Tuesday 23 May 2017

iDIG Music Fest ready to rock your ocarina

Eimear Noone and Tommy Tallarico at Video Games Live
Eimear Noone and Tommy Tallarico at Video Games Live
Frank Whelan

Frank Whelan

The inaugural Dublin International Game Music Festival is less than 24 hours away, so with our controllers in-hand we take a look at what awaits.

Thursday the 2nd will shape up like so:

  • 10.45am - Admission
  • All Day - Push Playground (Going on all day, hourly demonstrations with the tools of the trade and giving attendees the chance to create their own game scores.
  • All Day - Artist Gallery - Plenty of cool game inspired art to check out
  • 11.00am - Craig Stuart Garfinkle - Composer with World of Warcraft and Baldur's Gate on his CV, taking us through creating a video game score, using the actual sessions from some of his most famous work.
  • 12.30pm - JJ McNamara - Irish classical piano genius and games fan, performing his version of his favourite game themes.
  • 1.00pm - Conducting seminar with composer and conductor Eimear Noone - Great insight into conducting from one of the world's leading game conductors, with a resume listing some of the decade's biggest games.
  • 2.30pm - The Spooney Bards - Belfast rockers play some of their favourite game scores.
  • 4.00pm - Christopher Tin - Grammy-winning composer talking about his career and musical philosophies. Answering questions during this moderated discussion.
  • 5.00pm - The Triforce Quartet - Straight from sold out shows at PAX, the quartet perform some of game music's faves.
  • 8.00pm - Cosball  - Cosplay and hijinx for one and all. Cosplay not essential but definitely encouraged. The easy option is a set of sheets and the classic "Pac-man ghost" move.

Friday the 3rd is planned as follows:

  • 10.45am - Doors
  • All Day - As above.
  • 11.00am - Neal Acree - Multi-award winning composer (a who's who of Blizzard games under his belt) presenting some of his favourite cinematics and the composing philosophy behind them and his musical career.
  • 12.00pm - Classroom Battles - Re-interpretation of Sonic the Hedgehog's themes.
  • 1.00pm - Russell Brower - The boss man of Blizzard music, having a hand in pretty much all things Blizzard audio. By all counts a legend and here he talks about his composing philosophy and history. Not to be missed!
  • 2.00pm - Jillian Aversa - Award-winning vocalist and songwriter, with credits including Halo and God of War.
  • 3.00pm Triforce Quartet (as above)
  • 4.00pm - Round table discussion and "Demo Derby" playoff, featuring all of the available VIPs.
  • 5.00pm - The DIT Irish Traditional Music Ensemble - Playing custom version of some great video game themes with an Irish twist.

 

Saturday sees the world renowned Video Games Live kick-off at 8pm.

Independent.ie had the opportunity to chat to festival organiser and composer/conductor, Eimear Noone

So what should we expect from the Dublin International Games Music Festival?

"Basically it stems from Craig Stuart Garfinkle and I being on the road with different productions, and for me especially, I toured all over the world with both the Zelda Symphony and Video Games Live, and we make it a big point in this musical world of interacting with our audience, so we do signings and meet and greets afterwards. I was constantly being approached by Irish gamers in different cities, it was especially poignant in Australia because there were so many. We did three concerts at the opera house and I met so many Irish people who said “oh my god, are you going to do something like this at home?” and of course, being Irish - I still don’t feel like an emigrant because I’m home so often but I did move to LA ten years ago this September -  and being Irish there’s still that huge element of pride.

"So I’m backstage at E3 and everybody is there and I say “Hey listen guys, this is really fun... how about we do this in Dublin?!” and everybody said “yeah! Yeah! Make it happen! Brilliant! Brilliant!” and then I went away and said oh god, now we have to make this happen. “Eh, Craig, how do we do this exactly?” So thank god I have a fellow composer who’s also a producer.

"I put it out on Twitter one day “If we did a game music festival in Dublin, would you go?” and the next thing Twitter lit up and I’m getting pinged by everybody and this fantastic young game journalist called Chris Rook, who was just graduating from Trinity, who had flown over to interview me with the Royal Philharmonic when I was doing the Zelda Symphony with them, said “can I help?” and I said “I remember you, you were so smart and fantastic!” So yeah, he worked so hard with us since that he’s become the associate producer of the festival. So this isn’t a festival coming from some promoter who’s trying to make a killing from game music fans, this is coming from inside the industry.

"Russell Brower, who is the audio director from within Blizzard, is hugely involved and he’s coming over and he’s going to perform some of his music and he’s going to give a lecture on composing for Blizzard games and how he works as an artist. Christopher Tin, the first grammy award winning composer for games music – which is now being acknowledged as its own genre by the grammys and the BAFTAs , thank you – is coming over to perform some of his music from Civilization. Neal Acree, our chief cinematics composer from Blizzard is coming over. Tommy Tallarico is coming with Video Games Live. You cannot have a festival of games music without Tommy Tallarico and Video Games Live, it’s just not right. Jill Aversa is coming, she’s the biggest name vocalist in games, she’s worked on Halo, Journey, she’s just a superstar herself. Of course I’m conducting, Craig is performing one of his pieces from Warlord’s of Draenor. We’re going to do an expo of the Irish gaming industry, an expo of the educational opportunities in Ireland pertaining to working in games, so basically if you’re someone who always thought “I love video games, how do I get into the industry?” come to the festival, your questions will be answered.

"I’m doing a demo on conducting and technology, for the public and for gamers and for professional musicians, for all those three groups of people there will be something in it for you in terms of my demo, because it’s going to be a little bit outside the box and a little bit fun.

"We have the Tri-force Quartet coming over from the States to play their Zelda arrangements. The Spoony Bards from Dublin are playing with their fantastic game music arrangements also. We’re having a cos-ball, a costume ball with a brand new young DJ is going to do dance remixes of game music for all the cos-players. It’s just going to be amazing fun!

"But the big thing we’re doing is in conjunction with Google Ireland. We’re getting lots of support from all these amazing technology companies, but this is an authentic game music festival. There is no one stamp going to be on this. It’s about the music, it’s about the games industry. But, we have these tech companies who are giving us help to make certain crazy projects happen. For instance the international real-time Youtube orchestra. We’re performing a piece I wrote for Warlords of Draenor with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, 104 members on stage, with Jill Aversa, myself, Tommy Tallarico, a huge choir and we have musicians and singers from all over the world sending us videos to our Youtube channel which we’re editing together to play with the orchestra live, but also Google and Youtube are working a project with us where at their campuses around the world. At their Youtube studios we’re going to pipe in different instrumental families of the orchestra and the choir to Dublin to perform with us in real time. That’s pretty ambitious and it’s pretty scary and pretty nuts, but we’re going to do it."

That sounds like a logistical nightmare...

"It’s an absolute logistical nightmare, but we’re all about that and the thing is, like I said, it’s one thing doing concerts and I love performing and always give 110%, but when it’s for the home crowd, we have to go on to another level . We’re going to bring everything we have, we’re going to go over the top on everything for this, because we want to do something special, something colourful, something fun, and we’re bringing our best friends in game music over to make sure that the real passion is there on the stage and translates to everybody. So it’s a real passion project for us, we’re going way over the top. It goes beyond work, beyond a job, beyond career, it’s for Ireland, so it’s all bets are off basically."

 

Limited amounts of tickets are still available for iDIG Music Fest, found here: http://idigmusicfest.com/

 

You can read our full interview with Eimear here: The Irish Queen of Games Music - Eimear Noone Interview

 

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