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Fantasy & Indigenous Culture Collaborating with First Nations Musicians on the Innchanted Soundtrack

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How does a non-Indigenous composer try to create an Indigenous Australian game score? By connecting with some of the most talented Indigenous Australian musicians around.

Composer Meena Shamaly details his process of collaborating with First Nations musicians to create a culturally respectful, celebratory, and entertaining score to Innchanted, a game set in a fantasy Australian world.
It is a process of complete openness and extensive cultural dialogue, as well as collaborative experimentation and free-spirited improvisation from the musicians. Meena draws on his knowledge as a game composer, his own cultural experience as a session musician, and his extensive research involved in presenting the music of video games on ABC Classic (not to mention his lifelong obsession with video game music).

This talk will break down Meena’s sessions and conversations with some of Australia’s most talented First Nations musicians, including Allara Briggs-Pattison (NIMA 2020 finalist for New Talent of the Year), Kiernan Ironfield (of DRMNGNOW), and Eric Avery (renowned violinist, dancer, and creator of Dancing with Strangers).

It will showcase how a game score can be composed not just in response to the game itself, but also to the musicians’ innate connection to culture and language, no matter the instruments on which they express themselves.

A talk by Meena Shamaly

Meena Shamaly