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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.
Kyd in 2013
|Birth name||Jesper Kyd Jakobson|
|Also known as||JK, JJK, Jonesy|
|Born||3 February 1972|
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.
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.
He worked on BioWare's MDK2, Shiny's Messiah and IO's Hitman: Codename 47. The soundtrack to 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". Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards nominated him for Best Use of Soundtrack, and Game Audio Network Guild Awards nominated him for "Best Original Vocal Song – Choral" (for Main Title and March of the Empire). Leading video game web site GameSpot awarded Freedom Fighters "Best Music of the Year".
He used modern electronica and symphonic and choral music in Hitman: Contracts. It was awarded Best Original Music by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts at the 2005 BAFTA Games Awards and won Best Cinematic/Cut-Scene Audio at the 2005 G.A.N.G. Awards. Kyd followed up with Hitman: Blood Money, also performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Choir. Hitman Blood Money won IGN's Xbox Best original score, and was also nominated for MTV's Video Music Awards in the Best Video Game Score category.
Jesper then provided a cinematic middle eastern-based score for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed. He then wrote music for the sequel, Assassin's Creed II, which was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and won the music of the year award at the 2009 G.A.N.G. Awards and Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Jesper then wrote the scores for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin's Creed: Revelations (co-composed with Lorne Balfe), Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and State of Decay. Kyd also wrote the soundtrack for the action/adventure Darksiders II, notable for being his first entirely non-digital score. Kyd then composed the music for Syfy's television series Métal Hurlant Chronicles. Kyd's next few projects were Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, the virtual reality game Robinson: The Journey, and Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide.
In 2015, Kyd scored the Chinese fantasy film Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe. Kyd then scored State of Decay 2, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and the Indian fantasy film Tumbbad. Kyd lives in Burbank, California and is represented by The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. In 2018, Kyd received the Nile Rodgers Global Creators Award for his work in video games scoring. Previous recipients of the award include Paul Shaffer, Spike Lee and Tony Visconti.
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.
- 2002 – Death of a Saleswoman
- 2002 – 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
- 2000 – Organizm
- 2001 – The Lion Tamer
- 2001 – Going with Neill
- 2002 – Day Pass
- 2002 – Paper Plane Man
- 2002 – Pure
- 2003 – Cycle
- 2006 – Impulse
- 2006 – Virus
- 2010 – The Auctioneers
- 2011 – Somnolence
- 2011 – Assassin's Creed: Embers
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- "Songs by Jesper Kyd". bemanistyle.com. Too Much Dedication, LLC. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
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- Makuch, Eddie (27 January 2017). "Listen To The Pulsing, Electronic Music From Crytek's VR Game, Robinson: The Journey". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- "Jesper Kyd Scores Warhammer: Vermintide 2". Gamasutra. UBM. 18 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
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