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Game Changers: High Scores
December 6, 2022 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm PST
MODERATED BY LOUISE BLAIN (Journalist)
YouTube Live Stream Q&A
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6
1:00-2:30pm PT // 3:00-4:30pm CT // 4:00-5:30pm ET
It’s a moment of celebration for the Game Changers seminar series as we meet the first class of Grammy nominees in the inaugural year of the new category “Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media.”
Hear from these phenomenal five as they discuss this long overdue Grammy category, what it’s like for video game scoring to finally be recognized after all the trailblazing composers before, and of course details about their Grammy-nominated scores.
Stephanie Economou is a Grammy-nominated composer and violinist based in Los Angeles, CA. Stephanie’s experience in film scoring extends from drama to action to comedy, which has demanded the synthesis of an electronic and acoustic musical palette. It is her uniquely hybridized compositional voice which has proven a valuable asset across a wide spectrum of visual media.
Stephanie is the composer of the Netflix TV series Jupiter’s Legacy, based on the comic series by Mark Millar. She has written the music for the Lionsgate/Starz series Step Up: High Water, the second season of Manhunt: Deadly Games, as well as the Netflix series, The Chair. Stephanie scored two episodes of the Disney+ documentary series Marvel’s 616, and continued her collaboration with Jacobs on the LucasFilm/Disney+ documentary feature More Than Robots. She is also the composer of the Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla DLCs The Siege of Paris and Dawn of Ragnarök, the latter of which earned her a 2023 Grammy nomination in the new “Best Score for Video Games and Other Interactive Media” category. Stephanie is a long-time collaborator of Golden Globe-nominated composer, Harry Gregson-Williams, and has composed additional music on scores such as Mulan, The Meg, The Equalizer 2, Penguins, The Martian, The Zookeeper’s Wife, and Live By Night. She has also aided in crafting the music for Hulu’s mini-series Catch-22, as well as the ABC/Warner Bros. TV series Whiskey Cavalier.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and Master’s in Composition for Visual Media from University of California Los Angeles. In 2015, she was chosen as one of six fellows for the Sundance Institute Composers Lab at Skywalker Ranch. Stephanie was also selected for the 2018 NBC/Universal Composers Initiative and is a 2021 BAFTA Breakthrough Artist. In 2022, she won the SCL David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent for her work on Jupiter’s Legacy. As a resident board member for The Alliance for Women Film Composers, Stephanie considers the empowerment of women in film an exceedingly necessary platform and strives to make her voice, as well as other female voices in the industry, heard.
Richard Jacques is an IVOR NOVELLO award-winning and BAFTA-nominated composer for film, television, and video games. He is renowned for his critically acclaimed orchestral scores for blockbuster franchises such as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, Mass Effect, Starship Troopers, and Headhunter. Jacques’ breakout orchestral score for Headhunter was the first video game soundtrack to record with A-list musicians at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios. Elevating the action genre in bombastic style, Jacques’ BAFTA and IVOR NOVELLO nominated ‘Classic modern Bond score’ for 007: Blood Stone took interactive action scoring to the next level as he delivered a high-energy original soundtrack that immerses the audience in a thrilling, cinematic Bond experience.
Most recently, Jacques returned to Abbey Road to record his latest opus – a heroic, original thematic score and epic intergalactic symphony for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, receiving the prestigious IVOR NOVELLO Award for Best Original Video Game Score as well as top music honors from IGN, Metro, PlayStation, Steam and Music of the Year from the Game Audio Network Guild Award, along with universal accolades from the world’s premiere media including CNN, Forbes, GameSpot, Rolling Stone, SPIN, USA Today and Wired.
Richard Jacques is a Fellow of Wells Cathedral School and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex for services to Music and Media. He is also the recipient of the Game Audio Network Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bear McCreary is an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning composer who began his career as a protégé of legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein, before bursting onto the scene scoring the influential and revered series Battlestar Galactica in 2004. Since then, McCreary has been a four-time Emmy nominee and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme for Da Vinci’s Demons, a musical palindrome that sounds the same forwards and backward. His recent projects include the Amazon Original hit series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, God of War Ragnarök (Sony Interactive Entertainment), Foundation for Apple TV+, the Sony and Starz international hit series Outlander, Netflix’s Academy Award-nominated documentary Crip Camp, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Films’ 10 Cloverfield Lane, AMC’s global phenomenon The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the video game Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge for Disney.
Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer of concert and media music. Time Magazine calls his music ‘rousing’ and ‘anthemic’, while The Guardian calls it ‘joyful’ and ‘an intelligent meeting of melody and theme’. His music has been performed and premiered in many of the world’s most prestigious venues: Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, the United Nations, and Carnegie Hall, where he had an entire concert devoted to his music. He has also been performed by ensembles diverse as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest, and US Air Force Band.
His song “Baba Yetu”, originally written for the video game Civilization IV, is a modern choral standard, and the first piece of music written for a video game ever to win a Grammy Award. His debut album, the multi-lingual song cycle Calling All Dawns, won him a second Grammy in 2011 for Best Classical Crossover Album, and his follow-up release The Drop That Contained the Sea debuted at #1 on Billboard’s classical charts, and premiered to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. His third album To Shiver the Sky also debuted at #1, and was funded by a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that raised $221,415, smashing all previous classical music crowdfunding records. His fourth album, The Lost Birds, is a collaboration with acclaimed British vocal ensemble VOCES8 and is currently nominated for a Grammy Award.
Tin is signed to an exclusive record deal with Universal under their legendary Decca label, published by Concord and Boosey & Hawkes, and is a Yamaha artist. He works out of his own custom-built studio in Santa Monica, CA.
Austin Wintory is a two-time Grammy-nominated and two-time BAFTA-winning composer who has had a career straddling film, video games, and the stage. He has scored over 50 features, including several Sundance hits (Grace, Captain Abu Raed), and over 30 games, netting him 7 BAFTA nominations, 2 wins of the peer-voted ASCAP Composer’s Choice Awards, and a slew of other industry accolades.
His work, ranging from intimate indies like Journey to massive blockbusters like Aliens: Firetime Elite and Assassin’s Creed, is often noted for its unique perspective and unusual approach. Austin’s scores frequently employ the use of experimental ensembles and recording techniques, merged with distinctive solo musicians from around the globe. Many of his game scores have enjoyed success in concert upon release, with performances all over the world including a recent presentation of his music before an audience of nearly 15,000 in Krakow, Poland, and performance by the Royal Philharmonic at Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the first-ever BBC Gaming Proms concert. Austin’s most recent feature films include Bullet Head starring Adrien Brody and John Malkovich, Burt Reynolds’ final film, The Last Movie Star, Ross McCall’s acclaimed prison drama A Violent Man, and Netflix’s limited series Thai Cave Rescue.
Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specializing in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK’s YouTube Channel, and The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing video games, and getting distracted by Photo Mode.
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