99 seconds. No, not my daily demands at school dinners or the number of attendants at a boxing bout which has got badly out of hand, but a challenge set by Yorkshire musician, George Reid, during lockdown.

At the beginning of the restrictions in March, George set up a platform on his YouTube page the idea of which was to release a music video every Thursday at 6.00pm of songs which he has reworked in collaboration with fellow musicians and thespians in order to bring them to a wider audience, the songs – not the collaborators! Although… The sting is that the piece must last no longer than 99 seconds so its essence must be condensed into that time frame. 

The philosophy behind the project is that, rather than sit through hours of self-indulgent rambling, the work would be crystallised into a short segment. A kind of musical Twitter. It will also be of use during lockdown as the span of concentration needed by the viewer will be such that they will get a feel for the song before their mind starts drifting off to wonder what the next snack will be, or whether they should pluck up the courage to have another look in the bathroom mirror to check if the disastrous self-haircut shows any sign of growing out.

So far, George has collaborated with actors George Griffiths (Book of Mormon International Tour), Eilidh Loan (Frankenstein UK Tour), and Tom Berkeley (Buddy, The Musical) along with Alex Barton, professional musician. His aim is to keep the project going for 52 weeks and already has plans for further guests to join him. There are ten videos to watch thus far featuring works by, amongst others, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Bill Withers and a song from Les Misérables. 

If you are a musician and would like to get involved or someone who would like them to do a specific song then please get in touch with Mr Reid at george@georgereid.com

To watch the videos visit

 https://www.georgereid.com/the99secondplaylist or https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+99+second+playlist

I am no musician but I could easily meet this challenge. All you have to do is play What Do You Want? By Adam Faith. This was No.1 in 1959 and its full running time was 1 minute 38 seconds. You see, George, there is nothing new under the sun. 

Now – Snickers or Mars Bar?

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