When a Snippet Becomes a Symphony: Introducing the Oddly Appealing YouTube ‘Superloop’
“Supercut” videos are one prominent example: Those custom-made radical edits condensing, say, every “oh! and ho!” on The Sopranos, or (my personal favorite) all the times the “Enhance!” gimmick has been deployed, into one head-spinning clip.
But today I want to speak up for another YouTube genre that as far as I know doesn’t have a name but needs one.
I’ll offer up this: the superloop.
The opposite of a supercut, the superloop condenses nothing. To the contrary, it takes one brief moment of sound or video and repeats it.
For a senselessly long time.
Example: Here is just that short, supercool drum-fill moment from Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” looped for 30 minutes:
Or: Here’s the funny moment in a TV commercial when some guy asks “Do you guys know how to post videos to Facebook?” repeated for 15 minutes:
Or: “The Aracuan Bird,” a short snippet of a crazy musical bird from a 1940s cartoon, repeated for 15 minutes:
That last example was suggested to me by Ethan Hein, a musician and educator who has explored the appeal of repetition, more than once. Hein has written quite smartly on the notion of repetition as a cornerstone of musicality, and even about the parallels between a compelling sonic loop and an animated GIF.