Creating the new LaLiga anthem: with the heartbeats of unborn babies

Recorded in Madrid, Paris and London, music composer Lucas Vidal’s new sound identity for LaLiga features the heartbeat of 90 foetuses

For millions of football fans across the globe, watching renowned leagues such as LaLiga in Spain, the Premier League in England, the Bundelisga in Germany or even the UEFA Champions League, is preceded by one key factor that elevates the entire experience: the theme music.

Now, for the 2019-20 season, LaLiga has announced a new sound identity: a composition developed by Emmy and Goya-winning composer Lucas Vidal, known for his work in movies like Fast & Furious 6.

The brief given to him was simple, explains Vidal over a phone interview. “A theme that represents the sound of all the football fans who leave their hearts, voices and souls in every stadium that they set foot in to cheer their team on.”

So what did Vidal do? For the start of the music, the composer and LaLiga put together an initiative, inviting pregnant women to have their unborn babies’ heartbeats from the wombs, featured in the music. Ninety women from 3,000 were chosen, one for each year since LaLiga’s inception in 1929.

Creating the new LaLiga anthem: with the heartbeats of unborn babies

“The 90 heartbeats represent the fans of the future, predestined to be passionate football aficionados from birth, given their mothers’ love of the beautiful game. The heartbeats are the main rhythm for the track. In fact, we had to slow down the rhythm, as babies’ hearts beat too fast! In my knowledge, such an ambitious idea hasn’t been attempted before, and we are glad to have pulled it off,” says the Spaniard.

The second element of the composition is made up of fans applauding in a rhythmic and constant manner, which Vidal explains, “Heartbeats and applause are intrinsically linked and bring energy together to generate a state of collective happiness and excitement.” The third part is the melody, played by horns and trumpets with vocals, and instruments from different cultures are used in a bid to give it a universal feel.

Hear, hear

  • LaLiga president Javier Tebas says, “What we’re presenting will be a defining moment in LaLiga history. It’s an epic, integrating and recognisable sound that all Spanish football fans can identify with.”

“Loyalty, teamwork, fairplay… these are some of the things that inspired me to come up with something that football fans globally could relate to. Music and sport are similar — both resonate with passion and emotion — be it happy or sad. You wish to forget your problems, turn up the volume, and just get lost in the song or game. Both have the power to uplift and make the world a better place,” says Vidal, whose company CHROMA has created music for trailers such as The Hunger Games, Terminator, and Interstellar.

He adds that while working on films, following the script and storyline is quite enough to come up with music, but for this project, he watched a lot of football games for inspiration.

The piece was recorded in Madrid, Prague and London, and saw a total of 130 musicians of 20 nationalities take part in its recording. The choirs were recorded at Smecky Music Studios in Prague. The orchestral parts, played by musicians with experience in recording film soundtracks such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park and The Avengers, were recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. “This was a massive collaboration where hundreds of people were involved: from mixers and editors to instrumentalists and sound designers. We have also developed different versions of the track,” Vidal explains.

Creating the new LaLiga anthem: with the heartbeats of unborn babies

Finally, which club does he support? The composer laughs heartily, “Come on, I can’t say that! Honestly, I just love to watch games and cheer just like any other fan. I recently watched a game between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and went, ‘What a goal, what a goal!’ whenever anyone scored.. that’s my love for the game.”

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