Olympics: Underworld to mastermind opening ceremony music

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Dance act Underworld has been chosen to produce all the music for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, Games organisers announced Wednesday.

The duo -- vocalist Karl Hyde and keyboard player Rick Smith -- will team up again with Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle, who is the showpiece ceremony's artistic director.

Underworld's hit "Born Slippy" featured in Boyle's 1996 cult film "Trainspotting" about a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh.

They also provided music for Boyle's films "The Beach" (2000), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997).

Electronic group Underworld will mastermind all the music in the three-hour ceremony on July 27 in the 80,000-seater Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

"We want to leave people with a musical memory of the show rather than a purely visual one," Hyde said.

"It's a great honour to be asked to do this and one we're taking very seriously."

Boyle added: "Appointing Underworld to direct the music in the Olympic opening ceremony is the final piece of the jigsaw for the team of leading British creatives who will deliver the ceremonies.

"What's interesting about working with them is how much broader their taste is than you might imagine."

Around 20,000 performers are set to take part in the four events, which are expected to net billions in advertising revenue.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday agreed to double the budget for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies after he was shown the initial plans.

Organisers will now have £81 million ($126.3 million, 94 million euros) to spend on the opening and closing ceremonies, which are expected to be watched by a combined total of four billion global television viewers.

"We decided to go in at the higher figure for the benefit of the country," explained Sports Minister Hugh Robertson.

"We hope it's an impression that people will say 'we want to come back here, do business and spend tourism money'," he added.

The Games' security budget has also doubled, a government report out Monday showed, with plans to recruit almost 14,000 extra personnel.

© 2011 AFP

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