by James Fleming
Craig Stuart Garfinkle is an accomplished human being. An award winning music producer and Emmy nominated composer, Craig has scored some of film and tv’s biggest hits such as the trailers for the last three Harry Potter films and the trailer for JJ Abrams Star Trek. His work has appeared in hundreds of shows including The Sopranos, Lost and Fringe. This, is an interesting man.
Craig is also the co-founder of the two-year-old iDIG Music Festival alongside his equally accomplished wife Eimear Noone. While the idea of the festival came from Eimear, who originally tweeted the idea and received an overwhelmingly positive response, she turned to her husband “and said ‘Craig, how do we do this?’” iDIG is very much a grassroots festival, it’s still in its infancy. But, this also means there’s a great deal of intimacy. The featured composers and musical acts all walk around freely, mingling with the crowd and they are all more than happy to engage in conversation. And this intimacy is one of the festivals aims, to provide a nurturing environment for Ireland’s burgeoning video games business and community. As Craig says “Ireland dominates in the film industry, because Ireland is a country of storytellers.” And what are games he asks? Stories.
“The really good games, the games that I love, not the shoot-‘em-ups and the violence and all that, but the games that I love, are all about telling a good story. And that’s what makes them exciting. And going on quests and going on adventures. So why shouldn’t Ireland be a central hub?”
As Craig points out, some of the best storytellers in history have come out of our humble green isle. So why shouldn’t there be a games industry here that matches what we do in the film industry? To get this industry up and running here in Ireland is the iDIG festival’s aim.
When asked about the festival’s headlining act, Video Games Live, Craig responds “oh that’s Tommy Tallarico’s story.” Tommy is another composer (and “a mean guitar player”) who kickstarted the Video Games Live show back in Los Angeles where he put the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra onstage in the Hollywood Bowl and successfully performed video game music to 11,000 people. the show has since gone on to garner worldwide acclaim and headlined last year’s iDIG festival. Tommy, unfortunately, is busy recording the an album with VGL and at home in bed after having his wisdom teeth removed. Craig assures us that he is “sorely missed,” and expresses deep gratitude to Tommy for letting them put on a Video Games Live show here in Ireland.
Eimear was dying to do something “in Ireland, for Ireland,” and hence, Dublin was picked as iDIG’s host city. “Ireland gave her a magnificent free education at Trinity, that has allowed her to compete everywhere in the world. So why not do something to help focus the industry back on Ireland.”
Craig’s a busy man, just as the last question was answered he turns around and happily converses with a fan who has patiently waited for the interview to end. And that’s what the iDIG music festival is all about. The Fans.