Top Score: Online Game Music Festival Launches This Weekend

by Emily Reese
November 28, 2013

Listen Top Score: Loudr Game Music Festival
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Loudr Game Music Festival publicity. (© Loudr Game Music Festival.)
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A new online Game Music Festival launches tomorrow at Loudr.fm.

Josh Whelchel is the developer of Loudr.

"The whole point of this festival, running from the Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, is that video game music is awesome, [and] here's a place where you can come and love on it."

The festival celebrates video game music, and music inspired by games.

Independent video games and their soundtracks often struggle for the spotlight. Loudr gives composers a place to share their game music, and connects fans with game soundtracks.

For musicians who want to record game music by other composers, Loudr helps navigate complicated legal rights. Composer Dren McDonald explains.

"Loudr has helped us, in the case of someone like Lucas Arts, where you have a studio that's no longer around and they're owned by Disney now, and I don't have really the resources to go out and clear all of these songs to be able to cover them, because I don't know the first person to go look for to say, 'Hey, you know, we're gonna cover this music that you never released as a soundtrack.' They already know who these people are. They have them in their database."

Whelchel is passionate about connecting musicians, artists and fans.

"We went to all of these people and said, 'Hey, we have all these video game musicians, one thing that we can do is put you guys together; let's get some writing out about it, let's get some sales going so that people can actually start listening, let's put some free music up, let's just promote the heck out of this video game space."

Composer Chris Geehan explains another benefit to Loudr and this weekend's Game Music Festival.

"A lot of the success of video game soundtracks rides on the popularity of the game no matter how good the music is, because I've seen some great soundtracks just go completely under the radar."

Geehan's soundtrack for a game called Dust: An Elysian Tail did not suffer from that fate, however Geehan says Loudr's Game Music Festival helps bring attention to lesser-known soundtracks, allowing people to listen to music for games they've never played.

"Through Loudr, you can actually gain people's interest through just the music that they've liked from your other projects, rather than just going, 'Well, I don't want to listen to that because I haven't played the game.' They'll actually be interested just from the soundtrack itself without even touching the game first."

Loudr's online Game Music Festival starts tomorrow at Loudr.fm.

Hear samples of this music and more on the new episode of Top Score from Classical MPR, also available on iTunes.