In February this year I was appointed as the Music Director for the Opening Ceremony of the Rugby World Cup 2011. This is by far the largest scale production I’ve ever been involved with. My initial impression, that it couldn’t be too dissimilar to composing and assembling music for a film, has been disproved on a daily basis since I began work on it in earnest, several months ago. So, I’m in the midst of writing and arranging and producing and preparing music to be performed to a stadium of 61,000 people – and beamed out to a global audience that’s estimated to be in excess of 1 billion people.
I’ve never been an obsessed sports fan – and certainly never an able participant – but I’ve always been just a little bit in love with the All Blacks. I definitely had a childhood crush on David Kirk (pictured) who led the team that won us the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, and I’ve always felt that rush of pride when I’ve been overseas and have had the opportunity to glimpse how reverently the All Blacks are regarded internationally. So, despite any artistic cynicism I might have had about our nation’s rugby hysteria, I can confess that I’m well and truly infected by it now.
The ceremony is being produced by David Atkins Enterprises. With 22 days left to go, I obviously can’t disclose anything at all about what we’ve been putting together – but I can say that it’s been the experience of a lifetime so far and I’ve been amazed and inspired on so many levels by the various musical worlds I’ve stepped into and the people who have been helping me to put this all together.
Last night we finished the last of many recording sessions at York Street Studios and we’re now on the final stretch, editing, mixing and getting ready to introduce all the music into the show.