Jesper Kyd

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Jesper Kyd
Kyd in 2013
Background information
Birth name Jesper Kyd Jakobson
Also known as JK, JJK, Jonesy
Born (1972-02-03) February 3, 1972 (age 45)
Hørsholm, Denmark
  • Composer
  • sound designer
  • Piano
  • personal computer
  • keyboards
  • synthesizer
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts
  • Silents DK
  • Budapest Symphony Orchestra
  • Hungarian Radio Choir
  • Melissa Kaplan

Jesper Kyd Jakobson (born February 3, 1972) is a Danish composer and sound designer, who has worked on various video games, 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.[1]


Early years[edit]

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.[2][3] Kyd started using computers for composing on a Commodore 64 at age 14,[4] and later an Amiga.[5] He and Mikael Balle became members of the demogroup Silents DK, and later started collaborating with a group of coders known as Crionics.[6] They eventually made the Amiga demoscene production Hardwired.[7][8] 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. 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.[9] The soundtrack to Codename 47 was based on urban soundscapes and ethnic instrumentation.[10] He then recorded the soundtrack of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin with 110 musicians of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Choir.[11]

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.[12] Kyd then provided the music for Ubisoft’s Assassin's Creed, created by developer Patrice Desilets. He produced a cinematic score for Altair’s Middle-Eastern story. He then produced the music for Assassin's Creed II, recorded in Los Angeles.

Kyd wrote the soundtrack for the action/adventure Darksiders II, notable for being his first entirely non-digital score.[13]

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, Jerry Goldsmith, and bands such as Röyksopp, The Knife, Pink Floyd, and Underworld.[14][15][16][17][18]


Video games[edit]


Short films[edit]

  • 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

TV series[edit]


  1. ^ "Jesper Kyd | About". Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Official Jesper Kyd forum
  3. ^ Jesper Kyd interview with Spelmusik
  4. ^ The Silents
  5. ^ Jesper Kyd at Amiga Music Preservation
  6. ^ Crionics
  7. ^ YouTube - Crionics^Silents - Hardwired (main)
  8. ^ Hardwired by Crionics & The Silents
  9. ^ Music 4 Games - The Future of Rock n' Roll & Interactive Entertainment. Est. 1999
  10. ^ Jesper Kyd Online
  11. ^
  12. ^ 3rd Annual GANG Awards - 2004 Released Games
  13. ^ "10 questions for Jesper Kyd – the composer behind Assassin’s Creed, Hitman & Darksiders 2". Official Playstation Magazine. November 8, 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jesper Kyd: Music Transcends All Platforms". Plarium. 
  15. ^ Dodd, Adam (April 2014). "Jesper Kyd On Composing For ‘State of Decay’ and “Metal Hurlant Chronicles”". Bloody Disgusting. 
  16. ^ Williamson, Steven (April 2006). "Jesper Kyd: Unreal Tournament 2007". Hexus. 
  17. ^ Nguyen, John (November 2010). "Composer Jesper Kyd on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Curing Insomnia (Interview)". Nerd Reactor. 
  19. ^ songs by Jesper Kyd -
  20. ^ Evoker (14 September 2010). "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Interview". Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  21. ^ Makuch, Eddie. "Listen To The Pulsing, Electronic Music From Crytek's VR Game, Robinson: The Journey". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  22. ^

External links[edit]