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 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.