If You Haven’t Heard: This is How the RPM Challenge Is Happening This Year

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For years now, Newfoundland musicians have produced as many as 150 albums every February, as part of the RPM Challenge. The RPM CHallenge is an international event, with a simple goal — record 35 minutes of new music, or, 10 new songs, in the 28 days of February. Elling Lien, former editor of The Scope, really spearheaded this thing in Newfoundland, and made it the popular month-long music slog it’s become here. For anyone into local music, it’s hard to imagine February rolling by without the town a flutter about who is doing what for RPM, anticipating 100+ new albums to check out in March, and knowing there’ll be a whole new fleet of bands to  emerge in March, as people who came together to make an RPM decide to start playing shows. When The Scope folded in December, hundreds if not thousands of locals wondered what would become of the RPM Challenge now. The answer: Elling will remain the patron saint of the RPM in Newfoundland. He has partnered with CBC, and you can read all about  it here: http://www.cbc.ca/nl/features/rpm-challenge. In fact, CBC approached Elling to forge the partnership. “I watched and listened as the impact of the RPM Challenge grew by leaps and bounds in our music community and knew we had to help keep it going.” – Angela Antle.

Here’s an appropriately titled track off one of the 140-something albums The Scope collected last year. Appropriately titled, because anyone doing the RPM Challenge will be chained to their computers for the next four, too-short weeks. The song is off Knoah Knoah’s Knoah Learns the Trumpet. As the album title implies, there’s some well-placed trumpet throughout. And if Knoah Bender really did learn to play the trumpet to put it to use on an RPM, that’s exactly the spirit of the challenge. Push yourself. Try stuff. Collaborate, or go solo, or dive headlong into whatever’s new territory. Or, yes, just record ten new songs.

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