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Jeff Johnson
Origin Camano Island
Genres Prog rock, Celtic
Years active 1980 – Present
Labels Ark Records
Associated acts Sandy Simpson, Brian Dunning
Website Ark Records

Jeff Johnson is a musician residing in Camano Island, WA. Stemming from a progressive-rock background, he works within a contemporary artistic-Christian framework, and precedes much of the New Age music to which much of his music would later be compared. He has made collaborations with various other well-known musicians, including, Sandy Simpson, and Brian Dunning. His works include collaborations with contemporary author Stephen Lawhead.

In addition to recording, Johnson is active in the on-going Selah Service music and worship events.

Contents

Music and influences

Jeff Johnson's first studio efforts, The Anvil Of God's Word and Please Forgive Us Lord were recorded in 1976. These were never officially released on CD. After many years, they were made available on a CD entitled Early Songs as part of the ArkMusic Special Editions series. [1]

Jeff Johnson's first studio album, Face of the Deep (1980) managed to conjour aural landscapes in the ears of his listeners with his synthesizer infused progressive rock renditions of fantasy works. The album begins with the pensive image of Rodin's The Thinker. Songs are inspired by writings such as Charles Williams' All Hallows' Eve, and by the paintings of Gauguin and Renoir's The Moulin de la Galette. Johnson completes his treatment of these aural landscapes with on-location recordings of atmospheric sounds such as rain storms and creaking gates - incorporating them into the music in an artful way (see: History - 'Ark Mobile').

On his second album, he collaborated with Sandy Simpson to record Through the Door (1982), which further took up theme of a spiritual questing inspired by the novels of George MacDonald (The Golden Key). It also continued the use of synthesizers in the slightly sci-fi themed song, The Jupiter Effect. It was also on this album that Johnson first recorded his personal 'theme' - 'Someday someday' -- a song he would record in several versions throughout his discography.

Johnson continued the theme of the spiritual quest on albums such as: Fallen Splendour and Pilgrimage. Incorporating influences from several of the Inklings, including a song inspired by C.S. Lewis -- Dream of the Island (Similitudes).

One of the hallmarks of Jeff Johnson's work is his commitment to excellence in the various details of record production. From the beautiful cover artwork drawn by Kathy Hastings, to the immaculate limited-edition packaging for his master-piece, Icons.

Johnson is a versatile musician, using sounds which range from progressive rock with soaring synthesizers to acoustic Oregon double-bass and contemporary piano solos. Johnson has collaborated in a number of distinct projects over the course of his discography. The genres include: Instrumental Fantasy, Vocal, Celtic and Sci-fi inspired works.

More recently (2002), he can be heard with Brian Dunning on the Gangs of New York (soundtrack), where he plays alongside artists such as Peter Gabriel.

Ark Records

Jeff Johnson is also the founder of Ark Records - which he founded in Tigard, Oregon.

Around 1998, he moved Ark Records to its new home on Camano Island, WA.

Ark Records publishes both Jeff Johnson's significant catalogue of albums, and also those of various musical associates.

Discography (partial)

  • The Face of the Deep (1980)
  • Through the Door (with Sandy Simpson) (1982)
  • Shadow Play (1983)
  • Icons (1984)
  • No Shadow Of Turning (1985)
  • Fallen Splendor (1986)
  • The Awakening (with Sandy Simpson) (1987)
  • Born Of Water (with David Friesen & Dave Hagelganz) (1987)
  • Why Should The Heart Not Dance? (with Sandy Simpson & Kathy McClatchey) (1988)
  • This Mystery I Pose (with Sandy Simpson) (1988)
  • Pilgrimage (1989)
  • Similitudes (with Dave Hagelganz) (1990)
  • The Tale Of Three Trees (with B. Dunning & Elizabeth Denison Martin) (1990)
  • Centerpoint - Poetry & Music For Christmas (with B. Dunning & Dallas McKennon) (1990)
  • Great Romantics (1991)
  • Songs from Albion (with Brian Dunning) (1992)
  • Songs From Albion II (with Brian Dunning) (1993)
  • Songs From Albion III (with Brian Dunning) (1994)
  • The Isle Of Dreams (1994)
  • Psalmus (with Janet Chvatal) (1996)
  • Navigatio (with Janet Chvatal) (1997)
  • Prayers of St. Brendan - The Journey Home (1998)
  • A Quiet Knowing - Canticles For The Heart (with B. Dunnig & J. Fitzpatrick) (2000)
  • Byzantium - The Book Of Kells & St. Aidan's Journey (with Brian Dunning) (2000)
  • A Quiet Knowing Christmas (with Brian Dunning & John Fitzpatrick) (2001)
  • The Enduring Story - A Retrospective (with Brian Dunning) (2001)
  • The Memory tree (2002)
  • Benediction (with Brian Dunning, Jozef Luptak & John Fitzpatrick) (2002)
  • Patrick (with Brian Dunning) (2003)
  • The Katurran Odyssey - A Musical Journey (with Brian Dunning) (2004)
  • Vespers - Light Into Light (with Janet Chvatal) (2005)
  • Stars In The Morning East - A Christmas Meditation (with Brian Dunning) (2005)
  • Music Of Celtic Legends - The Bard & The Warrior (with Brian Dunning) (2005)
  • King Raven EP (2006)
  • A Thin Silence (2006)
  • Standing Still (2007)
  • King Raven - Vols. 1-3 (with Brian Dunning)(2008)
  • Journey Prayers (2009)

See also

References

  1. ^ Ark Records FAQ

External links

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