Monday, June 24, 2024

Hollywood Bowl, L.A. Phil to Showcase Video Game Music for First Time in 20 Years

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The Game Awards—the world’s premiere video game ceremony—is partnering with the L.A. Philharmonic to bring the music of God of War, Starfield, Elden Ring and more gaming favorites to the stage on Sunday night.

The ’10-Year-Concert’ will mark the first video game event to be held at the Hollywood Bowl in over two decades.

Organizers and producers Geoff Keighley and Kimmie Kim talked to Los Angeles about how the concert came together, how future of video game scores and more.

Los Angeles: This lineup is incredible; it really covers all fronts of the gaming world. How did you go about selecting the titles?

Geoff Keighley: I think the thing to note about this concert is it really celebrates the past 10 years of The Game Awards—we’re not going back to Pong and Tetris. Our show has always been a blend of the past years and what’s coming forward with world premieres. So, we wanted to represent that.

‘The Game Awards 10-Year Concert’ lineup.

The Hollywood Bowl is a legendary outdoor stage. How does it feel to be able to host the show there?

Kimmie Kim: There was a concert about video game music at the Hollywood Bowl two decades ago—this is not something brand new. But I have never personally produced the Bowl. So, this is a very great opportunity. And the first time producing a show, it happens to be video game music, which is a very, very exciting thing for us to do.

Were there any titles that you really wanted to fit in, but just couldn’t find the space for?

Keighley: Everyone has a subjective opinion of which games they would like to see in the show. And yeah, there are ones we couldn’t fit in there—ones that just weren’t able to participate for a variety of reasons. But we had a wish list and we got pretty much everything that was on the list.

What can attendees expect for the Starfield score? This game has been in the works at Bethesda since 2018, so I know there is a lot of hype around it.

Kim: We worked closely with [Starfield composer] Inon Zur, he was super duper excited to be working with us. I think what he put together is something that we’ve never heard before since he did it just for our concert. So, without spoilers, I think the length is really more than what we had expected. He really gives us extra of something amazing.

Keighley: I think there’s something just so magical about hearing that music under the stars and the game is about exploring all these planets around the world and space travel. So, we just thought it was such a natural fit for a summer evening in Los Angeles.

Do you feel video game scores are under-appreciated as compared to, say, movie scores?

Kim: It’s very interesting you brought that up; we had a call with our composer and conductor Lorne Balfe—he’s worked on Mission Impossible and is well-respected. And, he brought up that point. He said it has previously been kind of under-appreciated; people didn’t really acknowledge it. Now, people are referencing that they work for video game music—it’s not only caught up, but it’s almost a level up. For me, now understanding the crossover—the cultural aspects of video games and video game music—is quite an amazing phenomenon.

How would you envision this show a decade from now?

Keighley: I think it really is a special celebration for 10 years—kind of a one-night-only thing at the Hollywood Bowl. Looking down the road, I’d love to see more video game music concerts—and we’ve talked about the idea of if this could be done in other cities, other places. So, we specialize in doing special events, but, I think there will come a time and a place in the future where, hopefully, we could do something like this again. I hope it’s not 20 years until the next video game event happens at the Hollywood Bowl!

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