In Jazz Salt, Ephraim Asili challenges definitions of originality and art. A thirty-minute cassette, recorded on a four-track cassette recorder, includes samples and newly created music and vocalizations, which together ask us to examine sampling as an art form unto itself and to question at what point a sound can—or should—be defined as original. Is it only when a sound has never been heard before? Or when a sound is created from a new combination of two notes, or three, or thirty? To accompany the sounds, Asili is creating a book with liner notes and his own drawings and collagework; limited-edition books and cassettes with the elevator’s track will be available to visitors. The book offers a visual and physical gateway to the sound, and the sound an aural gateway to the book, creating a multimedia, multisensory experience.
Asili is a filmmaker, multimedia artist, DJ, radio host, and educator. His films, which focus on his travels throughout the African diaspora, have been shown at festivals worldwide, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival (where he received the Most Promising Filmmaker Prize), Milano Film Festival, Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival, Boston Museum of Fine Art, and elsewhere. Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at Bard College, Asili DJs on WGCX FM and at the semi-regular dance party Botanica.