RPM Listening Party
Saturday, March 18
Doors at 6pm / Party 6:30pm
RPM Challenge Listening Party Celebrates New Seacoast Music
12th annual RPM Challenge Listening Party returns March 18 , 2017
Dozens of new albums made in February will be celebrated at the RPM Challenge Listening Party, onSaturday, March 18 at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, the region’s non-profit creative hub and gathering space for art, music and more. The party is a social mixer for the local music community. The soundtrack starts at 6:30 p.m., and goes until at least one new song has been played from every local album that was completed for the RPM Challenge, a free worldwide project started here in Portsmouth that encourages everyone to create 10 new songs or 35 minutes of music in one month. Admission is free, donations to support the RPM Challenge are welcome at the door. Details on the party at www.3Sarts.org; details on the challenge atwww.rpmchallenge.com.
RPM Challenge Kicks Off New Year with Local Music
12th annual local/global creative music challenge returns on Feb. 1, 2017
Creativity expands our minds, makes our own lives better, and brings us closer to each other. It’s also the inspiration for the annual RPM Challenge, which returns again in February for a month of music-making, connection, and celebration. Founded in Portsmouth, the February RPM Challenge has become an annual experience for more than 9,000 musicians both locally and globally, who all register for free online atwww.rpmchallenge.com.
“RPM” stands for Record Production Month, and the challenge is to record an album in one month, just because you can. That’s 10 songs or 35 minutes of original material, written and recorded during February. Participants can either create music in isolation if that's their preference, or join the online conversation to blog, add photos, participate in discussion groups, trade ideas, and send messages to fellow RPMers.
Music-makers are searchable by zip code, so users can see who is already participating in their area, or be the first to sign up.
Completed albums will be celebrated at the Portsmouth Listening Party, on Saturday, March 18 at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, the region’s non-profit creative hub and gathering space for art, music and more. The party is a social mixer for the local music community, featuring new tracks from every completed local album.
New this year is a fundraiser to help support the project by sustaining the website and laying groundwork for the future. Anyone can make a donation www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/the-rpm-challenge.
The act of choosing to write a fistful of new material and get it recorded attracts independent musicians from all genres and walks of life with a common goal, and provides mutual inspiration: to set aside any obstacles to producing music for the month of February, and to find themselves on March 1 each holding in their hands a new CD of their own original work that they would not have made otherwise.
The RPM is for young and old, experienced and not. Musicians also use the month to pump out a project that they’ve been daydreaming about, play with genre-bending ideas, meet up with friends for jam sessions, or to experiment with a new direction on a song or two. For people caught up in the daily routine of life, with seemingly never time to get back to the music they want to be making, it provides a brief, achievable window of opportunity.
“There are as many reasons for doing the RPM Challenge as there are people participating,” says event co-founder Karen Marzloff. “It often starts with the idea of having a deadline. But once you sign up, and you’re doing the work, new ideas emerge. It opens up the creative process for musicians around the world.”
The RPM community works together to lend a little peer pressure as musicians help each other to the finish line. The web site becomes a hub and a tool to connect and support each other. With hundreds of musicians all working alongside each other, groups that might never come across each other in the regular world can meet, share ideas and collaborate through the site, bringing fresh perspectives and new insight into their own music. This community has become a vital part of the experience. Personal connections made during the event have endured long after February ends, giving musicians a group of like-minded people with whom to share their artistic life.
The RPM Challenge has been covered in popular blogs, on music Web sites like Pitchfork.com and on the National Public Radio show “All Things Considered,” with RPM projects featured many times on NPR’s “All Songs Considered.” To date, the challenge has resulted in the creation of an astonishing 30,000+ new songs. The music spans every genre imaginable—from electronic to experimental, from hip hop to heavy metal—and represents the work of all types of musicians: aspiring youth, longtime local bands, hobbyists, students, and closet musicians.
As the 12th annual start date approaches on Feb. 1, musicians everywhere are signing up atwww.rpmchallenge.com to participate. Some will be marking their 12th annual return, others will be trying it for the first time, and everyone is equally welcome. There is no fee to participate in the RPM Challenge. To join in, sign up, see the participating bands, or to read the whole text of the challenge, go torpmchallenge.com.