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RPM Challenge Celebrates 5th Anniversary

February 2, 2010

Creative music challenge turned international music phenomenon kicks off February 1

Portsmouth, N.H.— The RPM Challenge is simple: record an album in 28 days, just because you can. That’s 10 songs or 35 minutes of new material, written and recorded during the month of February.

This year, RPM celebrates its 5th anniversary and looks forward to its biggest year yet.  Musicians across the globe are signing up now at http://www.rpmchallenge.com to participate in this year’s challenge. More than 6,000 bands from all seven continents have joined in since 2006, resulting in the creation of an astonishing 20,000+ new songs. Their 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 stars, working bands, hobbyists, students, and closet musicians.

While the annual challenge doesn’t begin until February 1, musicians who come aboard early can share their thoughts and trade ideas with an enthusiastic and tight-knit RPM community online. And local scenes band together to lend a solo, an amp, or a little peer pressure as they help each other to the finish line.

The web site is the hub of the project, a tool for the musicians to connect and support each other. With thousands of musicians working alongside each other, groups that might never find each other in the regular world can meet, share ideas, and collaborate through the site, bringing fresh perspectives and new insight to their own music. 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.

RPM Challenge began in February 2006 as a creative challenge for local bands in Portsmouth, N.H., when more than 220 area musicians signed up to participate. In 2007, the RPM Challenge was opened to the international music community, where it was covered by Slashdot, Pitchfork.com, and on the National Public Radio show “All Things Considered.” Songs from the Challenge have been played on NPR’s Second Stage, and artists have turned their projects into everything from commercial releases to off-Broadway musicals.

From Anchorage, Alaska, to McMurdo Station in Antarctica, from London and Oslo to Tokyo, Baghdad, and Los Angeles, independent musicians from all genres and walks of life have come together with a common goal: 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.

At http://www.rpmchallenge.com you can find profiles of past participants (including photos and online journals documenting their creative process) and the RPM Jukebox, one of the largest free jukeboxes on the Internet.

There is no fee to participate in the RPM Challenge. Bands must postmark their RPM 2010 CDs by March 1 to the RPM office at 10 Vaughan Mall, Suite 1, Portsmouth, N.H. 03801. For more information, to see the participating bands, or to read the whole text of the challenge, go to http://www.rpmchallenge.com.

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