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Topic: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

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  1. #1
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    Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    The Beijing Olympics 2008 Opening Ceremony last night was just spectacular and it jaw-dropping. And the music made the show.

    I always look forward to the Olympics when humankind tries to look beyond politics and show its best. It was many years ago I visited Beijing and was impressed to see how much the city has grown as I watched on TV last night while the 35,000 fireworks were emblazoning the city. Of course we knew China was going to put on a good show for the world, but was surprised to see the extent of the grandeur and creativity involved. No expense was spared and the music, the artistry, effects, choreography and the technology were so impressive.

    The four-hour opening ceremony to the 17 day event featured more than 15,000 performers including musicians, martial arts experts, and dancers performing before an audience of 91,000 in the gargantuan 'bird nest' stadium.

    An army of 2,008 drummers pounded in formation the thunderous countdown to the Games. Very cool. They played on ceramic and bronze drums called "fou", which can be traced back to the Xia and Shang dynasties (2070BC-1046BC). The fou drum tops and sticks were illuminated, flashing to the beat of each of the 2008 drummers. Nice visual light images, such as countdown numbers and undulating waves of light.

    Other highlights included 900 actors performing the traditional Pekin Opera, evolving "scroll" routines, and various skits recounting China's five millenia of history and invention. The goquin (gu cheng), a koto-like instrument with 3,000 years of history, was featured during the ceremony. The last number before the entrance of the athletes was British soprano Sarah Brightman (Phantom of the Opera) and Chinese singer Liu Huan in singing the Olympic theme song "You and Me" atop a large globe (with performers doing a weightless space walk circling the globe). The stunning climax was when Li Ning was tethered high above the crowd to run around the vertical upper wall of the stadium, sideways, before lighting the large Olympic torch. All with great music supporting them.

    The musicianship was superb and the show was breathtaking. The music made the show as Oriental and Western genres did a perfect blend. The ancient Chinese musical instruments and musicals were wonderful (expect to see some of these instruments in an upcoming "World" library). It was great to experience an world-class extravaganza where unique music played such a vital role. Kudos to the musicians who composed and performed for the opening ceremony!

    As chanted last night, the words of a famous Confusius greeting: "Friends have come from afar, how happy we are."

    Gary

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    oops... Gary, i missed it. I'll have to go see if it was captured on Youtube.

  3. #3

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    It was phenomenal, amazing, stupendous!

    There would have been one group of seriously worried people watching: The organisers of the London 2012 games.

  4. #4
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    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins View Post
    It was phenomenal, amazing, stupendous!

    There would have been one group of seriously worried people watching: The organisers of the London 2012 games.
    And Vancouver 2010 (hope to attend that one )

  5. #5

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen View Post
    But I'm sure the music was wonderful!
    actually, visually the entire thing was a glorious spectacle...

    musically? it was pompous and overblown, and quite honestly not worthy of accompanying the visuals that were presented.

  6. #6

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    My wife and I tried to avoid any mention or reference to Beijing on that day and the days before. Sport may be the most important thing when it comes to the Olympics, but living in Taiwan, and having lived here happily for many years, China is not a place that brings good feelings. In fact it puts fear in many people's hearts. China has reportedly over a thousand missiles aimed directly at Taiwan at any given moment. We had a defence drill here in Taipei just last week, to prepare for an invasion of Chine. Heaven only knows when the Olympics are over what China may do. There has been rumours going around for several years now that they were just waiting for the Olympics to be over to invade Taiwan.... It is hard to believe that in spite of what the Chinese government is doing to its own people and people from other countries, that the Olympic games are held in the middle of it. The Olympic Games of 1936 come to mind.......

    I apologize for my negative post on what should actually be something to celebrate and enjoy.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  7. #7

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    actually, visually the entire thing was a glorious spectacle...

    musically? it was pompous and overblown, and quite honestly not worthy of accompanying the visuals that were presented.
    I didn't see all of it, but I somewhat agree with this assessment. The music was quite good but probably better suited for a different context.....like an epic film.

    Just my opinion.

    Steve Winkler

  8. #8

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    holy cow you guys

    I don't want to get into a political rant here, but I think the visuals were incredible. They smoked every Olympics opening ceremony in the past, IMO.

    The LED floor, the blanket video screen at the ceiling's edge was stunning.

    I agree that China has some serious problems with their government and their policies....

    often heard from Craig Ferguson... " remind you of anyone"

    USA is not without serious issues too. I think their whole theme of "you and me" getting along in a peaceful world is a great thought, we know that's not possible, but the dream is there for many.

    I was very moved by the ceremony, the lighting of the Olympics torch was awesome. Not to mention 2008 wireless earbuds for the people on the floor staying in,,,, what I would call perfect sync. That in itself was incredible.

    Dan

  9. #9

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    Quote Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
    oops... Gary, i missed it. I'll have to go see if it was captured on Youtube.
    Anyone has any link to see it?
    Marcelo Colina

  10. #10

    Re: Beijing Olympics 2008 - A Stunning Musical Extravaganza

    I didn't see it. I watched "Puppy Games 2008" on the Animal Channel, instead.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

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