Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Special Video for Our Crowd Created HALO Orchestra!

As many of you know, at the May 1st, 2016 Video Games Live show in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Dublin International Game Music Festival (April 29-May1st, Dublin Ireland), we are attempting to set a Guinness record for the greatest number of individuals involved in a crowd created orchestra.  

The chosen composition for the project:  The classic "Theme from HALO" by Marty O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori.

Many of you have already signed up to perform (200+) and are working on your own videos to contribute - that's just awesome!  (Click here to learn how to participate) 

And we have just started to see the results of your efforts in our inbox via "wetransfer."

But the first video we received came from Catherine Stay.

She was so inspirational, we thought we should share a bit of her story with you in her own words (with her permission).
"What do video games and video game music mean to me? 
The fact that I am wheelchair-bound by way of cerebral palsy means I can't do a lot of things without assistance (travel, make food, take care of my cat, etc).   
With such physical limitations existing, I had two choices: allow myself to dwell on what I couldn't do (and give up), or strengthen my mind in any way possible.  
Video games were/are a form of escape for me.   When I was younger, I could put myself in the shoes of the character and live their story for a few hours.   
As I got older and needed to spend increasingly more time in the real world, I would play video games for a different reason: the music (I've even bought some video game soundtracks).  
When I got out of school for good (regular school, what a nightmare), that was when I started taking music seriously.  Before that, I taught myself the basics of the treble clef; I took choir at school; & I've kind of noodled around on the piano since age 8. 
I decided at age 19 to start learning the violin and I'm almost 27 now. 
Our personal reaction:

When so many of us allow the small barriers in life to keep us from expressing our art and music, it's inspiring to see someone who does not allow any barriers to exist.

And for those of us who help create video games, hearing Catherine tell of her experience as a gamer puts the real value of games into perspective.  In the games, we all can fly.

We invite you to check out and share Catherine's YouTube Channel to hear some of the other projects she's been creating and to show her your support.

And of course, to all you musicians out there, we invite you to participate in our Dublin International Game Music Festival by  joining our crowd created HALO Orchestra!

And of course, please join us for our Video Games Live show on May 1st, 2016, at the Dublin Convention Center!  See the debut of this ground breaking video, synchronized with our live orchestra, conducted by Eimear Noone.


Craig Stuart Garfinkle and Eimear Noone

Friday, February 5, 2016

Video Games Live Returns to Headline, The 2nd Annual, Dublin International Game Music Festival

For Immediate Release

Video Games Live Returns to Headline, 
The 2nd Annual
Dublin International Game Music Festival
April 29 - May1, 2016
get tickets for 2016

The Plan for 2016:

Days 1 and 2:  Seminars and Smaller Concerts at the RDS

On April 29th and 30th, attendees will gather at the RDS Convention Center for two days of concerts and presentations relating to video game music, video games, and their creation.  

Live Music:  Performances on the RDS auditorium stage will feature talents such as "The Triforce Quartet," "The Spooney Bards," and "The Dublin Chamber Ensemble," among others.

These concerts will also present a special "Link to the Celts" performance by the "DIT Traditional Irish Music Ensemble," 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.

Seminars:  The musical performances will be interspersed with numerous seminars designed for aspiring game music creators, performers and fans.  Included will be:
  • A presentation on new game music technology by Craig Stuart Garfinkle
  • Composer Neal Acree will show and discuss his work from many of the stunning Blizzard trailers and cinematics.
  • A preview of "Conductrix, A View from the Podium," Eimear Noone's upcoming 3D and VR conducting tutorials.
  • A handful of select Irish game developers will show off their latest projects.
  • And much more, yet to be announced.

Composer Craig Stuart Garfinkle Demonstrates 
the Technology of the Game Composer

The Demo Derby

One of the highlights from the seminars of 2015 was the composer "Demo Derby."  For the derby, 15 composers had their music played for the audience and our panel of visiting composers.  Our composers then gave advice and critiqued the composer's work.  

In 2015 only an hour was scheduled for this event, but due to the number of composers that wanted to participate but couldn't, this year the Demo Derby will be extended to at least 2 hours.

The Cosball

Scheduled for the evening of April 30th, we will bring back our "Cosball" (cosplay ball) to a local Dublin nightclub where we will give away prizes for the best costumes and play dance remixes of our favorite game music.

Day 3:  Video Games Live
Video Games Live

Once again, on May 1st, 8:00 PM, at the Convention Center Dublin, Video Games Live will take the auditorium stage for a very special presentation.  

Half orchestral concert, half rock and roll blow out, Video Games Live will perform the great game themes such as Skyrim, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft Montage, Kingdom Hearts, and more, accompanied by synchronized gameplay images and lights.

For this performance, all of our visiting composers will conduct their own works - a rare treat to experience for the game music fan.

World Premier Performances

In year one of the iDIG festival, during the Video Games Live show, there were a number of World Premier performances.  One of these was the first of its kind, "Crowd Created" version of a game music theme.  

Featuring legendary game music performer, "Malukah" (over 60 Million YouTube views), a world wide crowd created orchestra joined forces with Eimear Noone and 134 musicians and singers on stage to perform Eimear Noone's "Malach" from "World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor."  The resulting video has since had 76K+ views on YouTube and over 1.5 million views around the world.

Watch "Malach" on YouTube

Crowd Create the Theme from HALO

For 2016, the iDIG Music Festival has an even greater video challenge planned for their Video Games Live show.  The team is currently attempting to set a Guinness Book of World Record for the most number of individuals to ever contribute to a single music video. 

With this goal in mind, for 2016 the festival has chosen to re-create the "Theme from HALO" as their star composition.

On February 3rd, 2016, the approvals came through and now the mad dash has begun to distribute parts and collect videos from musicians around the world.  You can read more about this endeavor, or sign up to participate, at this link:

Currently tickets are on sale at Buy iDIG Music Fest Tickets.

A festival ticket gains access to the two day festival on April 29th and 30th, and the Video Games Live show on May 1st.  Festival tickets start at €85.

A limited number of Video Games Live Only tickets are also available.  Video Games Live Tickets start at €40.

The First Dublin International Game Music Festival, April 2015:

In April of 2015, the inaugural Dublin International Game Music Festival (iDIG Music Fest) brought some of the most well respected talent in the video game music industry to Dublin for a three day celebration of the art-form.  

In attendance were Grammy winner Christopher Tin (Civilization), Russell Brower (Audio and Music Director for Blizzard Games; World of Warcraft, et all), Neal Acree (Blizzard Cinematic Composer), Eimear Noone (Blizzard Composer and Conductor) Craig Stuart Garfinkle (Blizzard and Baldur's Gate DA II composer) video game performers Jillian and Andrew Aversa, piano virtuoso J.J. McNamara and many more.

All of the 2015 attendees have pledged to attend in 2016 (subject to availability), along with some soon to be announced additional guests!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Help us "Crowd Create" the Theme from HALO - and Break a Guinness Record.

Attention All Musicians and Game Music Fans!

Help Eimear Noone, The Dublin International 
Video Game Music Festival and Video Games Live
Break a Guinness World Record.

As many of you know, on April 4th, 2015, at the 1st Dublin International Game Music Festival, Eimear Noone combined 134 musicians and singers on stage at the Convention Center Dublin, with 128 videos submitted from musicians around the world - all coming together to "Crowd Create" Eimear's"Malach," theme from the original score to "World of Warcraft; Warlords of Draenor."  It was one of the great highlights to the festival and the headlining Video Games Live Show.  You can see the result below.

A big thanks to Malukah for her absolutely brilliant performance as the "high priestess" of the piece.

Eimear Noone's "Malach," Crowd Created Version.

As we plan for year 2 of The Dublin International Game Music Festival, (April 29-30 at the RDS, and May 1st at the Convention Center Dublin), everyone is asking us the question, "What epic event will the iDIG Music Fest team pull off this year.

After much consideration, we've decided it wouldn't be enough to just create another crowd created video, but this time, we need to set a Guinness World Record for the most videos of individual players combined to recreate a single piece of music.  

With this goal in mind, we decided that the "Video Games Live" version of the original theme from "HALO," (by Marty O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, orchestrated by Emmanuel Fratianni, Laurie Robinson, & BenoĆ®t Grey) would be the perfect piece to accomplish this task.  

So we reached out to both our friend Tommy Tallarico (of Video Games Live) and our friends at Microsoft to see if they would be on board.  They instantly agreed to the idea - but it's taken a bit to work through the details.  We've been waiting for the approvals...

Which just came through -  so we are off and running.  We are thrilled!

Sign Up Now
The Process:

Step 1:  

Click on this link.   The link will take you to a sign-up page where you will find the download link to all of the parts and the audio guide track for the "Halo Theme."  You must sign up to download the files.

Step 2:  

Download the parts as well as the audio guide track from the second link.  The guide track is a click track layered upon a mono mix of the arrangement we are recreating.  The zip has parts for the entire orchestra - find your part.

Step 3:  While listening to the guide track on an earbud or headphone, using a cell phone or video camera, video yourself playing your part/parts.  

If you have a way to record with a proper microphone and synchronize your audio to the video, then do so.  If you don't have that capability the audio recorded on the phone will work just fine.

Step 4:  

Make sure you identify the video file(s) with your name in the title so we know who to put in the credits!

Step 5:

Using "," send your video(s) to  Do not send the video as an attachment to an email as that will crash our email server.



Ideally, your video file should be a 16 X 9, H.2.6.4 QuickTime file with stereo audio.  

Audio should be at 48K.

But if what you just read seems like gobbledygook to you, don't worry;  just send us the video.  We can import just about anything.


Below is a snapshot from the score.  You will notice the first bar is in 4/4 and the notation states "4 clicks to bar 1."

On the audio recording, in bar zero(the very top), you will hear a synth pad.  Then in bar 1 you will hear a gong and gran casa roll into bar 2, where the iconic theme is stated in male voices.  That's how you know where you are.

While listening to the click, if you could clap your hands exactly on the downbeat of bar one, that would be ideal.  This is the equivalent of the old "slate" you would see executed in a movie.  We use that clap to line-up your video with all the others.

If your part does not start until much later in the piece:

Clap your hands exactly on the downbeat 2 bars (or so) before you come in.  We'll know where you are and as long as you are accurate with your clap, we can line you up.

Try to do your part in one continuous performance.  This way, once we have the clap exactly lined up on the downbeat, as long as you play in sync with the click and guide track, your entire performance will be in sync when your part is lined up with our master session.

If one continuous take is not possible, that's OK too.  Likewise, if you don't include a clap.  These tools just make lining things up easier.

Click Instructions:

1.  The parts we are using come straight from the Video Games Live library and certain elements are originally designed to be specifically conducted and directed.  We've created a new click for this purpose.

Therefore at the top we have constructed a rubato click for the vocal part that follows the subtlety of the performance.  Likewise, for the tag in measure 139, the click goes momentarily into an 8th note click in order to be able to direct you through the ritard.  A listen or two to the click against the track and you will get it.

We've added these notations in your part (ignore the "Click Out" from the original part in measure 139).

2.  There are two guide tracks uploaded.  The first has the click hard right and the music hard left.  The second version is in mono with the click married to the guide track.

Depending on your method of recording, you might want one or there other, for example, if you record with just one headphone, use the mono version.


Please avoid clothes with logo's, game images, or anything that might cause us to infringe on a trademark.  Don't worry if you have already sent a video, we'll simply have to blur out logos.  

If you have an iDIG or VIDEO GAMES LIVE T-Shirt, those are OK!  Likewise, if you want to show off your band's T-shirt, that is OK too - as long as it's your brand.  

A million people may see this video - use it to show off your band.

Last Performance Notes:

As much as you might hate the sound of your voice or instrument without reverb, we ask that you send your tracks dry!  If your track is dry, then it's easier to make it blend with the rest of our tracks by giving all of them a matching reverb!  

Two examples follow, excerpts from Malach - just to give you an idea of what is expected of your video:

Mark Scholl, Percussion - we created the montage,
you send all the video individually.

Joe Pignato, Guitar


We just posted this montage from videos from Joe and Mark, created for this year!
It rocks!


THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED.  We would like to have all the videos by March 29, 2016 as we know it will take 6 weeks to compile, synchronize and mix everything.

If you can get your tracks in early, that's even better as every moment counts when undertaking such a complicated adventure.

The video will debut at the Video Games Live Show, May 1st at the Convention Center Dublin, Ireland, during the closing act of the Dublin International Game Music Festival.  We'd love to see you there is you can make it!


Sign Up Now