A pop song entitled, "We Are ready", is released to usher in the one year countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. With one year to go, the host city of Beijing is confident it is ready for the world's biggest sporting event. A series of curtain-lifting celebrations will conclude with a spectacular and splendid evening gala. And the theme of the whole event is of course, "We Are Ready". Now, let's have a listen to this song and some stories behind the melody. Here is our reporter Shan Shan.
Completed within less than a month, and inviting more than 100 singers to join in, the dedicated song for the one-year countdown feast, We Are Ready, is a great piece of music work itself. But the inspiring song conveys more than its musical meaning, it carols the excitement and expectations of the host city for the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games.
The promotional song was officially released last Saturday through the website of Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games and China Mobile's Wireless Music Chart. The song brings out a strong sense of happiness and confidence through the lyrics and rhythm.
The song enjoys applause from both Chinese and international journalists at the press conference of its official release. Olga Stepanova from Ukraine's Gala Net says she likes the song very much.
"It actually is a very inspiring song. When I was sitting and listening, I wanted to dance. It is a great song to play on the radio. I think that's why they say it will be a hit."
A reporter from CCTV says the song is beyond her expectation.
"It's an encouraging song, especially to see so many singers appearing in the music video. I have learnt that more than 100 singers will perform the song in the One-year-to-go celebration. It should be a splendid spectacle."
Kan Ke is Deputy Director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department with the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee.
"We Are Ready is something that every Beijing citizen wants to say on the day to witness one-year to go to the biggest sporting event. We hope to manifest the host city's preparation and the country's great anticipation for next year's Olympics through this song."
The song, with its quick rhythm and full passion, is co-created by Peter Kam and Keith Chan from Hong Kong. Early this July, the two renowned musicians were earnestly invited to create the song by the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee.
Peter Kam, who has written many excellent songs for awards-winning movies, such as Isabella and Perhaps Love, says it was a challenge for him to create a song within such a short notice. Pressed by time, they spent only 18 hours writing music and lyrics for the song. In less than a month, they completed all the production work. As they watched the finished music video, they felt their hard working paid off.
"The rhythm is catching and the story touching. As the song is for the sporting event, it features strength and energy; while the story behind the production is moving because it conveys all the producers' and singers' passion and anticipation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics."
As the author of the lyrics, Keith Chan, who has written more than 3000 songs, says the song is an expression of his true feeling.
"In the refrain of the song, I wrote that 'to conquer ourselves, to win a glorious success'. I think after the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, as the host city, along with all the athletes will find that they have triumphed over themselves."
As the Olympics draw near, famous musicians, athletes and singers gathered at the Great Bell Temple in Beijing to strike the ancient Yongle Bell on July 26. Renowned as "the sound of Beijing", the forceful toll is used at the beginning of the song. In China, toll represents good luck and fresh beginning. The vigorous sound conveyed harmony and happiness as well as Chinese people's confidence and delight of hosting the Games.
Peter Kam explains his idea of incorporating the sound of the giant bell. .
"I think that the toll expresses our best wishes and anticipation towards the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games."
The shooting and recording of the song was done in Beijing and Hong Kong. Altogether 133 singers volunteered to participate in the recording of the song, which was finished in only 6 days. The team features celebrities from the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. And the list goes with Joey Yung and Alan Tam from Hong Kong, Elva Hsiao from Taiwan, one of the "Super Girls", Zhang Liangying, and rock veteran Wang Feng from the mainland. It is the most highly-participated-in Chinese song during the last two decades and is expected to be a national hit.
When asked what has motivated so many singers to join in the ensemble with full concentration, Taiwan singer You Hongmin says it's the Olympic spirit that moved them to the stage.
"I think the essence of the Olympic spirit is unity. We believe we all are part of the one world. So to stand here and chant for the Olympics is our way to fulfill the ambition of one dream. "
Sun Yue, a famous singer from the mainland hurried into the studio only three months after giving birth to a baby.
"At first I was worried about my performance since I have just given birth to a baby. But once entering the studio, I was so excited and full of passion. It's very significant for me."
Lu Ying, a local official, is in charge of the campaign to solicit songs for the Beijing Olympics. At the launch ceremony, she received a special copy of the prelude song from Peter Kam and Keith Chan. Lu Ying says she hopes to get more good Olympic songs in the next few months.
"I hope more writers, composers and singers will show their talents and passion to write songs for the Games. As an integral part of the sporting event, music will extend the influence of the Olympic spirit."
Thank you Shan Shan for introducing to us this inspiring song. We will bring you more music works, brewed during preparations for the 2008 Olympics, in a minute, so don't go away.