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High Score welcomes Yoko Shimomura and Christopher Larkin

Media Published Wednesday 2 August 2023
High Score 2023. Illustration Jennifer Reuter, @JenAReuter

Saturday 30 September - Sunday 1 October in Melbourne

In-person conference and live stream featuring top composers, sound artists and industry pros from games and music

Panels, demos, networking, legal advice, A&R and more

Makers of games music don't want to miss this year's High Score: Composition and Sound Art for Games, which takes place Saturday 30 September - Sunday 1 October at LCI Melbourne as a hybrid in-person and live-streamed conference as part of the Melbourne International Games Week program.

Tickets are on sale now: the $120 in-person pass includes catering, merch bag and a networking event. Live stream-only tickets are available for $25.

High Score is presented by music rights management organisation APRA AMCOS, in partnership with the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

The event's keynote speakers are two of the industry's most exciting composers. Kicking it all off will be Japanese composer Yoko Shimomura, who will talk about the creativity, tenacity and the changing tools that she has used in a career with credits including blockbusters Street Fighter II, Super Mario RPG, Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV.

Acclaimed South Australian composer Christopher Larkin is no stranger to Australia’s game audio community and fans the world over thanks to his memorable soundtracks for Hollow Knight, TOHU and Outfolded. He returns to High Score to share a keynote that delves into the importance of production quality and honing your own sound and skills.

"High Score is a great conference for game music and audio artists. It brings together the community of both beginner and experienced and I'm looking forward to giving a talk at this year's event. I encourage anyone with interest in developing their skills to come along and meet others in the field," said Larkin.

High Score is open to music and sound creators of all levels as well as games industry insiders who want to explore the important role that music and audio play in game design and experience. The full program will be unveiled in coming weeks and will include plenty of opportunities: testing out new recording and music gear, feedback from industry pros, masterclasses in software and recording foley, getting legal advice around contracts, and much more.

High Score debuted in 2017 and has been part of the Melbourne International Games Week program since 2018, welcoming attendees from across Australia and the world. Games composers including River Boy, Belinda Coomes and Hew Wagner credit High Score with boosting their careers and making new connections in the industry.

APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said: "High Score's scope and influence in games music has grown alongside the games industry across Australia, and in Victoria particularly. Homegrown composers and audio designers play a key role in the top-selling, award-winning and envelope-pushing games developed in Australia, and High Score is a place where many new collaborations get their start."

This year's event comes on the back of the government's recent establishment of a 30 per cent tax incentive aimed at significantly growing the digital games industry in Australia. APRA AMCOS successfully advocated for the inclusion of music creation as part of the offset.

“The commissioning of local composition and music in digital games developed as a result of this tax offset will be an integral part of Australia’s intellectual property portfolio and provide further international opportunities for local artists,” said Ormston.

The Australian interactive games industry is expanding rapidly, with Interactive Games and Entertainment Association's 2022 survey showing almost 60% employment growth and revenue of $284 million, an increase of 26% over the previous year.

With support from Creative Victoria, High Score's programming beyond the flagship conference includes a SongHubs intensive residency, a series of Co-Op composing workshops and the SoundCheck video interview series.

High Score: tickets on sale now!