A talented musician and songwriter, Victor Johnson moved to Bend 3 years ago to teach music at a local non-profit preschool for children. Over the course of the last 30 years his music has been influenced by artists such as Rush, David Bowie, the Grateful Dead, John Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, John Lennon and other musical legends.
Victor is best known for composing and sharing songs promoting love and forgiveness in the wake of violent tragedies such as the attack at the Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook, Pearl Harbor and Paris. “I have found that responding to violence with empathy and compassion with music can serve as a catharsis, a way to help provide healing.”
But for Victor it wasn’t a conscious decision to write about violence and terrorism. It started as just a way to heal himself. “I never had any kind of plan to write about tragedy. I was simply moved by deep empathy and wrote something because I absolutely had to. The song I wrote honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing started out as just a song about quantum physics and time, how we really only have the present moment. It turned into something bigger after the tragedy in Boston and I just had to share it with others.” Victor went to sleep the night after the bombing and woke up with the final verse needed to complete the song.
The more unrest there is in the world, the more inspired Victor becomes. He wants to be a conduit of love, and to encourage others to continue on a spiritual journey, to embrace the unknown, and to practice kindness. “I feel that I have a greater purpose in my life that continues to reveal itself to me. Just be kind. We are all connected. Recently, I was going through a particularly stressful time last year, I wrote a song called “Castles and Kings” about overcoming adversity. This is the end of the song…
“When your mind is empty
And your spirit it is full
You can catch a falling star
You can feel the ocean’s pull
And as you watch the rising tide
The waves come crashing in
They wash away the castles and kings
Your whole life changes again”
He attributes much of his success to living in Central Oregon, surrounded by so much natural beauty. If you would like to learn more about Victor Johnson or his latest album, Beautiful Things you can visit his website at http://www.victorsings.com/ He will also be playing at Bridge 99 Brewery on Thurs Jan 12th from 5-7PM.
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Photo credit: www.jasonbagby.com
Story credit: Todd Yerman