Monday, March 20, 2017

Four Must Have Books for the Aspiring Media Composer

In my masterclass yesterday at IMRO in Dublin, I was asked which books I would recommend for the aspiring media composer.  In the lecture, I mentioned these four great books:
This is the first (in no particular order), Richard Bellis's The Emerging Film Composer.
Next, is Andy Hill's Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music.

Then there is Guerrilla Film Scoring by Jeremy Borum.
Finally, there's On the Track by Fred Karlin. Fred was my teacher when I was in the ASCAP workshop a few years ago (OK, more than just a few).


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

KNX 1070 - Tell the whole truth.

Tell the whole truth, or nothing.
Sitting in the car just now, KNX 1070 stated the results of a poll saying 57% of Americans support the ban on immigrants just imposed. No explanation or commentary, just that statement.

I said to myself, "That doesn't sound right. What is the truth?"

So I found the poll. Here are the two questions (verified on the link below) that were asked of 1,000 people in a phone poll:

1* Do you favor or oppose a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here?

2* Do you favor or oppose a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here?

I read these questions and said to myself:

"If I wasn't married to a green card, formerly 01 Visa Holder, and didn't know first hand how hard and expensive it is to get into this country, to get these visas, how would I answer?"

"If I didn't cross the border 10+ times a year and personally know the process; watch as people are held and questioned at the slightest hint of impropriety…"

"How would I vote?" 
How would you vote?

I would vote in favor of the ban, based on how these questions are written, if I didn't know the process first hand.

Additionally, the questions are phrased in such a way that implies there aren't already strict guidelines, or that the ones in place are not sufficient. As phrased, these questions lead one to answer, yes, I would support such a ban. 57% of those polled agreed.

For now on, I vow, before stating anything about a poll, to find the actual questions and read them for myself, then judge the validity. KNX, I would hope you would the same. People trust you.

The real news story should be how the poll itself is misleading and who sponsored the poll, not the result. That was determined before the poll was even launched.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/questions/pt_survey_questions/january_2017/questions_immigration_visas_and_bans_january_25_26_2017

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Joys of Christmas - Something for the Holiday!

In my career, I've created a handful of comedic Christmas celebrations in music and film.

I do love the season, but I just can't help being amused by the dichotomy of the Christmas celebrations of love and kindness (which even as a jew, married to a Catholic, I completely appreciate) and how much stress people feel trying to create the perfect Christmas, find the perfect gifts, etc.

With this in mind, here are three little projects to put you into the Christmas spirit.




The Donald Trumps Christmas





Psycho Bells




Christmas with my Shiksa


Monday, April 18, 2016

Did you miss our Celtic Link Kickstarter?

Did you miss our Kickstarter, 
Eimear Noone presents: "The Celtic Link,"
Themes from The Legend of Zelda?
Get Your Digital Copy

Read below to preview excerpts 
and to join our "Post Kickstarter"

To get a taste of what we have created, here are excerpts from the finished CD.


When you join our Post-Kickstarter, in addition to the CD you get:
  • All the bonus tracks, rough mixes, and alt versions to the songs on "The Celtic Link" CD.
  • Two excerpts from the VGL Level 5 Documentary
  • Three CDs worth of additional scores by Craig Stuart Garfinkle and Eimear Noone, including music from our other game and film scores - most unavailable anywhere else!
  • Be the first to see the music videos we are creating for the CD
  • And much, much more.  We want to make sure our backers have priority access to all we do!
We were honored that so many of you supported our successful Kickstarter campaign to create unique "Traditional Irish" versions of the themes from "The Legend of Zelda," featuring members of the brilliant DIT Irish Traditional Music Ensemble.

The CD is complete and will soon be released world-wide, but in the meantime, we have been inundated by fans who want to get all the special updates, rough mixes, and more, but missed the actual Kickstarter.

Only those who joined the Kickstarter can get the physical copies of the special Kickstarter version of the CD, but we are offering a limited number of digital copies, including all the bonuses, for those who join our "Post Kickstarter."

And here is our original Kickstarter video:


Order Your Digital Copy Now!
Tracks on the CD:

1.  The Windwaker Theme
2.  Kaepora Gaebora
3.  Zelda's Lullaby
4.  Aryll's Theme
5.  Song of Storms
6.  Clocktown
7.  Temple of Time
8.  Deku Palace
9.  Saria's Song
10.  Kakariko Village
11. Illia's Theme
12.  The Great Fairy Fountain
13.  The Zelda Orchestral Fantasy


*not affiliated with Nintendo.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

iDIG 2016, Schedule of Events for Day 2 (of 3), April 30, RDS Auditorium

The Second Annual Dublin International Game Music Festival
Schedule of Events for Day Two (of three): April 30, 2016


At the RDS Auditorium
(subject to minor changes - as of 4/2/16)


8:00 AM RDS center opens to iDIG Staff for pre show setup.

9:00 AM  General admission doors open for first event.


9:00 AM (and all day), Expo Space, Artists Alley

As it was in day one:  We'll have a wonderful collection of game artists showing off their creations.  If you want to exhibit, contact craig@idigmusicfest.com.

Daxter, by Ciaran Byrne

Iron Man, Meghan Stapleton

9:00 AM (and all day), Expo Space - IMIRT

The association of indie Irish game developers will have demos running of their new games. Get sneak peeks at these works in progress.
Danny Moffit's "Floaty Ball!
Ian Munt's Gobblin's Grotto
9:00 AM (and all day), Expo Space - GAME JAM!

Hosted by our Irish Game Developers, watch as they build games in real time!

9:30 -11:00 AM, RDS Auditorium, conducting seminar featuring Eimear Noone

About Eimear Noone: 


Eimear's iDIG 2015 Seminar
Eimear Noone is an award winning Irish composer and conductor, resident in Malibu California, who splits her time between composing for video games, feature films, TV, commercials, and conducting classical and game music concerts.  

Eimear composed and conducted for the iconic video game, "World of Warcraft" and the recent expansion, "Warlords of Draenor." The score for "WoD" received the 2014 "Hollywood Music in Media Award" for "Best Video Game Score" and was nominated for 5 "Annual Game Music Awards," and “The 2015 ASCAP, Composer’s Choice Award.”




Arguably the world's current premier conductor of video game scores (both in the studio and in the concert hall), her credits include the most respected in the genre.  In addition to "World of WarCraft," her credits include "Heroes of The Storm,'" "StarCraft II," "Diablo III." "Reaper of Souls," "Hearthstone," "Overwatch," and many more.  "Diablo III," as one example, smashed the record in game sales by selling over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours alone. It also won the 2012 GDC award for best audio - which includes the award for music, the 2012 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score, and a 2013 BAFTA Nomination for Original Score.

This playlist exemplifies just a few of her performances as conductor for Blizzard Games.



In this seminar Eimear will discuss everything from the basics of conducting, beat patterns, and share her secrets about efficient stage and studio performance.

11:00 - 11:30, Planned Expo Break

11:30 - 1:00 RDS Auditorium, The European Premier of "Beep"



Beep is a documentary history of game sound from the Victorian arcades through to today, with a special focus on video game sound, but also including mechanical games and pinball. Beep is a feature-length film, a series of webisodes and DVD extras, a book, and a collection of resources here on this website. Beep began with a Kickstarter campaign in August/September 2014, and began filming in October 2014. Beep the film and book are scheduled for release in spring 2016. 
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch and Expo Time

Be sure to explore the Artists Alley, Game Booths, and more!

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM, RDS Auditorium The Spooney Bards, Straight from Belfast, they return to iDIG to bring their rock twist to your favorite game scores.  


3:00 - 3:30 Auditorium, Meet Terran Gregory

We are pleased to welcome this special guest to the 2016 Dublin International Game Music Festival, award winning director for Blizzard Games, Terran Gregory.


Terran is a Project Director in Blizzard Entertainment’s Cinematics division, where he has been working on creating cutscenes, trailers, short films, and other visual media since joining the company in 2006. Terran creatively leads the World of Warcraft In-Game Cinematics team, which lets him pursue his two greatest passions: Filmmaking and Video games. Terran is eternally humbled and excited for every opportunity he gets to collaborate with the incredibly talented musicians of Blizzard Entertainment.
Terran will discuss his unique journey into the world of video games and share some of his most famous, stunning productions.

3:30 - 4:30 PM,  The Composer and Director Relationship featuring Blizzard Composer Neal Acree and Director Terran Gregory, Moderated by Eimear Noone

Neal Acree, Photo by Fran Marshall

We are doubly blessed at iDIG 2016 to have this multiple award winning pair to discuss their many collaborations.  Don't miss this rare opportunity to get a peek behind the scenes of how the images and music get put together.

4:30 - 5:00 RDS Auditorium, JJ McNamara Returns!

JJ McNamara, classical piano genius and avid game fan performs his version of his favorite game themes.  Since performing at iDIG 2015, he has earned countless awards and won even more piano competitions.  We are so pleased to have him return!



Here's JJ performing "Tetris" as Franz Liszt


5:00 - 6:00 PM, RDS Auditorium, Classroom Battles

Classroom Battles Go Sonic!  A crowd favorite from 2015, they return with a vengeance to iDIG 2016 with there spin on the music from Sonic!



6:00 - 7:00 PM RDS Auditorium

The Triforce Quartet.  Straight from sold out performances at PAX, VGL and the MAG Fest, returns to iDIG to  put their unique stamp on game music!




Tickets and more info about The 2016 Dublin International Game Music Festival:  

Monday, March 28, 2016

HALO Composers Michael Salvatori and Martin O'Donnell introduce their classic theme.

If you have arrived at this page, you already know that for our May 1st, VIDEO GAMES LIVE concert, headlining the 2nd Annual Dublin International Game Music Festival, we are "crowd creating" the classic theme from the game HALO.

Here are the composers Michael Salvatori and Martin O'Donnell introducing their piece - and performing the "Monk's Theme."




For more about our crowd creation:  
http://craigstuartgarfinkle.blogspot.ie/2016/02/help-us-crowd-create-theme-from-halo.html

For more info about the festival:  http://www.idigmusicfest.com


Friday, March 18, 2016

iDIG 2016, Schedule of Events for Day 1 (of 3), April 29th, RDS Auditorium

The Second Annual Dublin International Game Music Festival
Schedule of Events for Day One (of three): April 29, 2016


At the RDS Auditorium
(subject to minor changes - as of 3/18/16)



8:00 AM RDS center opens to iDIG Staff for pre show setup.

9:00 AM  General admission doors open for first event.


9:00 AM (and all day), Expo Space, Artists Alley

We'll have a wonderful collection of game artists showing off their creations.  If you want to exhibit, contact craig@idigmusicfest.com.


9:00 AM (and all day), Expo Space - IMIRT

The association of indie Irish game developers will have demos running of their new games. Get sneak peeks at these works in progress.
Danny Moffit's "Floaty Ball!
Ian Munt's Gobblin's Grotto

9:00 AM (and all day), Expo Space - GAME JAM!

9:30 -11:00 AM, RDS Auditorium, technology demonstration featuring Craig Stuart Garfinkle

Craig Stuart Garfinkle (composer, World of Warcraft; Warlords of Draenor, Baldur's Gate, Dark Alliance II, Fallout Brotherhood of Steel, and trailers for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Trek) will demonstrate the tools that film and game composers use to create video game music, using the actual sessions from some of his most famous scores.  Learn the secrets to producing slamming game and trailer tracks from this award winning and Emmy nominated composer and music producer.



11:00 - 11:30, Planned Expo Break

11:30 - 12:00  PM, RDS Auditorium - Runes of Aran, A Sneak Peek with Alan Duggan and Eimear Noone

Alan Duggan's "Runes of Aran"
With music by iDIG creator Eimear Noone, we are so pleased to be able to present this " in development " role playing game, set in Ireland's prehistory - a first of it's kind for the genre.

12:00 - 1:00 PM,  RDS Auditorium - IMERT Presentation.

Learn about this dedicated group of Irish indie game developers and see some what they have in store for 2016 and beyond.

Sandor Teli's "Symbol of Destruction" aka "SOD the Game"

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch and Expo Time

Be sure to explore the Artists Alley, Game Booths, and more!

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM RDS Auditorium,  THE DEMO DERBY!

Hosted by iDIG producer, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, our panel of visiting composers, game developers and directors, will spend a full two hours this year, listening and critiquing music submitted by our attendees.


Our 2015 Demo Derby Panel, including Grammy winner Chris Tin, 
Blizzard music head Russell Brower, World of Warcraft cinematatics composer Neal Acree, 
and game music legend Tommy Tallarico.


4:00 - 5:00 PM, RDS Auditorium,  A conversation with Blizzard audio and music head, Russell Brower.

Russell Brower

Blizzard Entertainment is know for consistently delivering award winning game scores - due in no small part to the efforts and skill of Blizzard audio and music head, Russell Brower.  Join us to hear him speak of his creative process and how he helps mold Blizzard's scores.

5:00 - 6:00 PM The DIT Traditional Irish Music Ensemble

Another triumphant return to the iDIG Music Festival, The DIT Traditional Irish Music Ensemble will ] present a special "Celtic Link" performance, debuting excerpts from the upcoming CD "The Celtic Link; featuring themes from The Legend of Zelda."



The impetus to create "The Celtic Link" was born at the 2015 festival, when the audience themselves, so moved by the DIT Ensemble's performance of the great game music themes, insisted the DIT ensemble needed to be recorded and a CD released.  A successful Kickstarter campaign followed.


6:00 - 7:00 PM Dinner (on your own for this one!)

7:00 PM - ??? PM "Cosball" at the Dublin's Opium Rooms,  26 Wexford Street, Dublin 2, a short bus or cab from the RDS.



Featuring custom dance remixes of your favorite video game themes, here's your opportunity to show off your best cosplay!  Cosplay is not required, but is encouraged!

To submit your game music remix, email craig@idigmusicfest.com



Tickets and more info about The 2016 Dublin International Game Music Festival: