March 18, 2010

Jeff Johnson -- new video

It's no secret that I love Jeff Johnson's music. As far as I'm concerned, his is the best background music for writing I have ever heard. My iTunes library's play count confirms this. In college, Dave Zimmerman and I wore out our cassette tape of Songs from Albion and drove our other roommate Brad Reimer crazy with it (among other things), but it fueled our creative nature and allowed me to write some drivel that became the foundation of my current career.

In the years that have passed, Jeff Johnson has been one of the few artists whose output I have watched for consistently (U2 is the only other I can think of that has lasted until now). If you want to know who to blame for my work, he's one of the people. His music has pushed and pulled me through some serious writer's block; it has allowed me some serious contemplation when in both good and bad times in my life; it has transcended entertainment, with a beauty and a spirit that points to God and edifies the soul. It's uplifting, transporting, and transforming. It's Art.

Oh, and often it just sounds cool. He surrounds himself with talented musicians who perfectly compliment the mood needed for the music he wants to present.

Here's a music video he put together recently. From his e-mail about the video:

Inspired by an experience Jeff had in Rocamadour, France one early Spring morning while watching swallows swoop in and out of an old church through an open door, the production features the song from JOURNEY PRAYERSwith an opening reading in french by Jeff’s daughter, Hailey Burgess.

Here is the poem in both French and English:

Hirondelles délicates, votre vol rassemble une prière:
Au côté —
Tout autour.

Little swallows, your flight is a prayer:
Above me,
Below me,
Before me,
Behind me,
Beside me –
All around me…
It's a great video, and a great album:

~ Ben