Some folks reading this know what a producer for an album does. Some may think you know. I thought I did before I ever made an album. I did not—not until I made an album. And I still didn’t know, not really, until I worked with Jeff Bohnhoff.
So much of the beauty of this album: S c a t t e r i n g Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour, and it is a glorious beauty, isn’t it!—is due to Jeff Bohnhoff. He wears the producer hat in this project.
That is not his only hat, of course. There is his superlative performing musician hat that he dons when he and Maya (a formidable musical, literary, and artistic powerhouse in her own right) perform together.
There is his arranger hat, that he uses to put together percussion, bass, and MIDI atmospherics as well as making instrumental choices for others to come in and add to the mix. “This needs a solo here. I’ll ask Chris French if he’ll come in.”
There is his mixing hat—I’ve learned so much from watching him work with a musician’s performance—pulling the best from it and making sure it is not in the way of the other gorgeous tendrils of melody or rhythm that will be dancing around. With a deft hand, he enhances the sound quality of everything he touches – never over producing, always respecting the musicality of the artist.
I first had the pleasure of working with Jeff on his and Maya’s Grated Hits (2010), playing piano on “Midichlorian Rhapsody” and two other pieces. He is easy to communicate with, and I knew I wanted to work with him on my gaming album. Luckily for me, he agreed. Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories was released to the world in 2012. I learned so much during the time we were recording that album. Those of you who have enjoyed my recordings on my Patreon page should know that I use Logic Pro to build those arrangements. I build them the way I do because I learned from watching Jeff make that program sing. He is Apple’s guru in Logic Pro and he makes the daily commute to Cupertino to lend them his expertise.
It took a few years before I could return to Mystic Fig Studios to record this album. Several musicians heard Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories and rightly recognized that working with Jeff means getting to share your best art with the world. For example, Seanan McGuire, W. Scott Snyder, Betsy Tinney, Twotonic, and Char MacKay have all done albums or are currently working on albums with Jeff. I waited my turn and eventually got back in the sound booth.
And the results of that delightful collaboration are already before you if you participated in the Kickstarter this last summer. And if you didn’t get a chance to, no worries! The album will be available for purchase in early January. Please, don ear buds (wireless or not) or turn up the sound in your car and enjoy. Know that if you see Jeff Bohnhoff’s name as the producer, you are going to hear something magnicent. He won’t let it be anything else.
Thank you, Jeff.
Dr. Mary Crowell
Composer, Vocalist, and Pianist