It’s nearly February…

Posted: January 30, 2010 in RPM

…which means I’m about to pitch into the RPM Challenge again for the fourth year. As I did last year, I’ll be posting reports and work-in-progress as it occurs – well, more-or-less anyway. As in all the previous years, I’ll be starting from scratch, with no ideas at all on how it’s going to develop. I did get the guitar out and link up my iMic, so there may be some ‘real’ guitar playing this year, apart from that I haven’t much idea.

Having said that, there are a few things I want to steer clear of this time around. Last year especially, I felt I was dropping into a set way of doing things. As the time is limited, it becomes tempting to use methods that have worked well before, just to save time. This is the sort of thing that leads to staleness and, if I can identify when I’m doing it this time, I shall make sure that I avoid it. Easier said than done perhaps. I also want it to sound different this year. Whether that means stripping the sound right back or using a whole new arsenal of sounds entirely – such as relying more on sampling or limiting myself to a couple of synths and one drum machine, I can’t say yet. It might mean more spoken-word / found sound / field recordings. Maybe even songs with lyrics! I would like to get away from 4/4 time as well. In addition, there are certain synth sounds and effects that I tend to over-use and I shall be keeping well away from them this year.

After all of that, it may just turn out to be an acid house album! Or a selection of long-winded drone pieces. One of the joys of RPM is that there really is no way of knowing what will come out – and as you only have 28 days to complete the whole thing, you have to consider each idea as it arrives. There isn’t time to mess about with it and then leave it on the hard-drive for a while to see if you’ve anything new to bring to it six weeks later.

I shall be starting at the stroke of midnight – just as I’ve done the last two years. That’s if I’m still awake. I managed to crack one of my teeth a few months ago and I’ve been leaving it as I’m not registered with a dentist these days. In the last couple of days it’s become quite painful and, while I’m selling all my possessions to pay for private care (joke – but not much of one in the UK, where NHS dentists are rare now) I’ve been investing in painkillers and discovering how well Co-codamol knocks you out late at night…

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