Another year is over, and it has gone by very quickly! We are so grateful to be part of this (still-growing) community; 55 individuals attended the conference – a record number, and we also had a record number of submissions. The quality and diversity of the papers has been staggering, from the first session on Japan, two sessions on chips & chiptunes, a session on representation, ethnicity & national identity, and music ‘beyond games’. There will be a fuller (less biased!) review published in due course, but my personal highlights included Annabelle Richmond’s excellent work on developing a theory of ‘Sonic subtlety in horror games’, Blake Troise’s hands-on demonstration of the ‘Compositional methods and challenges presented by the Nintendo Entertainment System’ (I wonder how many of us have been frequenting eBay looking to replicate his gear…), Keith Hennigan: ‘From Doolin to Tokyo: representations of Irish music in video games’ which was immediately followed by Hyeonjin Park: ‘Melodies of a barren wasteland: the musical portrayal of the desert’, Elise & David Plans’s demonstration (‘Music as function: biofeedback in games for health’), and Morgan Hale’s ‘Filled with determination: an exploration of the music of Undertale‘. And who will ever forget Tim’s efforts to demonstrate the death music in ‘The Gamified Album: Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds‘… We cannot thank the speakers and delegates enough for their amazing presentations and contributions.
Special thanks must also go to our keynote speakers, Neil Lerner and Andrew Barnabas. Neil’s keynote address was entitled ‘Hearing Death in VGM’s Silent Era: PacMan’s Failure Sound’ and reminded us of the importance of understanding the technical (software & hardware) aspects of VGM/S production. The audio code is a form of music notation and we would all do well to improve our literacy! Barn gave us unique insights into the industry, covering topics from composition and technology to business and client management. Barn also participated in a fascinating roundtable with Stephen Baysted.
Our sincerest thanks go to Kevin Donnelly for inviting us to Southampton and being such a welcoming and accommodating host. We’re fortunate to say that everywhere we’ve held the conference has been a great venue and location, but this year the atmosphere was really special. Of course, that is in no small part thanks to our wonderful local team who did so much of the behind-the-scenes work – thank you Alex Glyde-Bates, Geena Brown, Joe Manghan & Beth Carroll for your invaluable help in planning and running Ludo2016.
Finally, thank you also to Music & Letters and ThinkSpace Education for their sponsorship, without which Ludo2016 would not have been possible. We’d also like to thank the ThinkSpace Education team for attending, filming and participating – you were at once delegates, media & education professionals, and speakers; your knowledge and involvement throughout the conference was an important part of making Ludo2016 the success it was and we look forward to collaborating on future events and projects together!
We hope everybody who attended were suitably intellectually stimulated and that you all had as wonderful a time as we did. We forward to seeing you again in the near future.
Mark, Tim & Michiel