Bulletin #16
© September 2000

On 15 August 2000, Iva unveiled "Circles in the Sky" at the Press Launch of the Olympic Live Sites. Here's what Iva had to say about it before the event:

A song of mine called "Circles in the Sky" which was written during the course of work for the new album has been selected by the Olympic Co-ordination Authority as the theme for the Olympic Live Sites during the celebration of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

During the course of writing this song I felt that it would benefit from the use of a real string orchestra and in order to achieve this end approached Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Happily they agreed to participate in the recording and so I composed a full orchestral score (I also wrote some solo violin parts for Richard who is recognised as one of the world's leading virtuosos on his instrument). In order to check my orchestration I engaged the services of Christopher Gordon, who is a specialist in this area.

This alliance was, believe it or not, the seed from which the project of "The Ghost of Time" sprang.

The song was not written with the Olympics in mind at all. I wrote it while my family was away on holiday and I was alone in the house for 10 days. It was, in part, inspired by an observation about my children's drawings and paintings. I noted that there seem to be at least 2 common elements in all children's pictures viz. 1) They will almost invariably include a 'sun' or a 'moon' in the sky and 2) children have a complete lack of fear in the use of colour and do so with such dramatic abandon that their approach to colour is often envied by adult artists.

This is where I started ...

Having virtually finished the song (certainly I could hear the whole thing and all the lyrics were complete) the penny suddenly dropped that it was the sort of song which had such broad terms of reference that it would be perfect for the Olympics without the need of compromising its wider meaning.

It was on that day that Craig Peacock happened to be visiting Australia and he was due to visit me at my studio. We went to lunch from there and it was during the course of that lunch that I alluded to the fact that something remarkable had just 'fallen into my lap'.

I also realised that I needed a lot of voices for the song and so, to that end, approached a number of great singers to assist with backing vocals. As a result the song contains additional backing vocals from Christine Anu, Wendy Matthews, Mark Williams, Annie Crumer (who was in Rent with Christine), and Ian Moss.

"Circles in the Sky" will have its debut airing on Tuesday 15th of August with a live performance in Martin Place, Sydney at 1.30 pm featuring myself, Richard Tognetti, Paul Wheeler, Steve Bull, Paul Gildea and Naomi and Juanita (2 female backing vocalists).

This performance will be the accompaniment to the Press Launch of the Olympic Live Sites and the launch of this song as the theme.

Although 500 copies of the song will be presented to the press corps with their press kits there will initially be some copies of it for sale.

This CD will contain just this one track and it will be an extremely limited edition. There are loose plans to possibly produce a more comprehensive CD with a number of versions or tracks. I am currently experimenting with these.

On Thursday evening of September 14th the Olympic torch will arrive at Sydney Town Hall. This will be welcomed by the Mayor and dignitaries. Proceedings will then move to the Domain where at 8.30 pm, to an estimated crowd of 40,000 and a possible telecast, a live performance of "Circles in the Sky" will launch the Live Sites. The song will accompany the City Lights Spectacular which will incorporate the whole of the inner city and the Harbour Bridge etc. The design of the lighting spectacular has been choreographed to the song. The city will be equipped with viewing screens of the Domain performance (similar to The Millennium Eve) and it is estimated that there will be 1.5 million people in the Central Business district of Sydney covered by the screens.

I hope that some of you will be able to support the performances and the song… I am very proud of it and all the people who assisted in giving it this opportunity.

P.S. If you're watching the Opening Ceremony on TV on the 15th of September and you happen to note the choreography of the assembled masses incorporates a "Mexican Wave" style gesture which is "Circular" in nature… the idea was stolen from me!! They probably won't do it… but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I'll be watching for it! (Now how do I get royalties for that!!)

We have no information at this time about the possible broadcasting of the performance of "Circles in the Sky" on 14 September, only high hopes!

The Olympic Co-ordination Authority of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games provided this media release on 15 August 2000:

SYDNEY 2000 and Australian music sensation Iva Davies today launched the theme song for the huge celebrations in the centre of Sydney during the Olympics.

The song, "Circles in the Sky," will help rouse the big crowds and set the scene before the best in Australian talent performs at each of the six Olympics Live Sites around the city.

Sydney 2000 commissioned Iva to record "Circles in the Sky" as the theme for the Olympics Live Sites. The piece debuted today with a live performance by Iva in Martin Place.

"I'm honoured 'Circles in the Sky' was chosen to be part of the Olympic entertainment program," Iva said.

"When the penny finally dropped on the song's potential, I was about halfway through writing it and just realised it would be perfect for the Games.

"Because it has got such a wide meaning, I realised it was just as appropriate for something like the Games as it is for describing the passing of generations.''

"Circles in the Sky" is a universal anthem which would suit the many different cultures, nationalities and musical tastes visiting Sydney during the Games.

"I do not know how many songs I have put out, probably hundreds but only a few of them were gifts,'' he said. "'Great Southern Land' wrote itself and 'Circles in the Sky' was one of those songs too."

Iva has sought out Australia's entertainment elite for the recording. Christine Anu, Wendy Matthews, Ian Moss and Mark Williams are among the backing vocalists. The recording also features the Australian Chamber Orchestra and its Artistic Director and virtuoso violinist Richard Tognetti, as soloist.

The song is the first release in a body of new works which Iva has been developing with other international talents.

A one track CD single will be available 11 September 2000, released on the Warner/DIVA label (catalogue #8573849462). So if you're in Australia, hound your local record shops to order in some copies and call your local radio stations to request "Circles in the Sky"!

At this time, there are plans to release a three track CD single of "Circles in the Sky" - the release date has not yet been announced.

One last piece of good news: Iva has received an ARIA award for Engineer of the Year for his work on The Ghost of Time! This award was presented at the ARIA nominations announcement ceremony on 6 September 2000, and was shared by all five nominees in the first five way tie in ARIA history. The Ghost of Time is in the running for Best Original Soundtrack Album, but we'll have to wait until the awards ceremony on 24 October to find out if Iva will have another ARIA to add to his collection. Best of luck, Iva - you deserve it!