#ludo14 Conference Report

This short conference report is a very brief and personal selection of highlights from the conference; please forgive my many omissions.

It is strange to be looking back on Ludo14 after so many months of preparation and anticipation. Since last year’s conference, our audiences on Twitter and Facebook have more than tripled (we had 46 followers on Twitter last year, now we have 173, and on Facebook our most recent post reached 487 people)!

This year, we also extended the length of the conference to three days, allowing more time not just for additional paper presentations, but also to include substantial industry sessions with leading composers and practitioners. We were greatly honoured to be able to interview Richard Jacques and James Hannigan in person, as well as Winifred Phillips and Stephen Baysted, our generous host.

Our keynote speakers both gave thought-provoking talks: in his ‘Fake-Bit Fantasies’, William Cheng unsettled conceptions of nostalgia in Rayman: Legends (2013), and Kevin Donnelly argued that Ludomusicologists should establish ‘walls of theory’ and develop ‘thick description’—a deep engagement with their object of scrutiny. Isabella van Elferen drew on Carolyn Abbate’s seminal Music: Drastic or Gnostic? to locate Ludomusicology in the gap between Text and performance, and our very own Tim Summers also delivered a significant presentation on canon formation.

There was a diverse range of approaches and I wish to thank all those who were able to present—the high quality of your work stands testament to the value of this rapidly developing discipline. My thanks also go to MIT Press for providing a book stall, our sponsors, Cambridge University, Intellect, and of course, the University of Chichester, who hosted us with a fantastic range of facilities and excellent food and drink. Finally, thank you to Alex Ayling for his willingness to assist us with all sorts of miscellaneous tasks and helping to ensure the smooth running of the conference, to Stephen Baysted, once again, for inviting us to come to Chichester, and to my colleagues Michiel Kamp and Tim Summers, for their unending patience and hard-work.

We will shortly publish the full abstracts for all the papers on the website, and there will be a proceedings of selected papers from the conference produced as a special issue of The Soundtrack. Keep an eye on the website for further details.


Mark Sweeney

Ludomusicology Will Return…

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