Woodkid is composing the original music for the first ceremony organised by Paris 2024. His work will be recorded by two musical ensembles run by Radio France: the National Orchestra of France and the Maîtrise de Radio France. Woodkid will also give a one-off free concert on August 8 at the ‘Games Live’ venue at the Jardins du Trocadéro in Paris, following the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
On August 8, the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will officially mark the end of France’s 100-year wait to host the Summer Olympic Games. Paris 2024 has invited the artist Woodkid to compose the original music for the special Handover segment of the ceremony, which will be recorded by the National Orchestra of France and the Maîtrise de Radio France choir school.
Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, said: “On August 8, we want to share a genuinely emotional moment with the whole world, in order to demonstrate our enormous pride in officially taking up the baton from our friends at Tokyo 2020. The Games are the greatest event in the world, celebrating not just sport in all its power and splendour but the cultural treasures of each host country. Between now and 2024, we will endeavour to showcase the diversity of talents that France has to offer. On the occasion of this first ceremony of the Paris 2024 Games, we are proud to team up with exceptional artists such as Woodkid and the National Orchestra of France, who share the same passion for creativity and high standards as we do.”
Woodkid and the inspirational force of the Games
Yoann Lemoine, a.k.a. Woodkid, is a true virtuoso. A writer, composer, singer and video artist, he is capable of creating veritable masterpieces of music, sound and light. With three Grammy nominations to his name, as well as a series of collaborations with internationally recognised artists (including Lana del Rey, Katy Perry and Drake), he is flying the flag for France on the world stage.
Woodkid said: “It is with honour and excitement that I have accepted the invitation to create the first artistic statement of the Paris 2024 Games. For me, ever since I was a child, the values of sport and Olympism have always represented the absolute pinnacle, in terms of both performance and emotions. From The Civil Wars by Glass and Wilson at the Los Angeles Olympic Games to Dimitris Papaioannou’s piece for Athens in 2004, there are certain Olympic works that fascinate me by their capacity to understand the ideology of sport and to make it universal. Performance, hope, endurance, never giving in; the intimate relationship between the body and the mind; the collective and the individual. These are all themes that I find deeply moving. This piece has also given me a new opportunity to work with the Maison de la Radio et de la Musique and to record with, among others, the children of the Maitrise de Bondy choir school and the National Orchestra of France, led by the extraordinary Sofi Jeannin and Chloé Dufresne. I am grateful to them for having elevated my work.”
A performance by the National Orchestra of France and the Maîtrise de Radio France
The National Orchestra of France, led on this occasion by conductor Chloé Dufresne, is never far from the action whenever major international events are held in the country. A renowned ambassador of French classical music on the world stage, it also participates in innovative artistic projects involving a wide range of aesthetic forms, including the recording of film scores.
Paris 2024 also wished to team up with the Maîtrise de Radio France choir school based in Seine-Saint-Denis, the host department of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. The symbol of a shared desire to involve young people in the wider project of the Games, the Maîtrise is a true school of cultural awareness and excellence that chose in 2007 to establish its new premises in Bondy – a town on the priority education network – in order to offer training for children and support throughout their studies. Around 20 of the 65 pupils taking part in the recording are based at the Bondy site.
Michel Orier, Director of Music and Creation at Radio France, said: “Our collaboration with Paris 2024 and Woodkid is an opportunity to promote France’s culture and musical excellence to the whole world. On the occasion of this global event, we are delighted to see the National Orchestra of France team up with the Maîtrise de Radio France, an alliance built around talent and the nurturing of young artists, something that is particularly close to our hearts. This work is a powerful and joyous gesture that pays tribute to French artists and the values of Olympism.”
Save the date: August 8
The official handover from Tokyo 2020 to Paris 2024 will be one of the highlights of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, which will take place on 8 August at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The Governor of Tokyo will officially pass on the Olympic flag to the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo ahead of an artistic sequence that will serve as a taster of the celebratory ambitions of Paris 2024.
To allow people to witness this handover and to feel the joy of coming together again after a tough few months, Paris 2024, the City of Paris, the CNOSF (French National Olympic and Sports Committee) and the CPSF (French National Olympic and Sports Committee) will organise the ‘Games Live’ at the Jardins du Trocadéro in Paris, a space to follow the action, to practise sport and to celebrate throughout the Tokyo Games. On August 8, the festivities will culminate in a free concert by Woodkid at the ‘Games Live’ site, held in compliance with the applicable health regulations. The track produced by Universal Music France - Virgin Records and Paris 2024 will be available on all platforms from 6 August.