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Media Consumption: Hitman's Jesper Kyd

For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to veteran game audio composer Jesper Kyd (Hitman series, Freedom Fighters) on the games, books, and music in
For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to veteran game audio composer Jesper Kyd. Kyd’s work includes the score for all four of IO Interactive’s Hitman games, as well as Freedom Fighters, Robotech: Invasion and cinematic and additional music for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory . He has won the 2005 Best Original Music Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the 2005 Game Audio Network Guild Award for Best Cinematic/Cut-Scene Audio for Hitman: Contracts, amongst many others, and his score for Hitman: Blood Money has recently been nominated for Best Video Game Score in the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. “I am currently working on next-gen titles for Eidos and Ubisoft as well as music for Epic Games’ Unreal Tournament 2007,” he notes. “The MMORPG game The Chronicles of Spellborn should see a release soon, which I’m really excited about. This score is a very different type of MMO and RPG score since I have taken my DJ-style electronica style and mixed it with a small, ensemble-based acoustic approach.” “It is probably my personal favorite score right now,” he continues. “I really enjoyed the amount of creative freedom I was given. The development team at Spellborn International liked my score for Freedom Fighters and basically told me to create something as distinctive as I wanted, and when a producer or director says that, I take the ball and run with it.” We caught up with Kyd via email to talk about his what’s on his media plate right now. Sounds: I listen to artists and composers that dare to be different - so many that it's difficult to name them. For me, creating music has always been about experimenting as much as possible in order to come up with something new and fresh. I work towards finding that fine line between creating something which is experimental yet still being consumable and pleasing to the ears of a wide audience. I don’t want my music to be experimental for the sake of experimentation, but I don’t want for example, an action score to sound like it could fit any action game; as a gamer I don’t want to hear music that is interchangeable with another project. Creating something unique makes the score fit the specific game better and it will also help set the game and game atmosphere apart from other games. Moving Pictures: Again, I really like to be challenged when watching a film. My current favorites include all of Miyazaki’s films, Cronenberg’s Scanners, They Came From Within, The Brood; John Carpenter’s The Thing; American Psycho; PI; Donnie Darko; Alphaville. Words: Michael Crichton is awesome. I really enjoy the scientific approach when reading his books, and there’s always something new to learn when reading his works. Games: I don’t get too much spare time these days but recently I have been playing Lego Star Wars 2, it’s just a great concept pulled off in a really cool way. When I find some more time, Loco Roco is next on my list of titles to check out. Also, I really want a Wiii!

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