Film Fest Ghent: Australian River Boy wins first World Soundtrack Award for Video Games
Australian composer Narayana Johnson won the first World Soundtrack Award for Video Games at Film Fest Ghent on Thursday. "I'm really honoured," he said in an exclusive interview with Belga.
Under the name River Boy, Johnson wrote the music for 'Cult of the Lamb', a dark but addictive game in which the player takes on the role of a possessed lamb who must gather a flock. He composed an impressive soundtrack of no less than 51 pieces of music, one for each part of the video game.
"I wasn't aware that this was a real category," says Johnson, whose 'Cult of the Lam' is only his second composition for a video game. "It wasn't until I got to the festival that I realised how serious it was. This is really serious," he laughs. "I'm really honoured."
The creation of the Soundtrack Awards for video games is a natural progression, says Johnson. In terms of global turnover, the sector is now no slouch compared to the film industry. "A lot of people don't take video games seriously. A film, that's art. Video games are for children. But that's not true. There is so much artistic talent sneaking into them. A lot of games are just fun. But it's the same with films, isn't it?"
Johnson faced competition in the new category from Maclaine Diemer, who composed music for Firmament; Nainita Desai, who provided music for Immortality; Gareth Coker, Grant Kirkhope and Yoko Shimomura from Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope; and Gregory Nicolett, who worked on Potionomics.
The official announcement of the first WSA Game Music Award took place at the 'PRESS PLAY: Music in Games' concert at the Capitole in Ghent, where a symphony orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé paid tribute to the genre. The concert was entirely dedicated to video game music, a historic first in the 50-year history of the festival.
All other WSA winners will be announced at the World Soundtrack Awards on Saturday, 21 October. As well as being available in the video game and on YouTube, River Boy's work can also be heard on traditional streaming platforms.
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