Berklee Alumnus Lucas Vidal Creates ESPN Theme for Olympic Games in Rio

Kimberly Ashton
August 11, 2016
Lucas Vidal B.M. '07

The millions of viewers who tune in to ESPN's coverage of the Olympic Games this summer will be moved not just by the athletes' feats, but by a song created by an international team of musicians. 

ESPN turned to Spanish film composer Lucas Vidal B.M. '07 (Fast & Furious 6) to create "Olympic Suite for ESPN" and capture the spirit of the Rio event. 

"I wanted to compose an epic theme for the Olympic Games and bring in the sound of Brazil. I mixed local Brazilian percussion and choir with a full orchestra. We recorded in Australia with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. ESPN gave me carte blanche and was very supportive but they were very involved and gave me amazing feedback as they have so much experience creating themes for grand events," said Vidal, who cofounded Music & Motion Productions with Steve Dzialowski B.M. '07. Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra led the orchestra.  

In L.A., at the Village Recorder, the team recorded Brazilian singers and incorporated caixas (snares), repiques, surdos, agogos, tamborins, and chocalho to give the piece a Rio flavor. Then, Music & Motion took care of the mixing and editing, "as we needed to create so many versions to fit every TV spot and length, and to keep it very musical," Dzialowski said. Lastly, after the song was complete, ESPN shot an orchestra in playback in Mexico for the music video. What resulted was a work of inspiration.