London 2012: Union urges rethink over ceremonies music
Published: 13th Apr 2012 16:57:02
The Musicians' Union has urged London 2012 organisers to reconsider pre-recording music for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.
Artists will record songs before the events and sing over the tracks on stage, said a Locog spokeswoman.
The move has been criticised by the MU, which has asked ceremonies organisers to reconsider.
"It's not too late," Horace Trubridge, MU assistant general secretary, told the BBC.
"It would have a fantastic impact on the night and send out a message to everyone in the world about just how great we are live."
Locog said it is standard practice to play pre-recorded music at such a large event.
"Due to the complexities of everything involved in staging the ceremonies, it's not possible for the music to be live," said a spokeswoman.
She added that the performers did not have an issue with the plan.
"There will be live musical elements but many of the songs will be recorded in advance of the show."
In January, Olympic ceremony artistic director Danny Boyle revealed that the theme of the event on 27 July was inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest.
A row erupted during the 2008 Beijing Olympics after a girl deemed prettier mimed to vocals performed by another child.
And the MU said it was concerned that many of the artists would mime to their songs.
"We fully understand you'll have to have a lot of it recorded as a back-up if something goes wrong," said Mr Trubridge.
"But to say that there will be virtually no live music is ridiculous. A high proportion of people who come to the UK, come for the live music.
To showcase the Best of Britain without an element of live music seemed "preposterous", added Mr Trubridge.
"You only have to look at the enormous success of the festivals in this country and at the O2 Arena, and Wembley," he said.
"If you asked people if they would go if they were watching artists mime - I know what they would say."
David Zolkwer, who has worked on major events worldwide - including the Athens 2004 Olympics and Manchester's Commonwealth Games in 2002 - said there was always an element of risk when broadcasting such high profile events.
Danny Boyle's opening ceremony takes its theme from Shakespeare's The Tempest
"You're working in a high risk environment," said Mr Zolkwer. "Most of the time in-the-round, 360 degrees - which is a complex place and a tall order.
"It is primarily a technical need. There are lots of things happening simultaneously - you might have 5,000 people performing and then one artist performing live.
"That would require lots of tuning and sound checking and all of these have an impact and represent.
"What Locog will be trying to do is send out broadcast quality images and sounds. It's a television event and so it maintains the integrity of the broadcast.
The audience in the stadium won't be going there for a concert. They will be going there for the experience”
He added that the stadium audience would not be going for a concert, but for the experience of an Olympic ceremony.
"It's a different kind of genre," said Mr Zolkwer, who is now director at marketing agency Jack Morton Worldwide. "Every department has creatively trained people and everyone would rather it were live, but the sheer logistics mean that it's not always possible.
"I don't think it's unreasonable for an artist to say they would rather be live. But it's about balancing that with practical realities - then maybe some of it is pre-recorded. There are compromises."
Meanwhile, the MU has also criticised Locog after it said it had been contacted by members who had received requests to play for free at ceremonies.
It has issued a notice urging performers not to accept such offers, saying it was wrong to expect them to work for no pay while staff such as security and stage crews receive their usual fees.
Locog said it stood by its commitment to the MU that it would not pay volunteers or headline acts but all other professional musicians will be paid.
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. London 2012: Union urges rethink over ceremonies music [Online] (Updated 13th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1422279/London-2012-Union-urges-rethink-over-ceremonies-music [Accessed 9th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
A man in his 40s has been injured during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery in County Down.
India's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
Apple has unveiled its new iPhone technology for cars at the Geneva Motor Show.
Two hospitals missed opportunities to take action against a consultant breast surgeon who was performing unnecessary or incomplete operations, a review has found.
Kent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.