RPM Challenge 2014 has got to be some of the most prolific work I’ve crafted thus far, but has it been challenging? I did get an early start in February working with Ableton Live and the Launchpad Mini/LaunchControl in set preparation for Prototype 5, which I deemed productive idea creation for the album. There was, however, plenty of downtime for birthdays, family visits, nights out to party, watching the tube, etc. Instead of being stressed about being behind in the recording process, I took time out on a couple of weekdays (mostly in the last week) to finish up some working projects and polish the mixes. I also managed to record a Robot Scout session for RPM submission, too. Does it mean I like to procrastinate until the final possible minute? No, but it does seem to end up close to the wire most of the time. It’s always challenging to create under a deadline, but these days I’ve streamlined the process to make it easier to operate quickly and efficiently. Hence, I can afford to take my time with some things or choose to break from it with the knowledge that it’s simple to come back to. I’ve done the RPM Challenge for a number of years now, and likely would have made yearly records anyway, even if no challenge existed. We make our own challenges, and I consider this one to be more of a necessity. I make art, and that doesn’t change. The challenge is making art you’re happy with. And even though I endorse a certain amount of improvisation in much of my work, it’s satisfying when it sounds composed.
So it’s Groundhog Day, and by the looks of the snow blowing around the house, the rodents are staying put for awhile. Prime time for another RPM Challenge, where musicians (and non-musicians) are invited to participate in the personal goal of completing an album in the month of February. It’s my fifth year running, and like last year, I’m upping my challenge to finish multiple records. 2013 will produce a solo los beatniko disc (highly DJ-ed), a fresh Robot Scout release, and an original album with the Beatles cover band I’ve been playing drums with for years (finally). I picked up a few new toys to play with, notably the Kaossilator 2 from Korg (incredibly fun!) and the compact Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 to capture all the action.
So far, I have one demo from yesterday that I’ll tweak to my liking. And after I post this, it’s back to working on more. What other fun-filled activities do I accomplish today? Shoveling? Nah! I’ll stay inside and create. Until later.