Clif Johnston (born Clifton Lee Johnston, 6 May 1971) is an American composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, fusion, and experimental music under the artist names Echo Root and Mood481. He has also been known as a blues, contemporary folk, and country singer/songwriter under his given name. In a career spanning over 15 years, Clif has written, composed, and produced more than 12 albums.
As Mood481, Clif composes all of his music on one or more Apple iPads. His primary instruments are generative, post-keyboard interface apps like Caelestia, Cascadr, NodeBeat and SpaceWiz, which Clif uses to control multiple synthesizer and sampler apps simultaneously, allowing him to improvise the basis for his compositions in real-time. The resulting music consists of dark, dramatic soundscapes with complex, evolving textures - or as the artist puts it: “somewhere between Blade Runner and Bitches Brew”.
As Echo Root, Clif creates a mix of instrumental fusion and space rock filled with aleatorically and algorithmically composed themes and extended modal guitar excursions using other-worldly tones and effects.