Burning question

Was it just me, or did the London Olympics closing ceremony feel like we all dropped some acid? At least in the first part, with the cars, trucks and bridges all wrapped in newspaper sporting Shakespearean quotes, and Winston Churchill giving Caliban’s speech from The Tempest, and then there was that extremely cool giant octopus waving its arms (with red suction cups, even!) while the DJ worked out. The only thing that kept it from being a rave was that the DJ never dropped the bass.

The music was great fun, as were the unexpected appearances of a whole raft of A-list British musicians (I particularly loved hearing Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” but where was Kate??). But I have to admit that I preferred the music from the opening ceremony. In fact, I downloaded the album the very next day and am listening to the fabulous “And I Will Kiss” as I type this. That’s the drum-heavy piece backing the Industrial Revolution segment, and it absolutely cannot be played below a certain volume level which I would characterize as Precludes All Conversation.

Quick question for anyone who might have noticed: What was the music being played when the Olympic flame broke apart and lowered itself back to its starting point? I recognized it, but can’t place it, and it has been driving me nuts ever since.

No, that’s not the burning question referred to in the post header. When I wrote up my recap of the opening ceremony, commenter Helder Carvalho corrected my impression regarding the means by which the famous flaming arrow lit the cauldron for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. I thought it went into the cauldron, but in fact it went just over the top, lighting the gas that was already jetting out of it — an extremely effective optical illusion. By happy coincidence, Iconic Photos covered this exact story with more detail, and a photo of the arrow shot:

the Barcelona Olympics archer

The trajectory at bottom right clearly shows the arrow skimming over the top of the cauldron—still a tremendous shot, especially considering the fact that the archer, Antonio Rebollo, never practiced in the stadium itself. For the rest of the story, check out Iconic Photos.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in Europe, event. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Burning question

  1. Paulo says:

    Never one to refrain from accentuating the negative, my takeaway from the Iconic Photos story is this:
    “[…] he later complained to a Spanish newspaper that he received no official accreditation or tickets to see any of the events, not even the archery!”

    So I also have a burning question:
    What the f…ire, organization of the Barcelona Games???

    • Lilaine says:

      Being another one who cannot refrain at times (from anything, btw 😉 ), my immediate reaction would be:
      That he didn’t receive anything doesn’t mean nothing had been intended and sent to him. ^
      An official accreditation pass for all/any of the Olympic events could certainly reach thousands of pesetas back then on the black market….

      And, about accentuating the negative 🙂

      That’s the drum-heavy piece backing the Industrial Revolution segment, and it absolutely cannot be played below a certain volume level which I would characterize as Precludes All Conversation.

      Ouch! Poor neighbors! 😮 😉
      Sorry, dear drum lovers, I just reached the annual level of saturation concerning neighborhood sound nuisances…

      • oregon expat says:

        In my defense, I rarely listen to anything at dish-rattling levels, and never after 22:00. But even if I did, it wouldn’t begin to compare to the noise levels of the children who scream, shout and generally raise havoc in our courtyard every night until midnight. We have to close our veranda doors to watch a movie! By comparison, my music is a freaking lullaby.

        • Lilaine says:

          Ah, you have them little screamers, too… sorry for you.. 😦
          Sometimes in summer I need to close all windows on three different sides or the house, and put some music to drown the shouts, techno beats and Jembe noises(not even drums) that are coming up from the beach between the neighboring buildings. Argh!

  2. Lilaine says:

    What was the music being played when the Olympic flame broke apart and lowered itself back to its starting point? I recognized it, but can’t place it, and it has been driving me nuts ever since….

    So LOVED this film.. 🙂

  3. I wouldn’t have recognized the Dances With Wolves music, but wow, it does evoke a powerful melancholy, does it not? Beautiful piece.

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