Book Launch: Four Ways of Hearing Video Game Music – Dr. Michiel Kamp

by on 22/02/2024
Member of classical music orchestra playing violin on a concert or recording session

Please join us to celebrate the publication of Michiel Kamp’s Four ways of Hearing Video Game Music, published with Oxford University Press, 2024.

Four Ways of Hearing Video Game Music (Oxford Music / Media)
Four Ways of Hearing Video Game Music (Oxford Music / Media)

The book offers a novel account of the ways in which video games invite us to hear and listen to their music. By taking a phenomenological approach to characterize music in video games, Kamp asks what it is we hear in the music when we play a game. Drawing on past phenomenological approaches to music as well as studies of music listening in a variety of disciplines such as aesthetics and ecological psychology, Kamp explains four main ways of hearing the same piece of music–through background, aesthetic, ludic, and semiotic hearing. The book investigates these four categories through detailed case studies of video games from a variety of eras and genres accompanied by gameplay recordings and images on a companion website. More information can be found on the publisher’s website here.

To mark this occasion, four scholars from music, media, and video game studies will present a short thesis in response to Kamp’s work. These respondents are Isabella van Elferen (emeritus Kingston University), Floris Schuiling (Utrecht University), Tim Summers (Royal Holloway, University of London), and Jasper van Vught (Utrecht University). After a response by Michiel Kamp, there will be time for a Q&A and some celebratory drinks.

Part of Utrecht Colloquia in the Musicologies 2023-24
Thursday, 18 April 2024, 4-6 pm
Location: Grote zaal, Muntstraat 2a/Kromme Nieuwegracht 20

Michiel Kamp is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Department of Media and Culture Studies of Utrecht University. He previously completed his PhD dissertation at the University of Cambridge (2015). His research takes hermeneutic and semiotic approaches to music in video games and related audiovisual media such as films and virtual reality, and attempts to categorize and characterize the different ways in which soundtracks operate. This includes issues concerning musical transmediality and remediation, ubiquitous music and Muzak, phenomenologies of listening, listening in participatory culture, sound synchronization, ecological psychology and musical affordances, and play and ludomusicality. He also has an interest in topics in music philosophy, such as the aesthetics of background music.

The event is organized by colleague dr. Floris Schuiling.