It’s Another Album! RPM 2020

Once again, I find myself only a day away from starting a new RPM Challenge album, so it is once more time (long overdue, as ever) to write about the last album. And also, your annual reminder that the RPM Challenge is to record an album of original music entirely in the month of February.

So, the 1st of February 2020 came around. It was a Saturday, which meant I could start the challenge with a full day… after breakfast, or course!

I’d had a theme in mind for a couple of years which I wanted to do. It started well, and ideas began to emerge. Things moved quite well over the following days with progress being made. (Also, reviewing the tweets from this time showed something that will not be possible this time… the late night post-recording dash to the pub for last orders!)

Although sometimes the pub journey was quickly abandoned!

But, after nearly two weeks, doubts began to creep in…

It really was a struggle. I was finding it very hard to find the sounds that were even remotely close to what I had in my head. I realised that – being almost halfway through – I had to make a decision. Carry on struggling to do what I’d wanted to do and risk not finishing it (or finishing with something that wasn’t really what I’d wanted), or stopping it completely and starting an entire new album, even though I had already created the basis of some tracks that I was very pleased with. I decided to start afresh.

So, on the 11th of February I created a new folder in my Recording directory, “2020-b”. Thankfully, ideas started to flow and new pieces began to come together quite nicely. I also settled on what seemed a suitable title for the album quite early on: “A Change To The Scheduled Programme” – a reference to television.

With that in mind – even though the music had no television-based theme (or any theme for that matter), I looked for TV-related titles for the pieces. I also spent a while looking for a TV-style image to use on the cover, until I remembered a black-and-white photo on my phone that I’d taken of a random television set left on the pavement at the end of the main shopping street in Buxton some time ago.

I say that the music wasn’t themed around television, but one track was in the end. After 4 tracks were coming together nicely, with more than enough time in them to satisfy the 35 minute minimum album length, I felt that I wanted one nice, simple, short, light-hearted, bouncy number to counter the other music. I think I channelled the ridiculous jauntiness of 1980s daytime TV quiz shows into the track that – designed to go at what would be the end of side one (if this was vinyl) – was called “We’ll Be Right Back…

So, it came to the final day, and – at this point – none of the tracks was actually completed! (Good job it was a leap year!)

So, I spent a busy Saturday finishing tracks, rendering them out, uploading them to Bandcamp and finishing and uploading the artwork. And by just after 11pm it was all done! So it was time for the traditional post-album trip to the pub!

A couple of very relaxing pints later, I got back home, pressed the “publish” button on Bandcamp, and – after only 19 days work – my new album was done and released!

So that was that. I hope you like it. If you want a copy, then – as always – it is available on Bandcamp on a pay-whatever-you-want basis. I hope to have another album ready for you in 28 days time!

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