Five hours of music, two symphony orchestras, two Greek popular orchestras, numerous choirs, ethnic groups and solo performers…
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games captured a global TV audience in excess of 4 billion.
Julian led the project for an 18 month period from June 2003 utilizing a production technique and workflow that could accomodate a continually changing brief, yet still deliver an Opening and Closing Ceremony soundtrack compatible with both a Greek music recording legacy and the requirements of a worldwide broadcast.
The 2004 ceremonies were the first to be produced by a non- indigenous company. Jack Morton Public Events, the producers, assembled a team from across the globe to assist Greece in creating what was universally acknowledged as “a triumph”. At the time of the Opening Ceremony the core production team numbered 430.
State of the art technology was utilized throughout the production, from intitial music preparation through to major structural engineering, creating representions of both ancient and modern Greece, including flooding the Olympic Stadium, a 60-foot high cycladic head emerging from the resulting “sea”, splitting to reveal two statues, then fragmenting into 18 sections depicting the Greek islands.
Despite the huge scale of the event the music still was able to visit areas of both intimacy and reflection.
All the recordings were made directly to disc using Apple’s Logic Pro with Metric Halo audio interfaces. We utilized 4 systems to enable recordings to be made concurrently and any system could instantly be set up to preview or work on a mix. The maximum number of track used in a mix was 255 for one of the more complicated arrangements.
Wherever possible the recordings were made in sections (separate parts of the orchestra playing at different times) to enable there to be flexibility – this allowed the creative development of the ceremonies to continue after the recordings had been made, by offering the capability to re-arrange the music as well as edit the duration.
The recording venues were mostly in Athens, with the Megaron (Athens Concert Hall) and Sierra Studios providing the main facilities.
Mixing, was carried out in Sound Affects studios in the UK, at a specially constructed studio in Jack Morton’s Athens production office, and also by Paul Stefanidis (who handled a lot of the recording and mixing duties) in his own facilities.
Harbeth professional monitoring loudspeakers were used throughout the project in different studios to ensure consistency.
We recorded the ERT symphony orchestra in the main concert hall in Athens and made further recordings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Watford, England. All orchestral rehearsals and recordings were under the baton of top Greek conductor Miltos Logiadis.
As well as conventional orchestral recordings we made numerous recordings of Greek instruments including Lyras, Gaidas, Ouds, Santours, Lutes, and of course Bouzoukis – 50 of them!
Further details can be viewed by clicking the links below:
Artistic Director – Dimitris Papaioannou
Director of Public Events Jack Morton Worldwide – David Zolkwer
Music Concept Creator – Yorghos Koumendakis
Music Associate – Maria Metaxaki
Video Director – Athina Tsangari
Lighting – Eleftheria Deko, Robert A. Dickinson
Choreography – Angeliki Stellatou
Conductor – Miltos Logiadis
Executive Producer – Andrew Walsh
Music, Music Production – Julian Scott
Associate Producer – Marcus Dillistone
Coordinator – Vassilia Katsani
Soundtrack Production Supervisor – Paul Stephanidis
Recording Engineer – Dick Lewzey