The RPM Challenge
Newcomers: If you're new to this delightful chaos, simply click the "SIGN UP" button on the menu at the top of the screen, fill out your information, and tune all your instruments. (That last bit is not really required.) On your profile page, make sure you click the "Signup for RPM 2015" checkbox.
Returning: If you're returning, simply go to your profile page and click on "Edit Profile," then click the 2015 checkbox.
FAQ on Field Names:
- Name = This Is Your Band Name.
- Username = This will show up at login, and when you are chatting on the Forums
- These names can be the same, or not.
The real history of RPM is in the music: every song, every album, every band that ever recorded a track tells part of the story. More than 40,000 songs have been created as part of the RPM challenge over the past decade. Some participated once, and some have done it every year, like a glorious ritual of music. Every musician who has participated has a story as rich and surprising as their own lives.
But if you ever wondered how things look from behind the scenes, it’s something like this.
The RPM intergalactic infostorm can't be contained by any one dimension or media stream. As such, we transmit on multiple channels to reach the beings who live in the far corners of the social mediaverse.
Love us in Facebookistan
Soar with us in the thin atmosphere of Twitterria
Swim with us in the tropical Youtubarium
Transpose your matter matrix Instagrammatically
Sojourn with the trolls of Reddit
That’s 10 songs or 35 minutes of original material recorded during the month of February. Go ahead… put it to tape.
It’s a little like National Novel Writing Month, (NaNoWriMo.org) where writers challenge each other to write 1,700 words a day for 30 days, or the great folks over at February Album Writing Month (fawm.org), who encourage artists to write 14 new songs in February. Maybe they don’t have “Grapes of Wrath” or “Abbey Road” at the end of the month, or maybe they do—but that’s not the point. The point is they get busy and stop waiting around for the muse to appear. Get the gears moving. Do something. You can’t write 1,700 words a day and not get better.
Don't wait for inspiration - taking action puts you in a position to get inspired. You'll stumble across ideas you would have never come up with otherwise, and maybe only because you were trying to meet a day’s quota of (song)writing. Show up and get something done, and invest in yourself and each other.
Anyone can come up with an excuse to say “no,” so don’t. Many of you are thinking “But, I can’t do that! I don’t have any songs/recording gear/money/blah blah blah...” But this doesn’t have to be the album, it’s just an album. Remember, this is an artistic exercise. Just do your best using what you have in order to get it done. If you have a four-track, become a four-track badass! A mini disc, a pro-tools rig, a Walkman, an 80’s tape recorder – use it. Do your best. Use the limitations of time and gear as an opportunity to explore things you might not try otherwise. If you can afford studio time in a “real” studio, fine, but let’s be completely free of any lingering idea that “good” records can only be made in a studio. If that were so, then all the old scratchy blues records or Alan Lomax field recordings that have changed our culture – the world’s culture – wouldn’t still resonate with us today as they do. Springsteen’s haunting classic “Nebraska” was a demo he did at home on a crappy machine. That album is fricking awesome. What label would put those recordings out now? (See: who cares) There are a million examples of this kind of stuff, but the fact will always be: Well written, honest music is compelling and undeniable no matter what it was recorded on. So put it to tape.
The RPM challenge is not a money making venture, for the artists or the organizers. For the past 10 years, the RPM Challenge has been a project of The Wire, a weekly paper which absorbed whatever costs were necessary, with much-welcomed financial help from donators and occasional sponsors, not to mention the tireless efforts of the many volunteers who have helped over the years.
Since The Wire ceased publication in 2014, however, that safety net is gone. While the founders are delighted to carry the Challenge forward, donations to help defray the costs of running a global music challenge are more welcome than ever.
- Alex Xander Jacobs
- Amy Wynne
- Ax Attax
- Barton Graham
- Ghost Proxy
- Ian James
- IronAngel Forge
- James Sarek
- Jim Anderson
- Joel Justice
- Le Berzévore
- Lithia Spring
- Mungo Park
- Oblique St.
- Prateek Poddar
- Raymond Fuentes
- Smooth Around The Bend
- The Calculus Affair
- The Checkers Speech
Re-stringing my instruments preparing for the RPM CHALLENGE 2015!
by Anu Sava
by Babys First Ride
our other blog is a synthesizer
by Eeffin Forda
Community Wide Excitement
by Robert Parker
by Billy Butler
by Letter Seventeen
2015 attempt #2
Pretty happy to participate - and a little anxious too!
by Le Berzévore
by jaQ Andrews
Breaking old patterns
- My first year to not participate is 2015...WHY?!?!
- by therealside
- 59 minutes ago