Group produces last-minute RPM Challenge record

Gary Kean
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CORNER BROOK  While most people had the entire month to record an album, one group in Corner Brook took only 37 minutes and 12 seconds to tackle the RPM Challenge.

Black Chair Section, a one-time band put together for the RPM Challenge, record their noise jam in Corner Brook on Thursday.

The idea behind the challenge is to record a full-length album — either 10 tracks or at least 35 minutes of original music — during the month of February.

Thousands of people around the world, including many from Newfoundland and Labrador, take on the annual task that was started by The Wire magazine in New Hampshire in 2006.

On the final day of February, one group of seven friends got together at Gary Bennett Music in Corner Brook to take part in a noise jam. Calling themselves Black Chair Section, they jammed on the abundant and diverse instruments lying about the music store’s instructional area and recorded the music they arbitrarily produced.

The final product was one long tune called “March,” which they had burned to a CD.

Just like that, they had their RPM Challenge work completed.

Mark Feener, who teaches music at Gary Bennett Music and plays guitar and bass with in two local bands — Slacker and Nick Hamlyn and The Mayhem — took part.

“It was pretty interesting and fun to get the people together in the room and not have any pressure with it,” said Feener. “We just played whatever we felt like playing and moved it wherever it moved.

“We started saying we were going to keep it in (the key of) G but, by the end of it, I think it was in D.”

Feener still had not heard the final product on Friday, but said recording “March” was a fun experience.

“I have never done a noise jam,” he said. “It definitely was a noise jam.”

Feener took part in the RPM Challenge last year with the band The Great Red Giants. He was hoping Slacker would take part this year, but it just never happened.

He hopes to do the challenge again with a band in 2014.

The rest of Black Chair Section included Ryan David Butt, Chantal Perry, Nicholas J. Hamlyn, Tom Cochrane, Rachael Joffred and Leslie Ball.

Twitter: WS_GaryKean

Organizations: The Wire magazine, The Great Red Giants

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, New Hampshire, Corner Brook

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