Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

HappyThe idea of listening to a single song for 24 hours might strike some as a recipe for crazy. Let’s take it a step further and imagine watching the music video for that one song for 24 hours.

And yet, I am here to encourage you all to check out the music video for Pharrell’s song “Happy.”
The world’s first 24 hour music video.
Go to the website and give it just a few minutes.

The song is exactly four minutes long. It plays 15 times an hour for 24 hours. Each time the song plays it is accompanied by a different dancer that the camera tracks along the sidewalks, streets, and interiors of Los Angeles. That’s 360 dancers who cover dozens of miles over the course of the day.

The song is catchy and upbeat (as its title would imply) but the dancers (including Pharrell at the top of each hour) make this project so incredibly engaging. They are young and old. Fresh faced and grizzled. Professional and purely amateur. But all are colorful and expressive and fun.

The sheer size and scope of this project would have made it impossible to appreciate even a few years ago, but modern video technology and the website’s brilliant interface allow users to skip through the hours of the day almost seamlessly. When you skip forward, the video jumps exactly four minutes ahead so that the song picks up at the moment you just left off. Same part of the song. Different dancer. The style of camera work and the inspired video navigation display combine to turn 360 iterations of the same song into something much more– something you experience as a single piece instead of piece-meal.

Check it out. And if you need a little tonic after, you can join our friends Ren and Stimpy in their own happy dance.

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