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London 2012 Festival makes most of its Olympics musical moment

05-21-2012 09:54 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

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Olympics fever grips the British Isles in the run up to the games, the UK capital is also preparing for an alternative – a cultural Olympiad. It's the London 2012 Festival – a 12-week nationwide celebration from June to September, bringing together leading artists from across the world.

At its centre: 'The River of Music' – multinational performances at six concerts to be staged alongside the River Thames. As Richard Bestic reports, its being seen as a means of showcasing Britain’s cultural footprint – that of music from many backgrounds.

With a rich heritage of rock and classical, the UK's making the most of its Olympics musical moment.

There's history at the Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded much of their later material.

Home now to up and coming bands are established international performers and even the production of Hollywood film scores.

Andrew Dudman, Abbey Road Studios, said, "What makes this place pretty unique is the rooms, the recording spaces, so if you listen to your Beatles is probably the most famous example, you’ll hear the sound of studio two on their recordings. It's every musicians dream to come here to record because of the heritage of the albums that have been recorded here and now the film scores that we've been doing for the last twenty odd years."

The UK's live music scene is still strong.

From tiny local pubs to huge stadiums and from experimental acts at the Edinburgh Festival to the London Symphony Orchestra - all to be part of London’s Cultural Olympiad.

Edinburgh's Festivals will play a major role in celebrating London 2012.

If you're coming, The Dublin Castle in Camden Town is a good place to begin.

Many bands that played their first shows here have gone on to become household names, others are still starting out.

Morning Lane said, "Who are we? We're Morning Lane a London based band. We're quite International I would say. We have four different nations. It's quite interesting. We've done a few shows around London so we've got a good sense of what is a good venue. Those will get you started and then you’ll get to know the others."

As the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 festival aims to capture the 'Spirit of the Olympics'.

David Jones, "River of Music", said, "I think most of the audiences and most of the artists who come to BT River of Music are people who are going to be fired up by it, who are excited, who are going to want new things and for whom the whole Olympic experience in all its forms, is a journey of discovery."

The River of Music concerts will be played out on six stages along the River Thames. Making music they say part of the Games.

Trafalgar Square, sharing space with the Olympic clock and of course Nelson's on his colum. Although quite what Britain's seafaring hero would make of it we can only guess.

The Asia stage will be in Battersea Park, on the grass with a Japanese Buddhist Pagoda, all though a unique Mix of sights and sounds for a rare celebration.

The Festival opens on 21 June and runs to 9 September 2012.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CNTV.CN

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