McCartney writes tunes for emojis

NEW YORK • The Beatles were masters of concise yet catchy songs and now Paul McCartney is writing tunes that are even more succinct - to accompany emojis.

The former Beatle announced on Wednesday that he has written a series of sounds to go with emojis on video chat service Skype, mostly designed for Valentine's Day messages. "At first I thought, hmm, strange proposition, is this for me? And then I thought, you know what, why not? Something fun, something nice and new," he said in a video on his website.

McCartney, 73, is shown at work creating ultra-brief tunes for 20 emoticons, which range from hard hooks on the guitar to ethereal progressions on the xylophone.

He said on the site that he found the project amusing but also challenging "because you suddenly realise you've got to compress a musical interpretation of an emoticon into less than five seconds". Most challenging, he said, was coming up with sounds for flirting and blushing.

"It was like doing a huge crossword puzzle and coming up with all these solutions. And at the same time it was musical so it was great practice for me in the studio," he said.

Early Beatles hits lasted a little more than two minutes each. The longest song released officially by The Beatles was Revolution 9 from The White Album in 1968. It was more than eight minutes. Her Majesty, a hidden track on 1969's Abbey Road, ran just 23 seconds.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2016, with the headline 'McCartney writes tunes for emojis'. Print Edition | Subscribe