From November 2016 to June 2017, I kept a daily log in both physical and digital formats. 3 longhand notebooks, filled to the brim, and over 100 digital pages. This is the most I commited to page in my life.
It was an intense few months.
These excerpts are a peek into the daily ritual of morning pages, a practice that opened my writing, creativity and chronicled a period of growth that I am happy to say I embraced. It led me to write my greatest work and, along with support of some close friends, gave me the insight and confidence to push forward with this journey.
Morning pages are interesting and highly recommended. What I learned is they sweep your bullshit out of the way. The id speaks on the page. Mostly, from early morning to late at night, I can sort out what is superficial and focus on what I really want to write about. In the afternoons, my focus is extremely clear. Late at night, when I return home, I finish writing and often fire off my best work with a pen in one hand, notebook on the table, guitar and a beverage for good measure.
There is anguish, heartache, confusion, triumph and wonder that you will see and some that you will not. These are from just a few of my pages. Hell, even I don’t know what some of this shit means but here it is.
There are concepts, birth and death of songs and, again, a web of creativity that eventually becomes Foundation. For instance: one page starts with one line of a song then continues a stream of consciousness. That’s it. Another time I attempt to write a song called “Foundation” but fail. Eventually it becomes the name of the album.
I’m not sure how this all works, really. I just do it. If I try to explain it, I don’t.
I asked an instructor of mine, “If I talk less, can I do more?” “Yes,” he replied.
After sorting things out, on-page, I moved to lyrics. I penned 11 sets and figured if I select the first 11, they will be the most honest and worthy of writing music for. I scrapped 3 songs and stole 2 from D and Ian Bailey, who co-wrote with me on my last record.
After the lyrics, I assembled The Scroll, a vertical document that includes all of my intended lyrics, sorted in a structured, storytelling format. Believe it or not, I constructed the sequence of the record based on a story structure that I learned in college. Then the music. I belt my lyrics over some guitar chords, and before I knew it, Foundation was complete.
Illness knocked on my door in February 2017. I took some days off from work. The day before I left for a trip to visit family in Colorado I was very ill but, given my time away from work, I had to do something so I set up some microphones in my house and crooned with a head that felt like lead and congestion that hindered my vocal range.
I like to think of the demos as the completion of my writing process. I conceived something based on some personal issues that I decided to face then presented them to the world. “If I die on my flight to Colorado The Scroll and my demos can serve as my last words,” I thought.
Sounds dramatic, huh? It is. Sounds over-thought, huh? Yep. Sounds romantic, huh? Sure is.
Looking back, I want to say that I rejected all of my feelings toward the subject of this record, at first: love. But I could not write another heartache record. These days, those heartaches are still there but I do not visit them on-page. Now, only constructive, positive art pours from me and it started with Foundation and accepting all of its themes, thoughts and action.
Please enjoy these extras and the foundations of Foundation.
G. Johnson, June 2017