The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced that British electronic music pioneers Underworld have been appointed Music Directors for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The appointment completes the team of senior creatives that will lead the direction of the London 2012 Ceremonies.
Underworld duo Rick Smith and Karl Hyde will work alongside Oscar winning British filmmaker and producer Danny Boyle, Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony and will be responsible for all the music in the three-hour ceremony taking place on 27 July next summer.
Underworld and Danny Boyle have enjoyed a long and diverse collaboration since Underworld’s track ‘Born Slippy’ featured in Boyle’s film ‘Trainspotting’. Over the following fifteen years the three developed a close relationship, with Smith and Hyde supplying specially created music for ‘A Life Less Ordinary’, ‘The Beach’ and co-scoring the 2007 sci-fi film ‘Sunshine’. In 2010 they came together again to work on the critically acclaimed National Theatre production of ‘Frankenstein’.
Danny Boyle said: ‘Appointing Underworld to direct the music in the Olympic Opening Ceremony is the final piece of the jigsaw for the team of leading British creatives who will deliver the ceremonies.
‘What’s interesting about working with them is how much broader their taste is than you might imagine. With ‘Frankenstein’ we really saw how far we could take a broader approach than we’d used together on the films.’
Rick Smith said: ‘The ‘Frankenstein’ project at the National Theatre was our opportunity to test ourselves as writers and music directors in a completely new environment – Danny asked us to take responsibility for every aspect of the sound and music and encouraged us to draw on a wide musical palette. It was a challenging piece of work with its roots in classic literature, that turned out to be the most fun I’ve ever had.’
Karl Hyde said: ‘We want to leave people with a musical memory of the show rather than a purely visual one. It’s a great honour to be asked to do this and one we’re taking very seriously – it’s certainly not something we’ll get the chance to do again.’
LOCOG has put in place a talented team of leading British creatives to lead the direction of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies.
In May 2010 Stephen Daldry, Mark Fisher, Hamish Hamilton, and Catherine Ugwu, were appointed as Executive Producers across all four Ceremonies, and Danny Boyle, was appointed as Artistic Director for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
In February 2011 Take That’s creative director Kim Gavin was appointed Artistic Director for the Closing Ceremonies of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was joined by multi-award-winning stage and costume designer Es Devlin and Bond film composer and record producer David Arnold as part of the Closing Ceremonies team.
In June 2011 Jenny Sealey MBE and Bradley Hemmings were appointed as Artistic Directors of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.