Jesper Kyd
Full Name Jesper Jakobson Kyd
Born February 3, 1972 (age 37)
Nationality Denmark
Music Genre(s) Electronic, Ambient, Techno, Orchestral
Composed Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Soundtrack

Jesper Kyd is more famous for his work in the Hitman game series. He also composed Assassin's Creed and Freedom Fighters.

Early Career Edit

Kyd started playing 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 was always more interested in the compositional aspects of music and received a Commodore 64 when he was 14, enabling him to compose music for the demoscene. Several years later he obtained an Amiga, allowing him to compose music with samples in it. He, along with his good friend and collaborator, Mikael Balle, became a member of the demo group Silents DK, and after some time started collaborating with a group of coders known as Crionics, which would arguably later prove vital for his professional career. They eventually made the legendary Amiga demoscene production Hardwired. He also created and scored the first wild demo, Global Trash 2, together with Mikael Balle


Jesper Kyd's real fame came, according to him, with the release of Bioware's MDK2: Armageddon, Shiny's Messiah and IO's Hitman: Codename 47 being released around the same time, all being fairly well-known games, with Hitman ending up as one of the most popular of the time. The soundtrack to Codename 47 was based on urban soundscapes and ethnic instrumentation. It immediately took the focus of many magazines around the world. declared that "The theme song to the original Hitman is arguably one of the best pieces of video game theme music so far this decade".

His next huge step was recording the soundtrack of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. The soundtrack was recorded with 110 musicians of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Choir. “The music of most big budget action movies won’t move you like the music of Hitman 2,” said IGN. His next soundtrack contained heroic and densely atmospheric music for the epic action/adventure Freedom Fighters. He recorded the score with the Hungarian Radio choir. It further established him as one of the leading, innovative A-list composers in interactive entertainment. It was described by Film Score Monthly Magazine as "Vangelis on steroids". Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards nominated him for Best Use of Soundtrack, meanwhile, 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".

His unique fusion of modern electronica and brooding symphonic and choral grooves featured in Hitman: Contracts garnered international critical acclaim as one of the truly groundbreaking original soundtracks. 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. "Many have tried to turn a video game soundtrack into a musical experience. But few have succeeded in creating a coherent, satisfying listening experience as well as Jesper Kyd," noted EQ Magazine.

Kyd's other works include the modern anime video game soundtrack for Robotech: Invasion, the cinematics for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Soundtrack directed by Andy Davis and the soundtrack of Hitman: Blood Money, which features a bombastic live orchestral and choral score recorded with 150 musicians of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Choir, with additional electronic music. His upcoming works include the fantasy MMORPG The Chronicles Of Spellborn, and the sci-fi epic Unreal Tournament 3. He is also scoring next generation titles for Ubisoft and Eidos Interactive.

Jesper currently lives in Los Angeles and is writing his own album, "Deftronic", which is described as a cinematic electronic music album. The album's been produced by Jesper himself and co-produced by Jeff Blenkinsopp, who worked with Pink Floyd, The Who, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Vangelis.