that feels like it came about through fate. Like Eno, Gordon was a unique kind of musical innovator.

After years of learning various instruments, studying composition, performing stand-up comedy in New York, and studying mysticism, Gordon was ready to show his unique ideas to the world. He had modified a zither to include an electronic component, which made for a unique sound that caught the ear of “father of ambient music,” Brian Eno, who happened to hear Gordon performing in Washington Square Park. They brought their musical ideas together, and Edward Larry Gordon became Laraaji, releasing with Eno as producer his most influential and accomplished release, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance.

The first half consists of a three-part suite titled “The Dance,” a challenging, mesmerizing, and rhythmic soundscape that feels unique while hearkening to the ideas of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. The main instrument used is the hammered dulcimer, in an otherworldly way. Brian Eno’s production treatments make for layered tracks that repeat and harmonize, inducing a powerful, yet beautiful sound.

The second half is a two-part piece: “Meditation” embodies the spirit of the other installments of Eno’s ambient series with an eastern flair. It explores tranquil atmospheres that sound utterly pure and free. Laraaji plays the zither, possibly improvising, while Eno would later add delay and other effects to give “Meditation” a celestial feeling.

In the middle of making his four-part Ambient album series, Eno included Day of Radiance as the third entry of the four. Despite not playing any instruments here, Eno’s production and creative decisions are crucial to how the music sounds and feels.

Brian Eno and Laraaji’s other works have been used in meditation centers, travel hubs, and works of entertainment all around the world. Ambient 3: Day of Radiance is the sound of two musical innovators coming together to bring about a mesmerizing and ethereal work of art. Their collaboration is an original, engrossing experience that transports the listener to another place, and still sounds truly ahead of its time to this day.

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user ratings (30)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

This is pretty underrated around here, maybe because it's not listed under Brian Eno. Such a unique album.

Where my man Fripp at

Digging: Piggy Black Cross - Always Just Out of R?.?E?.?A?.?C?.?H. (Robotic Ecl

December 14th 2017


fripp should listen to this before he takes his vitamins and goes to bed at 7 agreed

Digging: Who Killed All The Jazz Musicians - I Give You Real Musical Theatre

December 14th 2017


Album Rating: 3.0

This is my least favorite of the Ambient series but it's still good for a listen every now and then. I'd rather listen to 1 or 2.

Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2017


i am h e r e

December 14th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

yea this is still great, heard him do a set of ambient/new age music and it was damn calming

December 15th 2017


ye this aight

Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

The Dance can be a bit much if you're not in the right mood.

Not a lot of new releases grabbing my attention the next couple months. My next review will probably be for the David Sylvian and Robert Fripp collab The First Day.

December 25th 2017


Album Rating: 3.0

least favourite of the ambient series for me, never really returned to this one

Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

Picked up the vinyl reissue including a CD of this at a record store the other day, or at least my dad did for us.

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