19th Asian Games / Whats New

Call out to composers made for Games

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated:2020-06-30

Organizers in the hunt for talented, inspiring sports songwriters

The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 will be held from Sept 10 to 25, 2022 in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province. China Daily is teaming up with the Organising committee of the Games to spotlight the preparation for and facts about the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Music plays an irreplaceable part in gathering momentum in all mass events, according to Xu Jianqiang, a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

A good song can have a longtime impact. "The song, even if played decades after, can still bring back memories of an event, the year and the city where it took place," the renowned composer told China Daily over the phone.

The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, the preparations for which are now in full swing, is not just about the continent's top athletes and world-class competition. The musical soundtrack to the Games is expected to be world-class too.

On June 23, International Olympic Day, a global celebration of the founding of the modern Olympic Movement in Paris on June 23, 1894, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee initiated a campaign to solicit musical works, calling on people from around the world to compose music for the sports event.

The call, set to last two years, will be open to both ordinary people who love and support the Games, and professional musicians, according to the organising committee.

According to the committee's expectations, the musical works for the Games should be artistic and creative, and should be heard and shared by a worldwide audience.

"Sports represent the pursuit of breakthroughs in physical strength while music stands for the outburst of passion from inside the heart," said Chen Weiqiang, deputy secretary-general of the Games' organising committee and vice-mayor of Hangzhou, noting that the combination of sports and music makes the most beautiful language. Chen said the call for musical works is an important part of the preparations for the Games and after rounds of considerations and discussions, they finally approved the plan of solicitation, which is divided into three phases, and hope the campaign will help collect great musical pieces over the next two years.

"Musical works are indispensable for almost all occasions in sporting events, such as the torch relay and the opening and closing ceremonies, and will be unique heritage left by the Games," the official said.

"We hope the music for the Hangzhou Asian Games, from across the globe and with different styles, to be classic and able to be spread through the ages," Chen noted.

Besides being a stage for sports competitions, the Games offers a feast of Asian cultures.

The theme song, the promotional song and the background music for the opening and closing ceremonies, embodied with distinctive cultures and values of the host country and the host city, along with the Asian Games spirit, are imprinted in the Games' history. Music is a most powerful weapon in creating a great ambience for the grand opening and closing ceremonies of sports events, according to professor Xu.

"Music is universal and shared by all human beings. It can break down the barrier of culture, nationality or language, and speak with rich emotion, such is the magic of music."

Meng Ke, a famous producer who has been part of the composition teams for several major sports events in China, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games and the Hangzhou Time show at the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, said the music for Olympic events should reflect the Olympic spirit, as well as the perseverance and toughness of athletes.

"Moreover, the music should help present a nation's pride, self-confidence and unity," he noted.

For the eight-minute Hangzhou Time show in September 2019 in Jakarta, the musician largely applied the cultural features of Jiangnan, a region south of the Yangtze River Delta, in the music production.

Meng said he believes that music is alive and full of vitality, and is rooted in the cultural essence of China. Through music, Chinese stories can be heard by the world, he said.

HAGOC also announced it is joining hands with Zhejiang Television, the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, NetEase Cloud Music and the video platform Douyin in its call for musical works via different channels, both online and offline.

Submissions can be either complete songs with lyrics and music, or can be pure music or just lines of words, according to the official notice.

Four famous Chinese singers and composers, Wang Leehom, Li Ronghao, Hu Yanbin and Li Quan, have been invited to promote the campaign.

The first phase of submissions, open to all people, will last until Nov 30. A second phase of the campaign, targeting professional composers, lyricists and musicians, will follow. A panel commission will be set up to choose the best songs, lyrics and pure musical works from all submissions and decide on a theme song in the final round.

Professor Xu from Shanghai, who is also a national award-winning composer, said of his expectations, the lyrics for the Games' songs have to be short and the melody simple and straightforward, so that people can easily pick it up and sing along.

"I myself very much want to participate. I believe we will need musical elements from the Yangtze River Delta, maybe a touch of folk opera Yueju, and the music has to be modern and international too," said the musician, adding "I'd like my compositions to be sung and heard after my demise if I'm given the chance."

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Representatives from the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee and songwriters attend the launch ceremony of the Global Call for Musical Works for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. CHINA DAILY

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