Most architecture studios are filled with sketches, models, and computers, all tools of the trade for architects and interior designers. Our studio also includes guitars, keyboards, and a toy dulcimer.

For one month each year, we become an architecture recording studio.

Since 2017, we have used February to explore our musical interests by participating in the “RPM Challenge,” a nationwide event during which musicians attempt to write and record an album during the year’s shortest month.

The challenge – to write and record 10 songs in 28 days – presents something every architect understands all too well: a deadline with a huge deliverable. “On February 1, you start with nothing, and by the end of the month– hopefully – you’ve got a complete album of songs,” said Andy Grogan.

This year’s album, Lifetime Agreement, features 14 people from the staff of MZA and Zeitgeist and one structural engineer (Dan Borsos from EMC Structural Engineering).

“We collaborate with each other on projects for clients all the time, but this presented a way for us to collaborate on something that was exclusively for us,” said Grogan. “I think in many ways these album projects have strengthened the ways we work together on our other projects.”

This is the third year we have completed the challenge, and with each year’s album, we have donated all proceeds from album sales to local non-profits in Nashville. In 2017, we donated to Nashville Civic Design Center initiatives related to urban farming, and last year, we sent $500 to WXNA, Nashville's local, free-form radio station (and our soon-to-be new neighbor in Wedgewood Houston).

This year, our donation will go to Youth Empowerment Through Arts and Humanities, Inc., an organization that uses music to teach children about collaboration, self-esteem, and community engagement. They do good work, and we're happy to be able to support them.

To buy the album: https://work-mza.bandcamp.com/album/lifetime-agreement