|Birth name||Grant Kirkhope|
July 10, 1962 |
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
|Instruments||Keyboards, guitar, trumpet|
|Associated acts||Rare, Playtonic Games|
Grant Kirkhope (born 10 July 1962) is a British BAFTA and IFMCA nominated composer, known for writing the soundtracks to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, Perfect Dark, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Viva Piñata, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, CityVille 2, the remake of Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Yooka-Laylee.
Early life and education
Kirkhope was brought up in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire and attended King James's School (like his fellow trumpet player and good friend, Simply Red's Tim Kellett). Kirkhope played in various bands after leaving the Royal Northern College of Music, including Zoot and the Roots along with the saxophonist, Snake Davis. Kirkhope also spent many years as part of "the Big Bad Horns" which were part of UK rock band Little Angels. At the age of 33 he was employed by Rare. Before joining Rare, in October 1995, he played for two bands called Syar and Maineeaxe where he played guitar, and already knew Robin Beanland, another Rare composer. Kirkhope's music featuring an electric guitar is played on an Ernie Ball/Musicman EVH given to him by Eddie Van Halen. Kirkhope's skills on guitar can be heard on Killer Instinct Gold, Perfect Dark, Star Fox Adventures or Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
When Kirkhope joined Rare, due to being the "new boy", he was assigned to convert the music of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest for Donkey Kong Land 2, he finished the conversion in December of the same year. He was later asked by Graeme Norgate to finish composing the music for GoldenEye 007 so that Norgate could focus on Blast Corps. Norgate taught Kirkhope how to get music and sound effects into the Nintendo 64. His work on the game eventually reached Tim Stamper and Gregg Mayles, who reassigned him to compose for Project Dream with David Wise, who left the project shortly after to work on Diddy Kong Racing. On July 14, 2008, Kirkhope stated in his MySpace blog that he was resigning from Rare to become a freelancer composer.
Big Huge Games was acquired by 38 Studios in May 2009, the company founded by Curt Schilling. Kirkhope went on to compose both the music and sound effects for Big Huge Games's million selling role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was released in February 2012. On May 24, 2012, 38 Studios announced that it would be laying-off its entire staff, including Kirkhope and the employees of Big Huge Games, due to the effects of the financial downturn. In June 2012, Grant Kirkhope played at several festivals with fellow members of the reunited band Little Angels.
In August 2012, he moved to Los Angeles, California to further pursue his music career. In March 2013, Kirkhope's score for Viva Piñata was voted into the Hall of Fame of Classic FM, as the fourth highest new entry at 174. In March 2013, Kirkhope appeared on the popular internet show, Game Grumps, alongside Arin "EgoRaptor" Hanson and Jon "JonTron" Jafari. In June 2013, Kirkhope was signed to the prestigious The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. in Los Angeles.
In the 2014 Classic FM Hall of Fame, Viva Piñata rose to number 54, while Kirkhope's score for Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts entered the chart at number 50. Also Kirkhope's score for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning entered the chart at number 75. In 2015, Kirkhope's score for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning rose to number 59, Viva Piñata rose to number 41, and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts rose to number 13. At EGX Rezzed 2015, it was confirmed by the development team at Playtonic Games that Kirkhope will be involved with co-producing the soundtrack for their new 3D platforming video game, Yooka-Laylee.
|Killer Instinct 2/Gold||1996||Arcade, Nintendo 64||Live guitar and trumpet|
|Donkey Kong Land 2||Game Boy||Conversion of David Wise's Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest soundtrack|
|GoldenEye 007||1997||Nintendo 64||with Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland|
|Project Dream||Canceled||SNES, Nintendo 64||Revamped into Banjo-Kazooie|
|Donkey Kong 64||1999|
|Perfect Dark||With David Clynick and Graeme Norgate|
|Star Fox Adventures||2002||GameCube||Live guitar|
|Grabbed by the Ghoulies||2003||Xbox|
|Viva Piñata||2006||Xbox 360, Windows||With Steve Burke|
|Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts||2008||Xbox 360||With Robin Beanland and David Clynick|
|Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise|
|Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning||2012||Xbox 360, Windows, PlayStation 3||With Mark Cromer|
|CityVille 2||Zynga, Facebook|
|Desktop Dungeons||2013||Windows, OS X||With Danny Baranowsky|
|Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse||Windows, Xbox 360/Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation 3/PlayStation Network||Remastering of the original game's soundtrack by Shigenori Kamiya,
along with original compositions.
|Puzzle Charms||2014||Zynga, Facebook|
|Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3|
|Civilization: Beyond Earth||Windows||With Geoff Knorr, Michael Curran and Griffin Cohen|
|The Enchanted Cave 2||Mobile|
|Hex Heroes||2015||Wii U, Linux, OS X, Windows|
|Lobodestroyo||Multiple Platforms||With Cooper Goodwin|
|Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide||Windows||With Geoff Knorr and Griffin Cohen|
|Yooka-Laylee||2016||Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U||With David Wise and Steve Burke|
|A Hat in Time||TBA||Windows, OS X||With Pascal Michael Stiefel|
Awards and honors
- In 2004, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Interactive Score" at the 2nd Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Ceremony for Grabbed by the Ghoulies, as well as "Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition" at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences awards Ceremony for the same game.
- In 2007, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Original Score" at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for Viva Piñata.
- In 2012, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Original Score" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, "Outstanding Achievement – Western Composer" at Square Enix Music's Annual Game Music Awards for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and CityVille 2.
- In 2013, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media" by Movie Music UK and International Film Music Critics Association for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Kirkhope was also nominated for "Best Original Score" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.
- In 2014, Kirkhope was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement – Western Composer" at the Annual Game Music Online Awards for Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Desktop Dungeons.
- In 2015, Kirkhope won the award for "Best Video Game Score" from Movie Music UK for Civilization: Beyond Earth.
- In 2015, Kirkhope was nominated for "Video Game Score of the year" by the "American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers" for Civilization: Beyond Earth
- In 2015, Kirkhope won the award for "Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media" from the International Film Music Critics Association for Civilization: Beyond Earth.
- In 2015, Kirkhope won the award for "Best Score - Video Game" with The Cue Awards from Tracksounds for Civilization: Beyond Earth.
- "Grant Kirkhope.Dream Music Compositions". Grantkirkhope.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launching February 7, 2012". Joystiq. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- "38 Studios Lays Off Entire Staff – IGN". Uk.ign.com. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Hall of Fame | Classic FM". Halloffame.classicfm.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014: Nos 60–51. Accessed 21 April 2014
- Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014: Banjo Kazooie. Accessed 21 April 2014
- "Donkey Kong 64 Video Game Music Compositions". Grant Kirkhope. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Perfect Dark Dual CD Soundtrack".
- Schulenberg, Thomas (30 March 2014). "Hex Heroes is a five-player real-time strategy game for Wii U". Joystiq. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Grant Kirkhope. Video Game Composer, Banjo Kazooie Video Games Music Compositions". Grantkirkhope.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Grant Kirkhope. Video Game Composer. Donkey Kong 64 video game music compositions". Grantkirkhope.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Grant Kirkhope Interview Part 2 – DK Rap featured". Nintendo Nation.net. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Game Music :: Video Game Music News". Squareenixmusic.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Official website
- Grant Kirkhope discography at MusicBrainz
- Grant Kirkhope at the Internet Movie Database