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CONF: North American Conference on Video Game Music 7, Ithaca College, Apr 4-5

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    Karen Cook
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    @karenmcook

    The program for the 7th annual North American Conference on Video Game Music is now available. The conference will be held at the Ithaca College School of Music, in Ithaca, NY on April 4-5, 2020.

    To register for the conference, visit https://vgmconference.weebly.com/registration.html. (Note that registration fees are cheaper before March 4.) The conference website also provides information about travel, housing, and other considerations. Feel free to contact Elizabeth Medina-Gray (emedinagray@ithaca.edu) with additional questions about the conference or local logistics.

    Conference program:

    Saturday, April 4, 2020

    8:00-9:00 Registration & Refreshments
    9:00-9:15 Welcome and Announcements

    9:15-10:45 Session 1: Player Experience (panel chair: Jim Buhler)
    A Theory of Music as Distraction in Video Games (William Ayers)
    Surrender to the Flow: Psychedelia in Videogame Music (Eli Badra)
    Meter as Mechanic: Audio-Visual Coordination and Beat Difficulty in Crypt of the Necrodancer (Joseph Jakubowski)

    10:45-11:00 Break

    11:00-12:45 Session 2: Japanese Game Audio (panel chair: Neil Lerner)
    Musical Form and Gameplay Context in the Japanese Role-Playing Game (Alan Elkins)
    Traditional Japanese Modes in Video Game Soundtracks (Liam Hynes)
    >From Grinding to Grooving: An Investigation of Motoi Sakuraba\’s RPG Combat Music (Aaron Price)
    Lightning Talk: Jun Chikuma\’s Soundtrack for Faxanadu (1987) (Karen Cook)

    12:45-2:15 Lunch

    2:15-3:45 Session 3: Technical Game Audio (panel chair: Dana Plank)
    Lightning Talk: Sound Chips and Video Game Music, Beyond Hardware and Software: The Research-Creation Process Behind the Aesthetics of Chipmetal and the VRC666 Mindware (Dominic Arsenault)
    New Textures for 1-Bit Audio Effects and Synths (Kurt Werner)
    Konami\’s 8-bit Shadow: The MSX Team and the Sound Creative Chip (SCC) (Kevin Burke)
    Lightning Talk: Keeping Up with the Commodore: SID Music in the Demoscene and Contemporary Commodore 64 Game Development (Michael Philip Bridgewater)

    3:45-4:00 Break

    4:00-5:00 Keynote: Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo (SAMMUS)

    5:30 Conference Dinner at Coltivare (Optional, tickets are required)

    8:15 NACVGM Concert (Free and open to the public)
    Featuring performances by:
    88bit (Rob Kovacs)
    Isaac Schankler
    Sarah Chang
    R41?B0W TR4$H (Dominique Pelletier)
    Simon Hutchinson
    Elizabeth Hambleton
    Matthew Thompson
    SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo)
    Ithaca College Gamer Symphony Orchestra

    Sunday, April 5, 2020

    8:00-8:30 Registration & Refreshments

    8:30-10:00 Session 4: Interpreting Game Audio (panel chair: Pete Smucker)
    Lightning Talk: What Does Early Video Game Dialogue Sound Like? (Elizabeth Medina-Gray)
    Listening to Pac-Man\’s Maze of Melancholy (Neil Lerner)
    Lightning Talk: Musical and Narrative Transformation in Nier and Nier: Automata (Christopher Greene)
    Idols of Mass Destruction: Music as a Weaponizing force in Omega Quintet (2014) (Brent Ferguson and TJ Laws-Nicola)

    10:00-10:15 Break

    10:15-11:15 Session 5: Gendering and Representations (panel chair: Matthew Thompson)
    Beeps, Boops, and Boyz: Sonic Representations of Gay Men in Video Games (Michael Austin)
    Feminine Themings: The Construction of Musical Gendering in the Final Fantasy Franchise (Thomas Yee)

    11:15-11:30 Break

    11:30-12:45 Session 6: Contexts and Histories (panel chair: Elizabeth Medina-Gray)
    Currencies, Values, and Exchanges of Game Sounds (Pete Smucker)
    Lightning Talk: Serendipitous Intertextuality: Video Games and Royalty-Free Music (Steven Reale)
    Sed Non Eodem Modo: The Origins of Ludomusicology Compared to Musikwissenschaft (John Vinzant)

    12:45-2:15 Lunch

    2:15-4:00 Session 7: Musical Adaptations (panel chair: Karen Cook)
    Lightning Talk: Taking a Gander at the Use of Debussy in Untitled Goose Game (2019) (Dana Plank)
    Collaboration, Communication, Cancellation: Sound and Music Development in Atari\’s Film-to-Arcade Adaptations (William O\’Hara)
    \”Wear People\’s Faces\”: Semiotic Awareness in Fan Adaptations of the Music from The Legend of Zelda: Majora\’s Mask (Jeremy Smith)
    Interpreting the Music of (8-)Bit Brigade: Speed Runs and Speed Metal (Dickie Lee)

    4:00-4:15 Break

    4:15-5:30 Session 8: Queer Aesthetics (panel chair: Matthew Thompson)
    Lightning Talk: Musically Queering Love in the Monstrous World of Undertale (Hyeonjin Park)
    Queer Aesthetics and Game Music, or, Has Video Game Music Always Been Queer? (Tim Summers)
    Stand By Me: Sounds of Queer Utopias and Homosexual Panic in Final Fantasy XV (Jordan Sam)

    About the keynote speaker:

    SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a rap artist and producer from Ithaca, NY with a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University in the music department. Since 2010 Sammus has written, produced, and recorded three full-length albums (one of which has charted on Billboard), three EPs, including a Metroid-themed concept album, a collaborative Castlevania-themed concept album with the MC Mega Ran, and countless one-off collaborations with artists from a variety of genres as well as video game developers, podcasters, and filmmakers. Her live shows, characterized by her explosive energy and the inclusion of elements of cosplay, bring together a diverse array of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-identified nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus \”has a gift for getting a message across.\”

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