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|Birth name||Kurt Harland Larson|
|Also known as||Kurt Valaquen, Kurt Larson|
|Born||January 25, 1963|
|Genres||Synthpop, new wave, freestyle|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, record producer, game soundtrack composer, audio engineer|
|Associated acts||Information Society|
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, and Halvard, born 2012.
Harland began his experience with electronic audio gear and recording in 1982.
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, 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.
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:
- 1995: Scooby-Doo Mystery — Sunsoft, Mega Drive
- 1995: X-Men 2: Clone Wars — Headgames / Sega, Mega Drive
- 1995: Ballz — PF Magic, 3DO
- 1995: Nightmare Circus — Funcom Oslo / Sega, Mega Drive
- 1997: Gex: Enter the Gecko — Crystal Dynamics, PlayStation
- 1999: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver — Crystal Dynamics, PlayStation / Dreamcast / Windows
- 2001: Soul Reaver 2 — Crystal Dynamics, Windows / PlayStation 2
- 2003: Whiplash — Crystal Dynamics, PlayStation 2 / Xbox
- 2003: Legacy of Kain: Defiance — Crystal Dynamics, Windows / PlayStation 2 / Xbox
- 2005: The Godfather — Electronic Arts, PlayStation 2 / Xbox / PC
- 2005: Death Jr. - Backbone Entertainment, PSP
- 2006: Death Jr. II: Root of Evil - Backbone Entertainment, PSP
- 2007: Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom - Backbone Entertainment, Nintendo DS
- 2011: PlayStation Move Heroes - Nihilistic Software Inc., PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move
- 2012: Resistance: Burning Skies - Nihilistic Software Inc., PlayStation Vita
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.
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.
- InformationSociety.us Official Information Society band website (as of 2007)
- InSoc.org Original official Information Society website (largely a historical archive, written by Kurt Harland)
- Downloads of Kurt's music from the Legacy of Kain / Soul Reaver series
- InSoc Brasil fansite
- Composing for Interactive Music, an article written by Kurt Harland, 2003
- InSoc VS. TELEVISION!, an article/account of "what really happened" on VH1's Bands Reunited, according to Kurt Harland
- Kurt Harland discography at MusicBrainz
- Podcast interview discussing a demo recorded with Paul Robb, music, and the "coming destruction of life as we know it on earth."
- "InSoc vs. TV!". web.archive.org. 30 December 2007.