The RPM Challenge at the Library

January 4, 2019


The RPM Challenge is an artistic exercise with thousands of participants worldwide. Each year in February, musicians try to record a whole album - that’s 10 songs or 35 minutes of original material. The RPM challenge is an invitation to everyone – whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring artist. Go ahead… put it to tape.

The challenge began in 2006 at The Wire, right here in Portsmouth. Over the past 13 years it has expanded to every continent! Sign up now, and find out more, at!

This year, the library will support RPM by offering several events. All will be held in the Levenson Room. All are free, drop-in, and open to all.

The Craft of Songwriting with Scarlet Keys
Tuesday January 22
| 7 PM
Join songwriter, performer and music educator Scarlet Keys for an exploration of the craft of songwriting! Part concert, part workshop, this event will feature a performance of Keys’ songs from her new book, The Craft of Songwriting: Music, Meaning and Emotion as well as a presentation on the use of harmony in songwriting. Learn about the emotion behind each chord, how to incorporate this magic in your own music, and why great songs affect us the way they do. Get inspired to create or refine your work before RPM kicks off!
View this event on Facebook!

RPM Kickoff and Gear Up!
Gear Swap
Sunday January 27 | 2 – 4 PM

All Seacoast musicians (and the people who love them) are invited to buy, sell, or swap musical instruments, equipment, and ideas at the 2019 GEAR UP! pre-RPM Challenge gear swap! This year's swap will take place at the Portsmouth Public Library on Sunday, January 27th from 2-4pm. GEAR UP! is a community-based person-to-person swap that operates similar to a flea market, with transactions taking place directly between sellers and buyers. The whole community is welcome for shopping, browsing and conversation. In addition, two recording engineers will be on hand to answer technical questions and offer recording tips! For local musicians planning to participate in the RPM Challenge, what better way to "gear up" for 2019? Find new sounds, make connections, get some tech help, and of course...SIGN UP for RPM! If you're a musician with gear you're ready to part with and you're interested in participating in GEAR UP!, e-mail to reserve a table space!
View this event on Facebook!

Lyrics Workshop with Guy Capecelatro III
Wednesday February 6 | 6:30 PM

Local legend Guy Capecelatro will discuss songwriting and how to find new ways to make songs – without waiting for that flash of inspiration to hit us on the head. There will be prompts offered and time to put pen to paper. All levels of experience welcome. Don’t bring an instrument, as we’ll just be focusing on the words.
View this event on Facebook!

Drop In Art: Make Your Album Cover!
Saturday February 16 | 10 AM – 12 PM

Look through tons of inspiration, then use drawing and collage materials provided by the library to create your very own album cover. A scanner will be available so you can make your art digital!
View this event on Facebook!

Don’t forget to visit for more information!

RPM Challenge