London Olympics Ceremonies' Music "Will Be Pre-recorded"

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 77 months ago
London Olympics Ceremonies' Music "Will Be Pre-recorded"


Who isn't looking forward to the musical side of the Olympics? Danny Boyle will oversee the "watched-by-billions" opening ceremony, there's an anthem by Mark Ronson, Elbow's Guy Garvey has written the BBC theme, the closing ceremony will feature "the best of British music" and Blur will headline a closing ceremony concert at Hyde Park.

There will no doubt be a keen desire to avoid the none-too-melodious musical scandals of Olympics Opening Ceremonies past. The most famous case was four years ago in China where Lin Miaoke mimed the singing of the not so physically "flawless" Yang Peiyi. The 2000 Australia Olympics saw the entire orchestra "play" over pre-recorded music for the whole of the proceedings while the 2006 Turin Olympics topped this by having an orchestra plus Luciano Pavarotti (sadly, in his last public performance) going all Milli Vanilli.

Of course, with all this in mind, would LOCOG (the London Olympics' organising body) allow a repeat of those events to happen this summer? As part of his role as Assistant General Secretary of the Musicians Union (MU), Horace Trubridge is the chairman of an Olympics 2012 sub-committee. His article titled "Karaoke Games" in the latest edition of the MU quarterly makes interesting reading:

At a meeting with LOCOG in 2011, I was told that all of the music for these ceremonies would be pre-recorded as they would be trying to eliminate any risk of things going wrong. For instance, if it's windy and raining, the microphones might not work properly.

I pointed out that, bearing in mind all the logistical problems inherent in hosting the London 2012 Olympics, it beggared belief that nobody could be found with the expertise to mic up a musical instrument in inclement weather. We fully understood that some elements of the music would have to be pre-recorded, but surely it would be possible to ensure that there was still a significant element of live music?

Trubridge continues:

I'm pleased to say that I believe things have moved along and there will now be live music as part of the productions marking the opening and closing ceremonies. Nevertheless, in view of the secrecy surrounding anything to do with these events, I am unable to give any guarantees.

The Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony takes place on July 27.

Photo (c) McTumshie from the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 12 March 2012