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 emoji.
The former Beatle announced Wednesday that he has written a series of sounds to go with emoji 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.
The video shows McCartney at work in his studio creating ultra-brief tunes for 20 emotions, which range from hard hooks on the guitar to more ethereal progressions on the xylophone.
McCartney said in an interview on his website that he found the project amusing but also challenging “because you suddenly realize you’ve got to compress a musical interpretation of an emotion 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.
The 73-year-old rock legend — who said he uses emoji in his own communication — has long shown an interest in musical experimentation.
Most recently, he crossed genres to record a track with rapper Kanye West and R&B star Rihanna.
Early Beatles hits such as “She Loves You,” “Love Me Do” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” each lasted a little more than two minutes, nonetheless packing in a memorable melody.
The longest song released officially by The Beatles was “Revolution 9″ off “The White Album” in 1968. The song, inspired by avant-garde classical composers, lasted more than eight minutes.
On the other extreme, “Her Majesty,” a hidden track on “Abbey Road,” ran 23 seconds.