Two panel discussions on the past, present and future of music composition for interactive media, in collaboration with EA Music.
14:45-15:45 - There is no Such Thing as a Video Game Composer
Q: When is a composer just a composer? A: When the entertainment industry recognizes no restrictions other than excellence. Join several of the top composers in film, television, and videogames as they discuss facing the challenges, trusting the music, and finding the assignments that matter.
For fifteen years, Shalini Singh worked for Composer Hans Zimmer as a Manager of Music Production on his scores to Inception, Interstellar, The Crown Seasons 1 & 2, Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, The Lion King, No Time To Die, Top Gun: Maverick, and Dune, for which Zimmer won his second Oscar.
During her time at Netflix, Shalini worked on the Original Films team, with projects that included Nicholas Britell’s Academy Award nominated score to Don’t Look Up.
Shalini joined the Electronic Arts Music team in 2022, beginning with Stephen Barton and Gordy Haab’s Score to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, a project with over 8 hours of original score recorded across multiple locations.
2021 WSA Discovery of the Year winner Nainita Desai’s recent projects include the hit Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible, which earned her a Primetime Emmy, and Oscar winning feature The Deepest Breath (A24, Netflix). Desai’s other credits include the Oscar nominated doc For Sama and Sundance winning The Reason I Jump. She has recently garnered many award nominations for her score for the acclaimed video game Immortality.
Stephen Barton’s extensive credits in film, television and video games include Star Trek: Picard, Apex Legends, Star Wars: Jedi, MultiVersus, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Unlocked. The live service games he has scored (Apex, MultiVersus), have over 300 million regular players worldwide. He began his composing career at 19, as an assistant to Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven).
Stephanie Economou is a Grammy-winning composer and violinist known for her scores for the Netflix TV series Jupiter’s Legacy, The Chair, Manhunt: Deadly Games, and the LucasFilm/Disney+ documentary feature, More Than Robots. She is also the composer of the Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla expansions The Siege of Paris and Dawn of Ragnarök, the latter of which earned her the historic 2023 Grammy Award for Best Score for Video Games and Other Interactive Media, making her the first-ever winner in the new category. In another first, Stephanie also won the inaugural David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent from the Society of Composers and Lyricists for her music on Jupiter’s Legacy. Her next work sees her scoring the DreamWorks animated feature Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, the Lionsgate film About My Father, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.
Gordy Haab is a multi-award-winning film, video game, and television composer who has written music for many well-known titles, including Star Wars: Squadrons, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Microsoft’s Halo Wars 2, and Star Wars: Battlefront I and II, among others. In 2022, Haab was nominated for an International Film Music Critics award for his work on the feature film My Country, My Parents. For his scores for the Star Wars games, he was named "John Williams’ heir apparent" by Billboard in 2018.
Composer Austin Wintory wrote music for one of the finest indie games of the 21st century: Journey. The adventure game caught the eye of fans and critics alike and earned him a Grammy nomination. He also wrote the score for Ubisoft’s blockbuster Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Giant Squid Studios’ debut Abzû. Austin Wintory has also scored nearly 50 feature films, including Sundance hits Captain Abu Raed, and Grace.
Steve Schnur (online)
Steve Schnur is Worldwide Executive of Music for Electronic Arts and develops the international business plan for music in game franchises such asMadden NFL, FIFA and Need For Speed. His has worked on over 200 EA soundtrack albums, including original scores for Battlefield 2042, Medal of Honor, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, with composers that have included Hildur Guðnadóttir, Gordy Haab and Hans Zimmer.
15:45-16:15 - Learn by Doing: The Importance of Mentorship
“Mentoring”, it has been said, “is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” How do young composers find the right mentor? What is expected of this professional relationship? And why is mentorship beneficial to both mentor and protégé