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Jesper Kyd
JesperKyd.jpg
Kyd in 2013
Background information
Birth name Jesper Kyd Jakobson
Also known as JK, JJK, Jonesy
Born 3 February 1972 (1972-02-03) (age 49)
Hørsholm, Denmark
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Composer
  • sound designer
Instruments
  • Piano
  • personal computer
  • keyboards
  • synthesizer
Years active 1986–present
Labels
  • Sumthing Else
  • La-La Land
Associated acts
  • Silents DK
  • Budapest Symphony Orchestra
  • Hungarian Radio Choir
  • Melissa Kaplan

Jesper Kyd Jakobson ( born 3 February 1972) is a Danish composer and sound designer who has worked on various video game, television, and film projects. He has composed soundtracks for the Hitman series, Assassin's Creed series, Borderlands series, Darksiders II and State of Decay, among many others. His scores use orchestra, choir, acoustic manipulations and electronic soundscapes.

Biography

Early years

Kyd started playing the piano at an early age. Later, he took several years of training in classical guitar, note reading, choir singing and classical composition for piano. However, he is mostly self-taught. Kyd started using computers for composing on a Commodore 64 at age 14, and later an Amiga. He and Mikael Balle became members of the demogroup Silents DK, and later started collaborating with a group of coders known as Crionics. They eventually made the Amiga demoscene production Hardwired. Kyd also created and scored the first wild demo, Global Trash 2, together with Mikael Balle.

Kyd then left the demoscene and started to work as a game musician. He and others created the computer game developer Zyrinx and a game called Sub-Terrania for the Sega Genesis. The team then relocated to Boston. Kyd composed music for two additional Zyrinx titles, Red Zone and Scorcher and the music for two externally developed games, Amok and The Adventures of Batman and Robin for the Sega Genesis. Zyrinx dissolved when their game publisher Scavenger went bankrupt.

Freelance

Many former Zyrinx members returned to Denmark to start IO Interactive, but Kyd moved to New York City and set up his own sound studio in Manhattan called "Nano studios". He then worked as a freelance video game musician.

The soundtrack to Hitman: Codename 47 was based on urban soundscapes and ethnic instrumentation. He then recorded the soundtrack of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin with 110 musicians of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Choir.

He recorded the score for the action/adventure Freedom Fighters with the Hungarian Radio choir. It was described by Film Score Monthly Magazine as "Vangelis on steroids".

He used modern electronica and symphonic and choral music in Hitman: Contracts. Kyd followed up with Hitman: Blood Money, also performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Choir.

Kyd then provided a cinematic middle eastern-based score for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed. He then wrote music for several games in the Assassin's Creed and Borderlands franchise. Kyd also wrote the soundtrack for the action/adventure Darksiders II, notable for being his first entirely non-digital score.

Kyd lives in Burbank, California and is represented by The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc.

Jesper Kyd's influences include composers such as Ottorino Respighi, Igor Stravinsky, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and bands such as Röyksopp, the Knife, Pink Floyd, and Underworld.

Works

Video games

Video games
Year Title Notes
1990 U.S.S. John Young
1993 Pro Moves Soccer
Sub-Terrania
1994 Red Zone
1995 The Adventures of Batman & Robin Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version
1996 Amok
Scorcher
1999 Time Tremors
Alien Nations
2000 MDK2 with Albert Olson and Raymond Watts
Messiah
Hitman: Codename 47
2001 The Nations: Alien Nations 2
LightWeight Ninja with Eric Heberling, Speier Music Productions and REMedia
Shattered Galaxy
2002 Minority Report: The Video Game
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
2003 Brute Force with James Hannigan
Freedom Fighters
Wirtschaftsgiganten - Die Ultimative Collection
Prisms of Light 2
2004 McFarlane's Evil Prophecy
Hitman: Contracts
Robotech: Invasion
Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX 2
2005 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory with Amon Tobin
2006 Hitman: Blood Money
Close Quarters Conflict
2007 Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Assassin's Creed
Unreal Tournament 3 with Rom Di Prisco
2008 The Club main theme
The Chronicles of Spellborn
2009 Borderlands with Cris Velasco, Sascha Dikiciyan, and Raison Varner
Assassin's Creed II
2010 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
2011 Forza Motorsport 4
Assassin's Creed: Revelations with Lorne Balfe
2012 Soulcalibur V with several others
Darksiders II
Transformers: Prime - The Game with several others
Borderlands 2 with Cris Velasco, Sascha Dikiciyan, and Raison Varner
2013 State of Decay with Dreissk
Soldiers Inc.
Sparta: War of Empires
2014 Pirates: Tides of Fortune
Stormfall: Age of War
Heroes & Generals
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! with Des Shore and Justin Mullins
2015 Moonrise with Jeff Broadbent
Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide
2016 Robinson: The Journey
2017 MU Legend
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
2018 Warhammer: Vermintide 2
State of Decay 2 with Dreissk
2019 Borderlands 3 with Michael McCann, Finishing Move Inc., Raison Varner
2020 Assassin's Creed Valhalla with Sarah Schachner and Einar Selvik

Films

Year Title
2002 Death of a Saleswoman
Pure
2003 Night All Day
2006 Sweet Insanity
2007 La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928, new score)
2008 Staunton Hill
2010 A Perfect Soldier
2015 Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe
2018 Tumbbad

Short films

Year Title
2000 Organizm
2001 The Lion Tamer
Going with Neill
2002 Day Pass
Paper Plane Man
Pure
2003 Cycle
2006 Impulse
Virus
2010 The Auctioneers
2011 Somnolence
Assassin's Creed: Embers

TV series

Year Title
2009 The Resistance
2012-13 Métal Hurlant Chronicles

Awards

Year Title
2005 BAFTA Award for Best Original Music
2005 G.A.N.G. Award for Best Cinematic/Cut-Scene Audio
2009 G.A.N.G. Award for Music of the Year
Hollywood Music in Media Award
2018 Nile Rodgers Global Creators Award

Nominations

Year Title
2004 G.A.N.G Award for "Best Original Vocal Song – Choral"
Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards nomination for Best Use of Soundtrack
2006 MTV's Video Music Awards in the Best Video Game Score category
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