One Minute Singles

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tl;dr – embrace the format

I’m of a generation where singles were very important. As a kid, a piece of music on 7″ of vinyl lasting about 3-ish minutes, and then later the 12″ extended single took over. But clearly the duration of a piece of music bears no relation to it’s aesthetic value. I have, in a long past life, enjoyed both sides of Dark Side of the Moon in succession. Classical, I can still listen to any of Beethoven’s symphonies all the way through. (Wagner is beyond me, mostly grandiose crap, though Die Walküre is brilliant, pure TikTok). The short, fast & furious punk singles of the late 1970’s were/are great.

Part of me, as an oldish person, balks at the idea of the TikTok fast stimulation, but not entirely, they have some very funny things. When YouTube started doing ‘Shorts’ I thought ‘oh dear, this will be crap’. Not.
There are some really good things, every genre – especially remarkable how some of the science folks can cram something interesting (and educational, informative) in.

So why not apply the one minute restriction to music videos..?

Not cutting down a normal-length piece to a minute, but just aiming, by design, to have everything in that temporal frame. Short-form, innit.

In the past, I’ve always found technical limitations to be a positive thing, they force you to be creative.

Having a go at a One Minute Single – is brilliant!

All you need is one small idea. I’d got a few notes of a funky bass line in my head, did my best to record, added (3) chords to go with it, I had the bleepy 16ths on my mind. Pretty much one bar with variations.

It’s really liberating. Because it’s only going to be a minute, you just don’t feel like obsessing over detail. Just get it down. Don’t think I’ve ever worked so fast.
Also you don’t feel like being precious – I felt like doing some cheesy electronica, so I did.
I think the ideal would be to spend no more than one evening over a One Minute Single. One afternoon over the video.

(I only recently started playing with Reaper, brilliant DAW, annoyingly not open source, but $60 for a pro tool, not complaining. Took hours to get a vocoder working, finding the patches I wanted, remembering ‘V’ to show the envelope, so this tune did take a few evenings. The creative was just bang it out though).

And video, anything goes. It’s only a minute. Liberating too. Really leans you to a Dadaist attitude (as if that wasn’t there already), but just anything. One afternoon over the video…nah, quick fun, done, less than an hour (not including having to render a few times to not have it over a minute – I’m not used to kdenlive, video editing kit, either).

It is actually taking more time over uploading/processing than I did over the video recording/editing.

In this particular instance I went for the 1980’s art school vibe. Find one effect on the video machine, go with it. Could so easily have been Doctor Who intro feedback (next One Minute Single video sorted!). Hopefully the Gen Z viewers will think it original.

Art is fun. Fun is art.


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