Catherine Woolley


Two Hundred and Forty Four: A cool media festival this weekend! VSM

This is a slightly last minute post for the events that I’m about to mention but if you live in the London area, or just happen to be a train ride away and you’re a fan of video games (who isn’t?!) plus learning more in depth about them then perhaps you may want to pop to the Vision Sound Music Festival.

Vision Sound Music is the UK’s first festival of music for visuals, or so the website states, so it’s all about music within games, film advertising and known brands. Of course I’m more interested in the games stuff but there are other events they’ve got on which are right up my alley.

The festival officially started today with events like the Video Game Heroes concert that was introduced by Iain Lee, perhaps a new rival to Video Games Live, or just a one off event. However the main meat of the festival happens over Saturday and Sunday and for most events you only need to purchase one ticket which is about £10. This does mean the events are first come first serve I believe, so make sure to head there early in case there’s a queue.

On Saturday you can look forward to the following game related talks/events

  • 10:30 - Nitin Sawhney – Composing Video game music - Nitin talks about composing for video games, I would imagine with a main emphasis on Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
  • 15:00 – How2 Break into Music and Sound for Games - John Broomhall & Nick Ryan – A panel discussing the techniques, challenges and entry points required into getting into games via composing or creating sound effects.
  • 16:00 – Little Big Planet team showcase – Alastair Lindsay, Martin Hewett, Kenny Young and Richard Jacques – A session exploring how music is selected and synchronised within LBP2, illustrating exactly how they get the music to keep the playful feel required within the game.

On Sunday you can look forward to the following game related talks/events

Child of Eden concept art
  • 10:30 – Xbox Kinect Hacker Posse – a collection of playable entertaining games made within Kinect prior to the SDK being released for free making them hacks I suppose? Richard England is presenting and showing off some of the things people have created with Kinect.
  • 12:00 – Child of Eden – There isn’t a huge amount mentioned for this event on the website, but I imagine it will be an introduction to Child of Eden, followed by some awesome playing of the game, fingers crossed it’s on a massive screen with the music all the way up to complete the experience.
  • 12:30 – Papa Sangre – Games that go Bump! – This session discusses a game that is audio, a real-time generative audio-only virtual world – Papa Sangre for iOS, which was commissioned by 4IP as a game that blind people might excel in. The panel is discussing the process, constraints, vision and philosophy behind a game that you hear.
  • 13:30 – Richard Jacques’ Bond – If you don’t know who Richard Jacques’ is then you’re crazy! (well not really) A composer of music throughout the ages he’s dabbled in music for a multitude of games and in this session he’s going into details of how he’s created videogame scores over the recent years. There’ll also be a live demonstration to how he creates soundtracks for a changing experience in a game. As well as a demonstration of interactive music with members of the audience. You may also know him from his Sonic and Jet Set Radio days.
  • 15:30 – Theremin Hero – A spin on Guitar Hero where your instrument is a theremin, it’d be really interesting to have go (if they’re letting people) just to purely seen how they’ve worked with the theremin to have it register the movements. He also plays a little Tetris on a laser harp also.

Plus my final mention isn’t video games related but it’s an amazing thing to attend...

  • 19:30 BFI presents: Adam Buxton’s Best of BUG 2011 – So Adam Buxton isn’t video game related in the slightest, but he is a great comedian. He does a show called BUG that looks over music videos, their YouTube comments, his own songs or anything he feels like throwing in. You’re guaranteed a massive laugh if you attend as well as being introduced to some new music. I now listen to Darwin Deez, Plan B and How to Destroy Angels thanks to Dr Buckles. Anyone who’s a fan of Adam’s past work or his podcast should definitely check this out if the tickets aren’t sold out!

You can also see the whole schedule of events here as I’ve only mentioned the video game based sessions. Also if you do pop along make sure to try out the food at Pitt Cue Co before they stop for the year (Their last day on the Southbank is the 4th!) they do some great pulled pork.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the festival returns next year as this is definitely something that’s of interest to me and hopefully a section of the video gaming community too. Or you could just sit at home and play Deus Ex: HR I suppose.