The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today 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.
Rick Smith and Karl Hyde are artists, composers, musicians and creative partners of thirty years. For the last two decades, the duo have established an international reputation as the pioneering British electronic music group, Underworld. They are also founder members of art and design collective Tomato. As Underworld they have released six studio albums and headlined festival stages around the world since their 1994 debut album “dubnobasswithmyheadman”. Their film credits include scores for Academy Award-winning directors Anthony Minghella and Danny Boyle. The pair’s theatre credits include scores for the National Theatre of Scotland’s “Beautiful Burnout” and the National Theatre’s production of “Frankenstein”. As artists and members of Tomato, they have exhibited artworks and installations at galleries around the world. Smith and Hyde first worked with Boyle in 1996, with “Trainspotting” spawning the Underworld global smash-hit Born Slippy; the fifteen-year relationship between them that spans film, television, theatre and now the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympic Games.
Danny Boyle is a British filmmaker and producer. He is best known for his work on films such as “Shallow Grave”, “Trainspotting”, “28 Days Later”, “Sunshine”, “127 Hours” and “Slumdog Millionaire”. For the latter Boyle won numerous awards in 2008, including the Academy Award for Best Director. Boyle is also an experienced theatre and television maker. He began his career at the Joint Stock Theatre Company, before moving onto the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 where he directed Genius by Howard Brenton and Saved by Edward Bond. He also directed five productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2010 he directed the critically acclaimed “Frankenstein” for the National Theatre. Boyle’s televison credits include Alan Clarke’s “Elephant” before becoming a director on shows such as “Arise And Go Now”, “For The Greater Good”, “Scout” and three episodes of “Inspector Morse”. He was also responsible for the BBC2 series “Mr. Wroe’s Virgins”. Many of his films display a popularism and scale that are perfectly suited for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. He is widely known to the general public, particularly since the phenomenal global success of “Slumdog Millionaire”. Originally from Manchester, he has lived in the East end of London for most of his adult life and is a passionate supporter of London 2012.
London 2012 Games Partners
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa. LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners – adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Supplier, Otto Bock. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.