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During his residency at Grand Canyon, Elijah Jamal Asani developed a collection of audio-visual works inspired by, dedicated to, and in collaboration with sites and themes throughout Grand Canyon. Sounds from the canyon were recorded, edited, and engineered into musical compositions. Some pieces are strictly sound-based, utilizing manipulated sounds that were found and recorded within the canyon itself and turning them into musical compositions, while other pieces incorporate visuals and audio together to tell a story.
For public programming, Asani led visitors to the park on active listening sound walks and hikes. On Thursday, June 9, 2022, he journeyed with visitors to Grandeur Point, where they took in the splendor of the sounds of sunset. On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, Asani was joined by special guest, Grammy-nominated artist, singer, and songwriter, Aaron White at Desert View Amphitheater. White, of two nations, the Diné of Northern Arizona (Blacksheep Clan) and the Northern Ute Tribe Whiteriver Band, created musical improvisations with Asani while watching the sunset over Grand Canyon.
About the Artist
Elijah Jamal Asani is a Nigerian-American experimental artist and educator based in Chicago. A self-taught music producer, designer, and filmmaker with a degree in creative writing, he has been awarded a OneBeat Music fellowship (Chicago, IL) and participated in residencies with the Elastic Arts Dark Matter program (Chicago, IL) and at the Caldera Arts Center (Portland, OR).
Using earthly soundscapes, native drums, unorthodox samples, and his own voice, Asani creates innovative sonics as a solo artist. He is also a member of the renowned producer collective Push Beats Crew, in which he performs and helps to curate events. He is the recipient of a 3Arts “Artists of Illinois” grant, and the creator and member of the Afro-surrealist jazz trio “ẹ̀bà.” As an educator, he has worked with and for underserved youth by way of facilitating music production and sound-based workshops throughout Chicago as well as in various areas of the Pacific Northwest.
"Beyond art, the allures of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, for me, are the 'forever(s)' that bloom within; juxtaposed to any of the ephemeral that we try to designate upon them," said Asani. "As I am conscious of the hidden colors that have inhabited the Grand Canyon beyond you/me/us, my intentions are to truly hearken to all dimensions of the canyon and simply, yet respectfully, translate these secret hues as softly as possible."