RPM2011

It’s getting to be that time again.  The time where musicians vow to create and complete album of 10 songs or 35 minutes in the 28 days of February.  I’ve officially signed up, making this my fourth RPM (I didn’t finish my first attempt for RPM07 due to some overly ambitious goals subsequent technical issues).  Ed. note: In case your math isn’t adding up, I skipped RPM08, partly because ’07 went so badly and partly because I had convinced myself I didn’t have time.

The point of the RPM Challenge is that you always have time if you make it.  That’s what I learned from the last two years of doing RPM.  The only reason you don’t have time to complete a project you really want to work on is because you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t actually have time to do it.  It’s a lie.  If you want it enough, you will make time and then it will happen.  It’s how I’ve completed 2 RPM albums, 2 other non-RPM albums, and some musical side-projects, along with a 200+ page memoir/book/thing about the Upstart Blogger/Genesis Rocket fiasco all in the past 3 years (and all of those were over the course of a few months, at most).

So what do I have planned for February?  I’m not sure.  It would be easy for me to make another album of electronic/dark ambient stuff, but that seems too easy. There’s a January Challenge going on now in the RPM forums in which one of the members assigns all who sign up for the challenge a theme/scene in a non-existent movie to create the soundtrack to.  This, along with the Daft Punk Tron soundtrack, has got me thinking about soundtracks and in thinking about it more, I really like the approach that Bear McCreary and Richard Gibbs used for the soundtrack for Battlestar Galactica.  From the Wikipedia article:

The music of Battlestar Galactica makes use of the technique called “leitmotif“. A leitmotif is a phrase or melodic cell that signifies a character, place, plot element, mood, idea, relationship or other specific part of the story. It is commonly used in modern film scoring as a device to mentally anchor certain parts of a film to the soundtrack. Of chief importance for a leitmotif is that it must be strong enough for a listener to latch onto while being flexible enough to undergo variation and development.

So, it may turn out that I create (or use existing) characters and/or plot elements, create some musical phrases around them, and then play with sequencing and different moods and themes and call that my RPM2011 entry.  It might be a bit ambitious, so we’ll see what actually happens next month…