This month I had the fantastic opportunity to go to GameSOUNDCon in LA. Not only was it enjoyable to get some time off from the stress and school and the growing cold in Colorado, but it was a vastly educational and extremely helpful experience. While I have gone through Major changes in school and changed my focus, I have consistently wanted the opportunity to work on video games. The creators of video games have given a lot to me in so many aspects, and in one big way, video games are the main factor of finding my love of music. Even the majority of my blogging has been spent sharing some of my love for some of these most influential video games, and I plan on continuing that. I could go on and on about what they’ve done for me, what I think they can do, and really just about them in general, so I will leave that to express in pieces from post to post, and get to talking about what was great about GameSOUNDCon.

First, I was excited for this opportunity because I have been spending all my time studying music in school, and while I don’t dislike this at all, I have certainly not been able to focus specifically on implementation in video games. This has been hard at times, because it has left me feeling as if I may not be in the right place for what I want to do. Getting the chance to go to this conference is really the first time I’ve spent two full days discussing nothing but the implementation of music and audio into video games—and that by itself was very refreshing.

The quality of this conference really made this opportunity that much more extraordinary. There was a great line-up of speakers, with the best choices of topics for young aspiring composers and audio producers, and most of all a comforting environment. This gave me a lot to take away. The topics balanced a full and large amount of work I can do now to make me a more valuable composer with motivation and inspiration. Coming from speakers who are very successful in the business, this is both comforting and valuable.

I found the most enjoyable part of this experience was the environment. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, nor was I really thinking much of what it would be like, so the welcoming atmosphere really got me thinking. Because of the efforts of Brian Schmidt (the director and founder of the conference) and the rest of the speakers, as they put this conference together to help others, the conference created that idea of helping into an environment. Everyone was obviously there to learn, including the veterans that I had the chance to meet and talk to, and they all seemed the have the same idea of helping backing them when talking to the very young kid from Colorado only in his Junior year of college.

As the conference started coming to a close with two roundtables of composers and audio directors, this became one of the biggest topics of the night and that made me realize why the shock of this environment existed for me. It’s a sense of selflessness that I think should be sought after, especially in any artistic business and community. Not that anyone would necessarily try to shut someone done, it is so easy to get caught up in how you yourself will get a job, or a certain position in an orchestra, or a teaching position. Those are constant thoughts of a music major, which can often become terrifying in the face of an uncertain future as an artist. So much pressure can go into and hour, thirty, ten, or even five minutes of your life as an musician that it can be paralyzing. This can get a young artist so caught up in missing what really is beautiful about being a musician: the opportunity to share your own ideas and create value. The opportunity to share an idea is really a chance to serve, and in the most rewarding and exciting way. Rather than focusing on how I can get jobs in the future, or how to improve my writing, focusing on how I can better serve a developer, and how I can better enrich others lives through that means, makes creating so much more freeing, enjoyable, and exciting. That is what existed in that environment at the conference between the speakers and the attendees. I cannot wait to have the chance to work with others to create something that other people might enjoy, but even now, with this new mindset, I have so many opportunities to do this every day.

A New Question

I like to keep questions swimming around my mind to ask myself, because I find they help when I need motivation, a little boost, or just to keep myself on a path I like. This experience has left me with another question to throw in the pool that has been continually making my daily work more enjoyable less stressful: How can you make (insert action here ex. “this composition”) serving to others?

Thank you to Brian Schmidt, the rest of the speakers, sponsors, and partakers for creating the experience that you did.