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Eric J Gallardo

Proposal for a Composer's symposium

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Hi everyone, my name is Eric Gallardo and though I signed up and posted a few times here at the end of last year I've not had much time to be active in the community but I have the time now.



Anyways I want to propose an idea, that is if this isn't already a thing but I looked around a bit and didnt see anything like this.


I'd want to propose an open symposium of sorts where every month we can get together either in skype group chat or whatever works for everyone and discuss anything and everything that has to do with creating music.  It would be a place where those with or without experience can ask questions, discuss different approaches, get new ideas or help each other out.  Show pieces, scores, sketches and get feedback. It would be solely for the purpose of growing as composers. 


We could have it set up where every month there would be a main topic or discussion point for say an hour and leave the rest of the time open for general discussion, that way it could be more organized.


From my experience in both writing for video games and film I found that there is a huge amount of distrust between many composers.  The idea that "He/She is going to take my job"  is something that I think divides many of us and I think it's crazy.


So what do you all think?  I'll do this even if there is only one other person to talk to.

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I think it's a great idea. The only issues I could see would be:


- scheduling: with so many people from so many locations it could be hard to schedule. Not impossible but could be a challenge.


- NDAs: I'm certainly happy to discuss works I'm legally allowed to share but many (if not all) of my current work is held under NDA and I cannot share it. Others might have similar constraints.


From my own experience, fellow audio nerdz have been extremely open and friendly. I've not notice the same distrust you have. If you get this all lined up, please let me know so I can try to take part!





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Hi Nate, thanks for the input!


As far as scheduling goes, I know if a lot of people are planning on being involved in something like this then picking a date that everyone likes would be kind of a challenge.  Best course of action is usually to set it pretty far in advance. 


I was part of a similar symposium for all artists looking to collaborate that met every three months.  Setting it up that far in advance made it easier for us to meet, although we did all live and work in and around LA so that also made it easier.


and I completely understand NDA's and not being able to show work that is tied to a product.  When I brought this up I had it in mind for those that are just starting out and want to gain insight on works they are currently writing that may not be tied to any project or smaller projects that have no NDA's, to be able to gain feedback in a more structured manner from many different points of view at once.  I also thinking, in terms of more experienced composers and audio designers, to bring in absolutely anything they had (even smaller examples specifically made for the symposium) that could be used to teach different techniques and principles that anyone can utilize. 


I think I misworded my statement haha!  I didn't mean that everyone I meet/know was unfriendly or rude or anything.  I meant that anytime I tried discussing personal technique and exchange approaches to writing I was always the only one willing to share anything more than simple ideas.  And granted it was mostly with film composers. 


Most of my experience over the past four years is with film, theater and concert writing and I've finally got my first few paid gigs in the video game world over the last year! Took a while considering games are what I wanted to write for more than anything else.  But I really am off topic now!


Anyways I do want to get this started but by no means do I want to be the only person to make calls.  I want to hear from everyone here and have this be an all inclusive thing where we make the decisions together!

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Hey Eric


I think that's a wonderful idea and I would be interested in joining that. However, another problem I'm seeing from my end is the time zone thingy. I am in Berlin, Germany (GMT+1) which means I'm 6 hours ahead of EST. :(


But I still wanted to give you feedback and let you know that someone is interested in that idea of your's. :)




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I'm up for this, as well :) 

Being a self-taught amateur, I doubt I could contribute something valuable. But I sure would like to hear some advice from people, who are set in the industry. :) Sing me up :) Though, take into account that my questions could seem stupid and the answers obvious... I wouldn't want to be a hindrance in a professional discussion.. On top of that, english isn't my native language, so I you would have to bear a lot of my questions about terminology.

Damn, this sounds so troublesome for you guys... Maybe I should reconsider...

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Glad to hear there is some interest!,  we could figure out a doable time for members from european timezones to be able to participate so there should be no problem with you contributing Philip!


And as for you fornlorn_visions there is never a dumb question, only stupid answers (which are only stupid if they are purposely not helpful)  And like I and Nathan both said in our previous posts, there is room for all experience levels and audio (and not) backgrounds to contribute and discuss.


the idea for a speaker was actually what I was thinking as well Nathan!  Not sure if you've ever been a part of any type of symposiums before but they usually have a moderator who follows a timeline for events and helps everyone follow it.  It could work like this:


There is a topic of the month, and the initial portion revolves around that.  For instance Orchestration.  We could have various speakers (picked/volunteer before hand) who give different insights on the subject for fifteen minutes each or so depending on amount of speakers.  Then there could be a QA for the speakers and a general discussion between all members on the subject where we allow everyone to put for their insight/examples on the subject or critiques on each others. At the end we could vote for the next symposium's topic (this is to help everyone determine if they'd like to speak or bring in/create examples relating to the subject for the next meet.


Just a thought though, I'd like to hear other's insights on how we could do it, as well as a time frame (once everyone month, three months?)

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Sounds like a great initiative Eric, let us know if the site can do anything to help!


We have very limited resources, but we'd love to help with this sort of thing in any way we can -- even if it's just helping to get the word out via social media.

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Thanks for the offer Jason!


What I'm going to do is write up a more concrete proposal for the symposium and what it should aim to accomplish and post that here.  Once that gets done I would be extremely grateful for any exposure you can give the symposium. Hopefully we can can get a good amount of people interested. but like I said before, even if only one other person wants to do this I'm going to! 


I should have the proposal done by the end of tonight.

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Ok so here it is:


Proposal for

 Creative Audio in Video Games Symposium


Objective:  To create a platform where composers, sound designers, V/O actors, sound engineers and all members of the video game audio community can come together and gain valuable insight and exchange technique and knowledge through discussion, lecture, and panel/peer criticism. The biggest upside to doing it online is the fact that anyone, from anywhere can be a part of it. For Free.


Outline: Every three months or Six months, depending on what the community votes for, the Symposium would meet together using an online chat service (ventrillo, skype, etc) where a single overarching topic would be the spotlight of the day.  It would be divided up as follows



Speakers who want to share insight on the specified subject, lead a workshop, seminar etc, would lecture for between ½ an hour to an hour each.  Speakers would have to submit an outline of the presentation to the Symposium’s committee (explained further down). 

There is no limitation on who can submit to be a speaker.  Absolutely anyone can speak. The only reasons the committee will be reviewing submissions are to verify the relation of the presentation to the topic and to verify the accuracy of the information. If what you want to say is true, or can argued to be true, and is on topic; it is almost certain you will speak.


Q/A and/or Moderated Discussion:

               At the end of each individual presentation there will be a small ten minute window for questions pertaining to the specific presentation. 

Beside this, there will also be a half-hour to hour long general Q/A or Moderated Discussion.

The General Q/A is where all attendees will be able to ask the speakers general questions that may or may not be related to the presentation.  There will be an appointed moderator (chosen in much the same way as the speakers are chosen) that will also have general questions to ask each of the presenters as well as moderate discussion that occurs during this time.

The Moderated Discussion would involve the Speakers, Moderator and the Symposium’s Committee.  The moderator will have prepared discussion points and all persons involved would be encouraged to participate and debate.  The topic for the Moderated Discussion, if it occurs would be separate from the Symposium’s main topic and could be used to debate more philosophical and non-tangential ideas.  Example topic: “ Audio and the Affects of Emotional Response.”


Panel and Attendee Participation:


               During this portion of the meet, the non-speaking attendees can submit examples, ideas, approaches or anything else that pertains to the subject at hand for the Speakers, committee and Moderator to discuss and provide insight on.  Do you have an approach that differs from one of the speakers on the subject? Want them to look over and critique something you’ve done/are doing that relates? Bring it up!

               We could be utilizing a filesharing site to share presentation material, examples both visual and aural, and the like.  I need help figuring out the logistics of it all, so any ideas would be helpful!


Submission of Topic:

               At the end of the symposium there would be a general call for ideas on the next symposium’s topic.  As a group we would list all ideas that interest us as possible Symposium Topics. 

Over the following week the committee would narrow the subjects down to ten possible topics and release them as a poll that would be open for voting for the next two weeks (if meeting every three months) or month (if meeting every six months). 

This would give ample time for anyone who would want to speak at the symposium to be able to create an outline for a presentation and submit it.    






Symposium’s committee:

               I’m looking for interested and knowledgeable composers, sound designers, voice actors, engineers, and anyone else that is a member of the video game industry’s audio field to be committee members.  Again, there is no experience necessary to be a part if the committee, but a strong knowledge base is to be expected. You'd need to be knowledgeable in your specific field since as a member of  the committee you going to be part of organizing the event, reviewing submissions for presentations, participating and possibly assisting with presentations and answering questions. 

               Eventually I’d like to run congruent but separate tracks with separate committees for each category in audio but as I’m sure this isn’t going to be big overnight we will start off with a single committee.  I’m looking for at least one representative from every aspect of audio.  If interested in organizing and being an integral part of all this please let me know!



               Moderators will be selected much in the same way that speakers are.  If you feel that you are qualified and understand the topic well enough (note, no experience needed) Simply submit a proposal stating why you think you’re qualified to be a moderator when the time comes and you will be considered.





That is the general proposal, If you want to help me get this started, let's talk! you can reach me by email at or by my contact page on my website or here!  Spread the word, let's get this going!

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Just a small update.  I started a new post with the proposal with the topic being PROPOSAL FOR CREATIVE AUDIO IN GAMES SYMPOSIUM since the idea for the symposium has expanded beyond only composers.  I think it would be best to keep it open to all members of the audio world.  So please, respond on that post if interested.  Thanks!

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