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A SCORE TO SETTLE

Could a game soundtrack grab a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media? It hasn't happened yet, and a certain hidebound mentality has pressed the dubious notion that game scores are somehow less worthy than music created for film and television. This despite the fact that games regularly earn a larger audience than most films can amass.

But what if a game score were crafted by composers who've previously been honored by Grammy for their work in film and television? Hildur Guðnadóttir took the 2020 trophy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for her work on Joker, which she co-produced with Sam Slater, and in 2019 for Chernobyl (also produced by Slater). Now the Icelandic composer and her producer partner have a new work in contention: Battlefield 2042, the soundtrack to the dystopian EA game. The album is a stunning, unsettling collection of sounds that suggests avant-garde pieces from John Cage to Trent Reznor. It is as sonically inventive as anything released in the last year.

The musical relevance of Guðnadóttir's Battlefield score will be on display during an orchestral rendering by the L.A. Philharmonic at Disney Hall on 11/19. That this music will be part of a performance calendar studded with work by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Ravel and Steve Reich will not be lost on the cognoscenti.

Will Battlefield's disturbing resonance be recognized and an ST nom conferred? Game on.

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