Musical Videos Compilation

Andrew J. Paterson

2011, colour, English


"A collection or programme of original video works made over a thirty year period and linked by the presence of original music. Sometimes, musical composition literally provides the base structure for a video or media-work. Sometimes music is a referent subject within the text of the works, and sometimes musical structure is a parallel if not determining aspect of the work’s structure.

I have at points of my life been a performing musician, and I have also composed soundtracks for theatrical productions and independent films in addition to my own videos, films, and media-works. I feel that, since music has been a trope throughout much of my media-arts practice, a programme of works with musical content makes good sense." - Andrew James Paterson

Works Included:

Roman Spring Leakage, 7 min., 2011
Roman Spring Leakage is a response or retort to seminal Fluxist films such as James Riddle’s 9 minutes or George Macunias’ 10 Ft. 23 Sec. Roman Spring Leakage is entirely composed with non-camera images and it is edited to an original musical composition referencing both classical baroque and contemporary electronica. Images and image sources include colour bars, coloured gels, and language text. The title Roman Spring Leakage refers to the twenty-four letter Roman alphabet and its two missing letters - j and u., and then to excess not permitted within the strictures or structures of classical minimalist formalism. Roman Spring Leakage could play in the context of experimental film and it also could play in the context of musical film or video, as it combines music and images and plays hide and seek with language. It can play in both film festival and art gallery settings.

2. 12 x 26, 6 min., 2008
12 x 26 is a structuralist videotape built around images and sounds all involving the numbers of the title. There are seven twenty-six word alphabetical poems linked by five segments of twenty-six images in twenty-six frames, or with single-frame editing. The video’s soundtrack runs the gamut from sustained tonic notes matching the poems through rapidly repeated sharp notes matching the flickered image sequences. All twelve notes within an octave are thus deployed - from A to G# sequentially.

3. The Enigma of S.A.P., 10 min., 2008
Two gentlemen (G and H) arrive at the opening of a new art gallery, at which the artists are not identified visually and where G and H and their acquaintances are represented by the abstract “paintings” and drawings on the gallery’s white walls. As the two gentlemen imbibe hors d’oeuvres, their perception of the paintings becomes more and more distorted. When they eventually become unable to continue their conversational observations, music (which has previously been absent) kicks in with a vengeance and converts the art opening into a rave or party.

4. AIDS Has Not Left the Building, 1 min., 2007
This video was originally made for Pride 2007, to be played at a semi-prominent intersection during Toronto’s annual Gay Pride weekend. It was then re-edited to exactly one minute’s length for the 2007 Toronto Underground film Festival (TUFF), where it was played in the subway.
AIDS Has Not Left the Building is a public-service video intended to remind people of a critical fact. It deploys the editing formats of music videos and advertising, while incidentally sampling fragments of an earlier video titled Snowjob (2001)

5. Eating Regular, 8 min., 2004
This video, commissioned for a residency titled EAT at Trinity Square Video in Toronto, essays mores and beliefs concerning eating rituals and social habits and/or obligations. It contrasts solitude and the social, as well as analogue and digital. Eating Regular homages and also skews rigorous modernism - comparing limited diets with singular artistic practices. The renowned pianist Glenn Gould is referenced as a modernist icon who specialized in specialization.
Eating Regular’s soundtrack contains a twice-repeated section mixing Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier with an attempted guitar accompaniment which alternates between accuracy and imprecision.

6. Snowjob, 3 min., 2001
This video was originally commissioned by The Artists’ Film Group Pleasure Dome for a themed residency concerning the roles of moving images in the twenty-first century. Snowjob is a reaction to much of the younger video work I was seeing at the end of the twentieth century, which featured almost machine-gun editing, frequently appropriated source materials, and which avoided verbal language as much as possible. I wondered how verbal language might function in such as landscape - perhaps words are in fact pictures. But then where was the body aside from behind the post-production systems? The twenty-first century didn’t appear to be very different from the twentieth. There were still environmental crisis zones, wars, and there was still AIDS.

7. How Many Fingers? (co-directed with Alan Fox), 8.5 mins., 1981
This narrative videotape was originally made in tandem with the recording by the same name by the band The Government, for which I sang and wrote most of the material. The song was originally commissioned for a theatrical production of George Orwell’s 1984. As How Many Fingers? is a musical video and not a music video per se (it ignores the demands and clichés of the already formalized music video); it was not played on Toronto’s Much Music or on any MTV-specializing broadcast network. However, it has persevered as an art video over the past thirty years.

Rental and Sales

DVD Compilation Educational Purchase


Curators and programmers, please contact to receive a login and password to preview Vtape titles online.

Screening and exhibition rentals and archival acquisitions include public performance rights; educational purchases or licenses include rights for classroom screenings and library circulation. When placing an order the customer agrees to our general online terms and conditions. Payment (or a purchase order number) and a signed licensing agreement must be received before media can be shipped to the client.