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Austin Wintory wants supporters, not just fans

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Award-winning game composer Austin Wintory is adamant. He loves that people listen to his music but, as he puts it, "I don't want fans."

Talking at DICE in Las Vegas yesterday, the musician and scorer of Journey, Monaco and The Banner Saga said, "I don't like the idea of the word 'fan'. If people are fans of a piece of music that is great." But he said he did not want people to buy his music "just because it has a name on it, which is meaningless."

Wintory was celebrating the digital culture that allows composers to create and share music in ways that were impossible even a few years ago. He said that the days when composing music was restricted to a highly educated elite are over.

He shared an anecdote about the commercial release of the official soundtrack to Journey, and how he had encouraged people to post the whole album on YouTube. For most copyright holders, this would have been anathema, an invitation to lose potential sales. But it had achieved his goal of reaching as many people as possible.

"They weren't trying to steal from me," he said. "They were excited by this music and they wanted to share it. How could I be anything other than grateful?" The soundtrack was an enormous commercial success, but Wintory said he was "genuinely moved" by the many people who enjoyed his work, through any means.

During his on-stage talk, Wintory composed a game soundtrack, using a keyboard and musical editing software, based on a random idea shouted from the audience. The soundtrack, which he created in three minutes, was based on a game idea "surviving Las Vegas,"