Tan Dun: Music at the Summer Olympics

Tan Dun: Music at the Summer Olympics
Tan Dun's music was selected for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, and as the Sports Demonstration Symbol Music.

The music of the award-winning composer/conductor will take center stage throughout the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Zhao Dongming, Director of the Cultural Activities Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, proudly announced that Tan Dun's original compositions have been chosen by the selection committee as the official music for the Award Ceremonies, and also as the official Sports Demonstration Symbol Music.

The Award Ceremonies Music will be played during the presentation of medals for the 302 Olympic events and 472 Paralympic events, or a total of 774 times throughout the six weeks of events. The Sports Demonstration Symbol Music is known as "the face of the Olympic Games" and will be played throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games at all competition venues prior to the start of each competition, as well as on television and big-screens.

Tan Dun composed these works based on his original concept of Gold Rings Jade Echoes, integrating the sounds of 2400 year-old ancient bronze bells from the Marquis Yi of Zheng (433 BC) with the sounds of jade stone chimes he created exclusively for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

"This is the melding of tradition and innovation. The bells and jade chimes represent the Chinese spirit, which must find a harmonious balance between ancient and modern. This music is my gift to the athletes, as it reflects the design of the medals with jade inlay that they will be awarded for their triumphs," says Tan.

Tan Dun will meet the first Gold Medalist at 10:00pm on August 9th after his Award Music is played for the first champion of the 2008 Olympic Games. He is looking forward to this historic moment — the composer of the Award Music meeting the first champion for whom it was composed.Photo: 65 bells of the Bianzhong of Marquis Yi of Zheng, unearthed in 1978