Infinite Beauty
  • Released: February 28, 2014
  • 15 track(s)

Infinite Beauty

Behind The Scenes

“Infinite Beauty,” as an entire and whole piece of work, is based on my own journey as a father. The album conception took place while I was on tour in Alabama and North Carolina, and the music is a description of the experiences and landscapes that I’ve experienced from the time of my son’s birth to present.

The album is dedicated to my boy, Leif Johnson.

-Track One, “Infinite Beauty”

Came to me while standing at 5000 ft. on a platform, in Asheville NC, in September 2012. Looking below I could see four states, extending as far as the eye could see.

Track Two, “Fortitude”

The only piece I’ve written that directly addresses my personal battle with depression, and the lifelong struggle to stand in the calm and center of that emotional storm.

Track Three, “Infinite Life”

As my son was being born, I stood at the bedside, barraged with images of the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. This is a piece about that experience.

Track Four, “The Drive”

The first time I left my family to go on the road, I was an emotional mess. Leif was only six months old, and the tour was not going well at all. Overcome with desperation and hopelessness, I left my hotel room in Mobile AL, performed a show in Memphis TN (to an audience of one), and drove all the way back to Omaha NE-without stopping. I hoped to capture the driving pulse that I was experiencing as I made that trek in this piece of music.

Track Five, “Morning Coffee With Grandma”

From my teenage years up until her death in 2003, I loved to sit and drink coffee with my grandmother on the farm (in Northern Iowa, where I grew up). We’d sit in her kitchen, sip coffee, stare out the window at her bird feeder and weeping willow tree. We’d talk about…anything. These are some of my fondest memories, and I’ll take them to my grave with me.

Track Six, “Green Pastures, Still Waters”

Based on one of my favorite passages, the 23rd Psalm. When I was a little boy, I’d run outside and play in our own pastures. I’d often lie in the grass and look up at the sky, daydream, and enjoy the fresh breezes and the sunshine. I’ve tried to capture the innocence and the gratitude of my boyhood in this piece, along with the gentle nature of the beautiful Psalm.

Track Seven, “Higher Calling”

For me, having a child presented a daunting task that I wasn’t sure I was up to. My life was about to completely change. Preparing myself, I assumed the responsibilities that came with being a parent and a role model. This was the time for a higher calling in my life, and we all have them. The piece describes what it means to accept what we’ve been called to do, or be, and to embrace that challenge.

Track Eight, “Forsaken Hour”

Written in the midst of a great bout of depression. Fear had taken over, everything in my life was changing. My relationships, my life as I’d known it were all becoming something I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore.

Track Nine, “Redemption”

Having faith in something larger than yourself can be very transforming. As I once again embraced my own faith in life, people, and ultimately myself, this piece was the result.

Track Ten, “Nightfall”

“Nightfall” is a piece which depicts the cycle of the night. The falling of the darkness, our temporary loss of consciousness, and the sweet, sweet dreams which follow. Inspired as I watched my sleeping baby boy.

Track Eleven, “Infinite Birth”

Here is a piece which leads, with great joy and anticipation, up to the birthing process. Pure excitement and elation can be found here, and about two thirds of the way through Leif makes a royal entrance into the world. Listen for it!

Track Twelve, “Pleading For Peace”

I was reading the news one morning and reflecting on our world, and the fact that this is the same world that Leif will have to grow up in, ultimately making his own way. My prayer for him was, and is, that he’ll live in a world where there is more peace. May it be so.

Track Thirteen, “Forest City”

“Forest City” is the name of my hometown in Northern Iowa. I wrote a piece to honor that place, and the land I grew up on. Views from my back window into the cornfields and prairies of the Midwest are what I was attempting to capture.

Track Fourteen, “Midwestern Hoedown”

Have you ever been to a Hoedown? Dancing, laughter, community, and night time delights are celebrated in this piece. Take a step back in time with us!

Track Fifteen, “Epiphany”

The most diverse track on the album, “Epiphany” ebbs, flows and changes at every turn-just like my experience of life has over the last couple of years. Ultimately what is discovered in this piece is the knowledge that all things are unfolding just as they’re supposed to, in each and every moment. Leif will experience his life just the way he’s meant to. In the meantime, I will do my best to guide him in every avenue that I know how, and accept that it’s okay to get a little “creative” in the process!


Rating: RatingRatingRatingRatingRating 3 reviews

  • Donovan Johnson

    Donovan Johnson June 5, 2014


    From MainlyPiano

    “Infinite Beauty” is pianist/composer Donovan Johnson’s fifth release to date. Most of Johnson’s earlier recordings are piano and keyboard mixes, but this one is all solo piano and I think it’s his strongest work yet. Classically-trained from a very early age, Johnson is an exceptionally versatile performer who is comfortable playing a wide range of music genres and styles that include new age, pop and country, jazz, hymns, ragtime and improvisation. “Infinite Beauty” was often inspired by and is dedicated to Johnson’s young son, Leif, and is a reflection on the many life changes that have occurred in Johnson’s life over the past couple of years. Some of the fifteen original pieces are bright and upbeat while others are more thoughtful, introspective and even melancholy. It’s a beautiful collection and a very personal one. I was fortunate to be able to see Johnson play several of these pieces live recently, and very highly recommend his concert appearances.

    “Infinite Beauty” begins with the title track, a buoyant, swirling piece that dances for joy all over the piano keyboard and immediately lets listeners know that Donovan Johnson really knows what he’s doing! There are gospel and country touches added here and there, making this a very dynamic opening. “Fortitude” is much more somber and almost hymn-like. The strong, lyrical melody tells its story without words, communicating from one heart to another. This is one of several favorites! “Infinite Life” feels free and spontaneous - quiet reflection at the piano. “The Drive” is a bit jazzier and in constant rhythmic motion - also very free and spontaneous with a powerful bass line. “Morning Coffee With Grandma” has a gentle, loving, moment-from-life feeling that conveys a wistful, dreamy mood - peaceful and contented. “Green Pastures, Still Waters” returns to a slow gospel style that Johnson does so well - I really like this one, too! “Forsaken Hour” goes very deep and very dark - my favorite track on the album. This one feels like it could have been composed late at night, looking within and letting the music flow freely. Gorgeous! “Redemption” is much lighter and more upbeat. “Nightfall,” a peaceful nocturne, could also serve as a beautiful lullaby. “Infinite Birth” rejoices with passion and love. “Midwestern Hoedown” is a happy surprise with a strong, rhythmic bass under a joyful and lively melody. “Epiphany” ends the album with a dynamic meditation that ranges from dark and reflective to bright and optimistic. Jazz, blues, and a variety of other stylings make this an impressive closing piece.

    Strongly recommended. Check it out!

  • Donovan Johnson

    Donovan Johnson June 5, 2014


    Stunning Piano Music !

    If you love the piano, you cannot help but also love the new album from Donovan Johnson, “Infinite Beauty”. Solo piano recordings are among the riskiest for an artist to pull off. There’s nothing to hide behind; no string sections or percussion, it’s just the performer and the piano. Mr. Johnson pulls this off marvelously. Strong melodies and brilliant chord progressions are very prominent, a lost art in much of today’s music. There is a wide variety of music offered and all of it is beautiful and well performed.
    Mr. Johnson really does paint with sound. All of these songs are inspired by real events and places. Close your eyes and you can hear the mountains and panoramic views which inspired the title track “Infinite Beauty”. His tribute to the birth of his son and the cycle of life on “Infinite Life” is also stunning. I especially love the gorgeous melody and haunting chord progressions of “Morning Coffee With Grandma”. “Green Pastures, Still Waters” has a definite gospel hymn feel while “Forsaken Hour” is dark but lovely. “Nightfall” (another personal favorite of mine) will definitely quiet the mind and make way for peaceful thoughts. Track 11; “Infinite Birth”, is a joyful tune about the birth of Mr. Johnson’s son, Leif. And then you are caught totally off guard by the delightful up tempo “Midwestern Hoedown”. The final track “Epiphany” is the most complex on the album offering many twists and turns in feel and tempo, yet it always maintains a nice melody and chord structure.
    The truth is, there are no weak tracks on this album. Mr. Donovan will take you on a musical journey that is most enjoyable. I highly recommend spending a quiet evening giving this work a spin. You won’t regret it!
    Another note of importance: The album is well recorded, engineered and mixed. Because there is plenty of room for dynamics and expression, it is a real pleasurable listening experience.
    Please support the artists that create music. In supporting them, you are making it possible for them to continue to create works of “Infinite Beauty”.

    Dave Smith
    Houston Piano Company

  • Donovan Johnson

    Donovan Johnson June 5, 2014



    Infinite Beauty is Donovan’s latest release. First and foremost, I must say that I really enjoyed this album. All of them are excellent, but the growth seen on this album far surpassed my expectations. I had first gotten a sneak of some of the songs through Pandora. I found myself checking my phone to “like” the song and find the artist so I could get more of their work. First check, Donovan. Second check, Donovan. Third? Donovan.
    Donovan has gotten personal with his writing before, but it seems that this album has taken it to a whole new level. His music tells the story of everything from the high of the birth of his first child to the depths of depression and back again. He writes about time spent with family and friends and all that is entailed in this journey of life.
    My favorite songs on this album are Morning Coffee With Grandma, Fortitude, Higher Calling, Forsaken Hour, and Epiphany. I really enjoyed the whole album. If you have never listened to Donovan’s work before, sit back, enjoy a glass of wine, and allow him to take you on this journey.

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