Game Music Festival PL Retrospection by Gareth Coker

This past weekend, Gareth Coker was part of Game Music Festival PL’s inaugural concert held in Wrocław, Poland. He wrote about his experience on his Facebook page and we thought we would share it with everyone here as well. Without further ado, here is Gareth’s recount of his incredible weekend:

“Woke up this morning with that bittersweet feeling. This weekend at the Game Music Festival in Poland representing Moon Studios and Ori the Game will be a moment that I cherish forever. Don’t really want to leave but all good things must come to an end!

Considering that this is the 1st edition of this festival, I am stunned at how well they’ve pulled everything off. I have been blown away at the hospitality of everyone here. I can’t thank the organizers enough for making me – and I’m sure the other composers involved – feel so welcome, and putting us so at ease. I’ve even been able to do required music work while out here due to how well managed the event was.

Regarding the concert itself: a lot of composers don’t get to perform their work very often. In my case I’m usually in the studio control room and then moving on quickly to the next work. This was actually my first time performing my own work on stage (as opposed to a recording studio) with an orchestra both as a pianist and a conductor. I struggle greatly listening to my own past work, all I hear is flaws, but being part of the performance allowed me to reconnect with the soul of Ori, particularly conducting the premiere of music from a certain scene in Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It’s been a while since I’ve been this uplifted by something and I can’t wait to take the momentum from this week and put it into my upcoming work. Additionally, being able to share this with my parents was a priceless gift from the festival.

Perhaps most important was the opportunity to connect with so many fans of Ori. It’s always a pleasure to talk to people one-on-one about the game and also to feel their enthusiasm for Will of the Wisps. Thanks to everyone who came from both near and far for attending and supporting the event.

Given the success of the 4 concerts and multiple masterclasses that took place over the 2 days here, I can’t imagine there not being a second (and more) edition of this event. Any composer approached to be part of this festival should have zero hesitation in joining. It’s only going to improve. With the quality of the arrangers and orchestrators working here, they can feel safe handing over their music to be arranged for the various ensembles. Thanks to Jan, Aruto, David and Robert for their terrific work on Symphony of the Forest. Ori is an incredibly challenging soundtrack to translate to the concert hall becuase of all the prerecorded and synthetic elements in the music. However, the concept of an Ori concert is now proven, and has huge potential and room for improvement for further performances down the line.

I’ve been here 5 days, and it’s been so awesome making so many new friends here as well as being able to reconnect with existing ones, and also to meet several esteemed colleagues, Peter, Neal, Borislav, Arkadiusz and more. And thanks to Blazej, Ela, Jan and Marta (and her ‘minions’!) for introducing to me the delights of Polish vodka, and the…. strength of Polish drinking, amongst many other things of course! Wroclaw has been a great introduction to Poland, I’m told I should visit Krakow ASAP.

I can’t wait to come back, either as a performer or simply as a fan. I’ll be very surprised if this event doesn’t go from strength to strength. Whether there is one or a hundred of these, this will always be a treasured memory.




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