Kurt Harland

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Kurt Harland
Birth nameKurt Harland Larson
Also known asKurt Valaquen, Kurt Larson
Born (1963-01-25) January 25, 1963 (age 56)
OriginMinneapolis, Minnesota
GenresSynthpop, new wave, freestyle
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer, game soundtrack composer, audio engineer
Associated actsInformation Society

Kurt Harland is a singer, composer, and audio engineer. He is best known as the lead singer of Information Society and composer of the soundtracks for the Legacy of Kain video game series.


Kurt Harland Larson was born on January 25, 1963 in Minnesota. His father, Paul Larson, is a chemist. At the age of six he took piano lessons, and by the end of high school had expanded into choral and theatrical singing and stage performing.

During college, he and a high school friend started a recording group they called Information Society, which would become a decades-long involvement with music, electronic audio, and recording/programming.

After living in New York City, Vienna, and Minneapolis, Harland moved to California. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife, Michelle, and sons, Allistair, born 2006,[citation needed] and Halvard, born 2012.


Harland began his experience with electronic audio gear and recording in 1982.

Information Society[edit]

Formed in 1982, synthpop band Information Society achieved mainstream success for a time in the late eighties and early nineties. They are most widely known for their 1988 hit single "What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy)".

In early concerts and albums, Harland was credited under the pseudonym "Kurt Valaquen," Valaquen taken from Tolkien, meaning child of light. After the band had achieved mainstream success, he began using his own middle name as his professional last name.

After Information Society broke up, Harland kept the rights to the name of the band and released an album, Don't Be Afraid, in 1997.

A 2004 episode of VH1's Bands Reunited, caused a brief controversy when Harland refused to appear in an Information Society reunion performance, despite apparently accepting the invitation on-camera by signing a copy of their first album. In an account of the incident written by Harland and available on his website,[1] Harland disputes VH1's depiction of the events and his portrayal on the show, claiming that the show was edited to make it look as if he had accepted the invitation and then backed out of it.

In 2006, he turned the name back over to Paul Robb and James Cassidy, who reformed the band with a new singer. Harland cited family obligations and a demanding career in not returning full-time; he has since been involved nonetheless, performing at a few concerts, and is featured as a vocalist on their 2007 album Synthesizer. He later rejoined the band full-time, singing and writing for subsequent releases.

Video games[edit]

After 11 years as a full-time recording artist, Harland moved to San Francisco and began his career in video game audio engineering. Over the years he has been involved with eighteen different projects, notably six years with Crystal Dynamics and a stint at Electronic Arts.

Harland has worked on the following:

Four songs from Information Society's album Don't Be Afraid were also used in video games that had their soundtracks composed by Kurt Harland:

  • Early versions of "Closing In" and "On the Outside" had been used in the 3DO version of Ballz.
  • The instrumental track "Ozar Midrashim" would later be used as the intro theme of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Other works[edit]

In 1983, Harland and his Information Society bandmates directed the music video for "Fall in Line". They had a budget of exactly $0.00. In 1987, Harland directed the $10.00 music video for "And So It Goes" by Ex-Sample.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "InSoc vs. TV!". web.archive.org. 30 December 2007.