Opening Ceremony Music As part ofDelivered by theYouth Sport Trust
The Opening Ceremonies of theOlympic and Paralympic Games ‘Music is always important in a Ceremony because it gives people an emotional connection with the show. So, when we want people to feel happy, we play happy music; when we want them to feel serious we play something more serious, and we may even want them to feel a bit sad at some points so we might play music that goes along with that. ‘Music is even more important in theIt is an honour to have been chosen as Host City London 2012 Ceremonies because, as afor the 2012 Games and enormous amounts of country, one of the things we are mosttime, effort and energy have already been put in famous for around the world is music,by many thousands of individuals to make sure particularly pop and classical music, soLondon 2012 is a huge success. We welcome we’ve taken a lot of time to think verythe world and open the Olympic and Paralympic carefully about how we produce musicGames with the Opening Ceremonies, and music within our Ceremonies.’is a crucial component of this welcome. Music,from classical to pop, is something Britain is Martin Green,famous for all over the world and has a language Head of Ceremonies for the Londonof its own. As such, it is something that will create 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Gamesa huge impact during the Opening Ceremonies.
? Your opening ceremony D id y ou know When you are planning your own opening – Working with an internationally ceremony you need to think carefully about renowned orchestra of around 60 the music. musicians, 12 hours’ worth of music will be created. Clare Hazeldine is Music Department – Three months will be spent recording Coordinator for the London 2012 Ceremonies in the studio prior to the London team and it is her job to supervise the music 2012 Games. recorded in the studios that will be used on – There will be 36 hours of dedicated the day. Clare believes that teamwork and drum tuition. enjoyment are crucial to a successful ceremony and that it is all in the planning.Music wisdom from Clare HazeldineHave a session where you create musical instruments of your own. Be imaginative – an objecton its own might make no sound but combined with something else it could sound spectacular.‘Look at what you’ve got around you and be creative in terms of musical instruments so thateveryone can get involved. Percussion is very important in Opening Ceremonies and can takeon many forms – from dustbin lids through buckets and sticks to a full set of drums.’
To help you plan your event, here aresome key things to remember:1. Assemble your music team and allocate roles to everyone so each person knows exactly what is expected of them at a given time. This way you will avoid any confusion.2. You could appoint a musical director who is responsible for coordinating the different elements of performing and stage managing.3. and involve as many people as you can Try – this is supposed to be a big, all-inclusive event and even if people who want to perform don’t play a recognised instrument they can make one.4. Will you be using any pre-recorded music like Clare? If so, make sure you have all the CDs or devices clearly labelled so it is easy to see which one should be played at the right moment. Put someone in charge of pre- recorded sound.5. The person in charge of pre-recorded sound will also have to ensure, before the ceremony, that the right equipment is in place to play the music. If you have several elements of pre-recorded sound you may need a few sound engineers to operate the equipment (tape recorders, CD players, laptops and so on).6. you have a band or a group of musicians If or singers performing at your opening ceremony you will need to ensure they have time and space to rehearse before the event.7. Will you be using existing music or writing something new? Creating an original piece will give you a real sense of ownership over your ceremony – why not give it a go?8. Have a run-through or dress rehearsal of your opening ceremony the week before if you can, to iron out any problem spots. A run- through often highlights a technical issue that may not have been obvious in the planning stages and it’s crucial to sort these things out prior to an audience being present. Music wisdom from Mik Auckland: ‘Know when your deadline is and work everything back from that date.’
3-11 yearsAc tivity ide a Activ ity idea 11-19 years– Choose a song that would be appropriate – Choose three pieces of pop music and two for an opening ceremony (think why it is pieces of classical music to include in your appropriate) and ask your school choir opening ceremony and explain why you to sing it. Choose a conductor and try have chosen them. singing loudly and then softly and see – What impact can different instruments how the atmosphere changes. make? Use different instruments, or– Stand in a circle and ask each person to different combinations of instruments, create a single sound that in some way to create different emotions appropriate links to the Games, slow or fast, loud to the different parts of your or soft, that they can repeat in the same opening ceremony. rhythm – it could be a vocal sound , clap – the things that make the Olympic and List or a click of the fingers. Then, starting Paralympic Games so important to people with one sound, work your way round the around the world and the emotions the circle gradually introducing sounds one at Games create. Then select a set of a time until everyone is joining in and you pictures to represent these emotions. are all making music together. How could Finally compose a piece of music to be you use this in your opening ceremony? played alongside the images you have– Think of every possible type of musical selected. Your aim is to provoke in a instrument from ones everyone knows, spectator or listener the emotions you like drums and trumpets, to those that you listed at the start. can make at home or in the classroom. Look back at previous Opening – How have the more traditional instruments Ceremonies, what kind of music was used been used in ceremonies and what impact in each? Why do you think it was chosen are they used to create? How might you in terms of the impact on the Ceremony combine these traditional instruments with and the statement the Host Nation is your own new ones to create a unique trying to make about itself at that time? sound for your opening ceremony? – There might be several different elements to your opening ceremony such as an athletes’ parade, a dance or a flag moment. Think what kind of music might be appropriate for these different elements and how that can help. Clare’s challenge for all schools Work as a team and have fun doing it. You need a team to create great music on this scale so try to make sure everyone in the team – from composers through musicians to equipment operators – remains excited and motivated, and pulls together to make some wonderful music that helps convey and underline the story of your opening ceremony. If you enjoy making the music, everyone will enjoy listening to it.