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A stirring selection of the music created and curated for the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony is available digitally now, and will be released physically in the U.S. on August 28th.
From the moment the specially-commissioned 23-ton bell (the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world) chimed, the Olympic Stadium came to life with music. The emotional punch and strength of two brand new compositions from Music Directors Underworld provided two of the most stirring moments of the night. From the majestic beauty of the LSO's On Track Orchestra's performing Elgar's 'Nimrod' to performances from Mike Oldfield, Frank Turner, Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, Emeli Sande and Sir Paul McCartney, the entire Opening Ceremony celebrated the global impact of British music.
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The music for Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony was overseen by Music Director Rick Smith, of the electronic duo Underworld. Smith composed two original pieces of music for the Ceremony as well as producing all the music elements of the three-hour extravaganza.
The two new Underworld compositions were 'And I Will Kiss', which accompanied the sequence 'Pandemonium' celebrating the industrial revolution, lasting 15 minutes, and 'Caliban's Dream' which announced the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the stadium, and the subsequent lighting of the cauldron.
Rick Smith said: "Music is Britain's cultural heartbeat; it's a perpetual act of revolutionary thought. From William Blake to the Beatles via The Clash and The Chemical brothers, the soundtrack to our lives fizzes and hums all around us like a stray signal from a radio dial that your internal antenna just can't help but tune into."
The Opening Ceremony also featured performances from Emeli Sande with 'Abide With Me', Dizzee Rascal performing 'Bonkers', Arctic Monkeys with 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' and a cover of The Beatles 'Come Together' and Sir Paul McCartney with 'The End' plus an inspired accompaniment to the army of NHS nurses and children from Great Ormond Street Hospital by Mike Oldfield. His live reworking of the classic 'Tubular Bells' and 'In Dulci Jubilo' was yet another uniquely British showstopper.
Danny Boyle, Artistic Director of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, revealed in January that the Ceremony theme had been inspired by The Tempest's 'Isles of Wonder' speech - from which the title of the album has been taken, and starred cast of more than 10,000 performers.
In December 2011 it was announced that LOCOG had appointed Underworld, the British electronic music duo, as Music Directors of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Underworld's Rick Smith and Karl Hyde had previously worked with filmmaker Danny Boyle on film soundtracks such as 'Trainspotting', 'The Beach' and 'Sunshine', and most recently on the Olivier-nominated music for 'Frankenstein' at the National Theatre.
The Olympic Games is regarded as the world's foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate. The celebration of the Games encompasses many protocols, symbols, such as the Olympic Flag and Flame, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. As the Host City, London has showcased itself to the world, with an estimated viewing audience of up to 1 billion people.
CD1 Isles of Wonder
The album is released by Decca Records, housed within Universal Music (official music licensee for the London 2012 Olympic Games) with the support of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
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