Song of the Day: Eric Johnsen, “The Dreamers”

Eric Johnsen forges a unique musical narrative on Liminality, featuring our Song of the Day, “The Dreamers”

Today’s Song of the Day is “The Dreamers” by composer and producer Eric Johnsen, featuring Song Yi Jeon on vocals and inspired by a transformative trip Johnsen took in 2005 to the Amazon forest, where he spent some time with the indigenous Achuar people, who believe the world of dreams is the true waking state. This is one of the highlights of Liminality, the realization of Johnsen’s enduring aspiration to explore and manifest his distinct musical vision. Graduating with a composition degree from the University of Arizona, Johnsen dedicated 22 years to teaching high school history, all while nurturing his passion for music production and composition on the side. In a recent JAZZIZ Podcast conversation, Johnsen explained: “I felt the best balance for me was trying to find a way of paying my bills, freeing myself so that, artistically, I could take my time and do whatever I wanted to do.”

In 2018, he began working on crafting the immersive world of Liminality, working during weekends, summers and evenings with the expert assistance of co-producers Doug Martin and Wiley Ross to bring his vision to life. This expansive project features a core improvisational ensemble, incorporating strings sections and vocals in diverse dynamic combinations. “Half the music is written, the other half is improvised,” Johnsen clarified. The album masterfully blends jazz with chamber and orchestral elements, seamlessly intertwining influences from Indian and Afro-Cuban musical traditions. In essence, it stands as a testament to Johnsen’s artistic journey and his commitment to forging a unique musical narrative.

Listen to “The Dreamers” by Eric Johnsen via the player below. Liminality is available now. Order it here.

Featured photo courtesy of the artist.

Like this article? Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz