My PR for RPM

Local artist rises to international challenge

The RPM Challenge, now in its third year, encourages musicians to record an album of music in the month of February. Last year 850 albums were produced, including one effort made entirely on a Nintendo Game Boy!

The idea is a simple kick in the arse for musicians to stop dreaming and procrastinating and to realise their songs.

Or, as the RPM Challenge entry in Wikipedia puts it:
There is no winner of the challenge, which functions solely to give musicians a needed push towards finishing original material and help them achieve a sense of satisfaction.

For Jason Richardson of Brucedale (recording under the name Showcase Jase) this has meant a number of sleepless nights. "It's almost funny but probably a bit dysfunctional. Last year I decided to take time off work to get hands-on with raising my children and have a sabbatical. I picked up the guitar again, rediscovered the joys of composing and now find myself sneaking off to to scribble lyrics or tweak my mixes."

His passion for music isn't entirely new. In the last three years Jason has released two albums of electronic music (under the moniker Bassling), as well as performing as part of Wagga Wagga's 2006 Unsound Festival, contributing to the Ninja Trax mixes curated by and exhibiting in ABC Online's Poool project for regional artists and at Charles Sturt University's HR Gallop Gallery in 2007.

"The internet cops a lot of bad press for people pirating music but there are many, many, many musicians collaborating and distributing online. It's been acknowledged there are probably more people making electronic music now than people buying it. And I think that's great - music is way too much fun not to have a go."

One of the benefits of personal computing has been people are now able to have a home recording studio. "I was listening to demo tapes from a Canberra band I played in during the mid-90s and, in comparison, the quality you can achieve with a PC is brilliant," says Jason Richardson.

Of course, there have been a few technical issues. Jason's soundcard broke prior to beginning so he's had to improvise with other equipment. But that's all part of the challenge, according to the blog entry of another musician. "I went into the Challenge last year with no experience for recording an album with actual songs," writes 19-year-old participant Mian Laisa, of Littleton, Colorado in the United States.
"I came out of the challenge with a new understanding of how the process worked."

Post script: Here's a video I've made about my experience with the RPM Challenge