The real competition may not start for over 500 days, but the race to compose the official theme tune for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games is red hot.
The fourth round of the Olympic Songs Solicitation Campaign was launched on January 21. In just the past two weeks, more than 420 scores and 4,800 lyrics have poured into the soliciting office, according to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
BOCOG launched a five-year project to solicit Olympic music works from music lovers and professional composers in April 2003. So far, three rounds of contests have witnessed a total of 33 songs chosen from thousands of participants.
The ongoing campaign, running to March next year, is the longest of the four, as the other three only lasted six months.
"Composers may have plenty of time to think and write a song this time, which will help improve the quality of their work," said Ding Baizhi, vice-director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of BOCOG.
She told The Olympian that the results of this contest will be made public on the eve of 100-day-countdown to the 2008 Olympic Games.
The scale of the fourth contest is also much bigger than the previous three, Ding added. Different from the past three contests that only took Olympic songs into consideration, seven categories of songs can be entered including Olympic songs, Paralympic songs, Olympic Torch Relay songs, Paralympic Torch Relay songs, Olympic volunteer songs, music for sports shows and music for medal ceremonies.
Ding said the contest will choose 25 Olympic songs and 10 Paralympic songs as the final winners, as well as two songs for Olympic and Paralympic torch relays, one for Olympic volunteers, one for sports shows and one for medal awarding ceremonies.
For the first time, BOCOG will publicize all the songs in the fourth contest before the final results, Ding said, adding that Beijing Television Station and Beijing People's Broadcasting Station have set up special programs to air the works.
The Internet will continue to be the major channel of song submission, Ding said. In the third contest, running from January 1 to June 1, 2006, nearly half of the participants - 8,000 pieces of lyrics and 700 pieces of music - were submitted through the Internet.
"The Internet is a very effective platform and it can attract more young music lovers to join in the song-soliciting contest," Ding said.
The most eye-catching Olympic theme song will probably come from the winners of the four contests, but BOCOG is also inviting world famous composers to work on the theme tune, Ding said. Famed Italian composer Giorgio Moroder and American musician, composer, conductor and producer Quincy Jones have been invited to work on the Olympic theme tune.
(Source: China Daily February 9, 2007)