'The Last of Us', 'Baldur's Gate III', 'Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök' and 'Star Wars Jedi' composers to attend PRESS PLAY: Music in Games
There is no getting around it: video games are a worldwide phenomenon with a huge cultural impact. And Belgium has a small part to play in these exciting developments: in early August, it was announced that the best-selling game on distribution platform Steam was Baldur's Gate III, a game set in the world of the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, and developed by the Ghent-based Larian Studios. High time, then, to give the game's score due attention as well. Composer Borislav Slavov also composed the score for Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin II and for Crysis 2, for which he collaborated with Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer.
Earlier this year, Stephanie Economou became the first person ever to receive the Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media. Her music for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök was therefore widely praised. Economou does not only focus on games, however. She has composed music for series such as Step Up: High Water, Jupiter's Legacy and The Chair. Working with composer Harry Gregson-Williams, she contributed to the scores for Mulan, The Meg and The Martian, among others.
Composer Gordy Haab was named "John Williams’ heir apparent" by Billboard in 2018 for his scores for the Star Wars games. He won several awards for his music within the Star Wars universe, including the Video Game Score of the Year for Star Wars Battlefront II from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. His score for Wars: Battlefront won three awards at the 2016 Game Developers Conference: Music of the Year, Best Interactive Score, and Best Instrumental Score. Haab was also nominated for a BAFTA Games Award for his work on Star Wars: Battlefront.
Stephen Barton’s extensive credits in film, television and video games include Star Trek: Picard, all sixteen seasons of Apex Legends and penning the scores for Star Wars: Jedi games, MultiVersus, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Unlocked. The live service games he has scored (Apex, MultiVersus), have over 300 million regular players worldwide. Born in 1982, at the age of eight he won a prestigious scholarship to sing inWinchester Cathedral Choir, touring the world and performing with numerous orchestras and soloists at venues such as Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. He began his composing career at 19, as an assistant to Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven).
Two-time Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla started his career as a music producer and has two Grammys and no less than 19 Latin Grammys to his name. At the start of the new millennium, he started composing music for film and TV. He often collaborates with Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Babel, Biutiful) and wrote the music for Brokeback Mountain. He also has the scores for television series such as Jane the Virgin and Narcos: México to his name. In 2013, he added game composer to his CV thanks to his score for The Last of Us. The game was developed by Naughty Dog and showered with awards, including the BAFTA for Game of the Year. Santaolalla was invited to compose the music for the television series of the same name, earning a nomination for the World Soundtrack TV Composer of the Year Award. Find out whether he can cash in on the prize at the World Soundtrack Awards Gala & Concert on Saturday 21 October 2023 in Ghent.
PRESS PLAY: Music in Games
Film Fest Gent previously announced that Journey composer Austin Wintory will present the game music concert PRESS PLAY: Music in Games on Thursday 19 October. A selection of music from his oeuvre will be played, namely from Abzû, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and, of course, Journey's score cannot be missing either. The concert will see the first presentation of the WSA Game Music Award, an international prize for the best original score for a video game and/or other interactive media, chosen by the public.
Line-up van het concert
- L.A. Noire ( Andrew Hale)
- Abzû (Austin Wintory)
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Austin Wintory)
- Journey (Austin Wintory)
- Baldur’s Gate III (Borislav Slavov)
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (Gordy Haab, Stephen Barton)
- The Last of Us (Gustavo Santaolalla)
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Jessica Curry)
- The Legend of Zelda (Koji Kondo)
- Celeste (Lena Raine)
- Medal of Honor (Michael Giacchino)
- Final Fantasy VII (Nobuo Uematsu)
- Hearthstone (Peter McConnell)
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök (Stephanie Economou)
- God of War Ragnarök (Bear McCreary)
WSA Film Music Days
The concert PRESS PLAY: Music in Games is part of Film Fest Gent’s WSA Film Music Days from 19 to 21 October 2023. These film music days offer a look behind the scenes of the film and game music world. During inspiring panel discussions and masterclasses, several composers will talk about their craft. Borislav Slavov, Stephanie Economou and Gordy Haab will also share their knowledge. The full programme will be announced in September.