With the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games now in full swing the search for an appropriate piece of music to become the backdrop to the event is underway. Should the competition organisers be searching for a stirring classical composition or a rousing rock ballard to inspire viewers and encourage the world-class athletes?
BBC Radio 3 is teaming up with the London 2012 Olympic Games arts programme and the New Music 20×12 group to find a selection of original works from a UK-based composer. The groups are looking for about 20 pieces of work in any musical style, each lasting 12 minutes, to be the anthem of the event.
The search, which is backed by funding body the PRS for Music foundation, has been described as “a wonderful opportunity for composers and audiences to celebrate 2012 together”, by Cultural Olympiad director Ruth Mackenzie.
Earlier this year, research carried out by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) found that almost half those questioned favoured an Olympic theme composed by a British orchestra. The poll pointed to finding a Nessum Dorma-style song to help raise the emotions of UK sports fans.
At the time, Mark Pemberton, director of the ABO, claimed that orchestral music would be the ideal companion for a major international sporting event.
“The Olympics should be a celebration of the best of British culture – and orchestras can play a central part in that,” he said.
However, the ABO could be under pressure to secure the recording from two British rock bands, with both Muse and the Horrors announcing that they would be willing to record the soundtrack to the Games.
What genre or song do you think would best represent the crowning event of the global sporting calendar?
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