If you're a musician and you think you are more prolific than Ryan Adams on a meth bender, do we have a challenge for you. This year's installment of "The RPM (Record Production Month) Challenge" begins at midnight tonight, challenging musicians across the globe to create one album (10 songs or 35 minutes) in one month. The challenge began on a local level in New Hampshire two years ago and last year's first international attempt drew 2,400 registrants. Even more press and viral attention this year ensures that number will grow exponentially.
Organizers say the challenge is all about being free in your creativity and connecting with artists from all over the world. The RPM Web site (find it here) allows participants to create a profile (a la MySpace) with music and blogs, giving artists the chance to give and receive feedback on the various projects. The challenge is open to all genres and amateur recordists shouldn't be put off — all levels of quality are welcome. For some samples of last year's results, check the RPM Web site's Jukebox feature here.
Stressing that this is not a contest (so, please, no wagering!), the site lays out this manifesto on its site:
What if every musician you knew put their music first for 29 days? What if every living being who could pick up an instrument spent February exploring their music? What if you recorded the best song of your life? What if you put aside the traditional expectations — that your record has to be a product that can be sold, that it has to be recorded in a studio with all the bells and whistles? What if you could do whatever you wanted? What if you recorded a solo record for the first time? What if you tried a new genre? What if you collaborated with someone you'd never met?
Sounds like either fun or a nightmare, depending on your usual creative pace. Who's in? Finally, my chance to make that Emo Opera I've always dreamed of!
If you sign up, let us know how you're doing and what your plans are. If I sign up, maybe I'll do the same (unless it sucks, which is probable).
Check out an entertaining little "trailer" video that organizers put together below the fold.
— Mike Breen