Jan 04, 2022, 06:29AM

Scripture Has Always Intimidated Me

A 2020 Self-Titled Mag interview with musician Laraaji vs. a 1991 Artist & Influence interview with the late artist Zarina Hashmi.

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Zarina Hashmi: For days I wouldn’t hear my own voice because I had nobody to talk to.

Laraaji: That is one mystical experience. It is invigorating. It does stun some people.

Hashmi: Not anymore, because I’m not in my twenties anymore. It’s just anything.

Laraaji: I’m observing it, but it’s not my overwhelming narrative.

Hashmi: Yes. Yes, architecture. Teaching. Scripture has always intimidated me.


Laraaji: That taught me the power of immersion; this cat was immersed in a black container, so its sense of boundaries were probably annihilated temporarily.

Hashmi: And also, when the pulp dries, it cracks and there are water pits, air bubbles, and it gives a sort of rough surface, and that made me move away from a very pristine, white surface, and in a way, it freed me.

Laraaji: And this gospel singer, halfway through the song, they stopped on one note and held it in this high voice.

Hashmi: Yes, my mother got worried, but my father just laughed. That was 1977.

Laraaji: [Humming a rhythmic hook] Mmhmm.


Hashmi: On Indian long summer afternoons, the rooms are cool; you can’t go out, so we just read heaps of books.

Laraaji: And sometimes other artists would come into the room.

Hashmi: Oh, sure! Sure. We knew each other. But it was wonderful to get out.

Laraaji: Yeah—to achieve an immersionary trance state. I couldn’t write the music down or record it because it wasn’t happening in the physical dimension.

Hashmi: Now I am inside the house and it just happened on its own.


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