On Thursday May 20th Joris de Man was presented with the inaugural award for Best Original Video Game Score for the Killzone 2 soundtrack at the 55th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
The Ivors are presented annually by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters and are respected worldwide as the major platform for recognising and rewarding Britain’s song writing and composing talents. They are the only major music award to be judged and presented by the writing community.
Commenting on his outstanding achievement, Joris said “I'm ecstatic to have been awarded the Ivor for my work on Killzone 2. It is an honour to receive such recognition and it has special significance this year in particular as it’s the first time the category has been included at the awards.”
“It was great to be at the event with Armin Elsaesser, a fellow nominee who was really gracious in his support, to enjoy celebrating with him, the team from Sony and to be rubbing shoulders with likes of Trevor Horn, Paul Weller, Imogen Heap, Johnny Marr and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.”
“Joris has never failed to deliver music of exceptional cinematic quality to all the Killzone franchise titles from the very beginning”, said Hermen Hulst, Managing Director of Killzone 2 developer Guerrilla. “Guerrilla is proud to see Joris being recognised for his talent with this award for his work on Killzone 2.”
Michael Denny, Senior Vice President for Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Europe said “Joris is an incredibly skilled composer, and his orchestral soundtrack for Killzone 2 provides the perfect intense and dramatic backdrop to the game.” He added “I am delighted at BASCA’s recognition of the video game industry.Video game composers have some very specific and unique skills, and an endorsement by a globally recognised awards body is a fantastic thing for everyone who works in our industry.”
Exciting times… Last week I recorded interviews with Radio Netherlands in Dutch and English. The first broadcast was at 15.00 GMT on Thursday 12th May, and then repeated over the next 18 hours, mostly on an hourly basis. It's easiest to listen online, either via the live stream or by calling up the programme on the Listen by Demand link. The programme should be posted on the website within an hour of the live broadcast.
I was at Broadcasting House on Election Day to record an interview with Kirsty Lang for Front Row on BBC Radio 4.... Obviously nothing to do with elections but to talk about the Ivor Novello nomination and how it’s inclusion by BASCA at the awards might affect composers and music in games… The programme also aired on Thursday 13th May. You can listen again here: BBC R4 Front Row 13/5/10.
And grab yourself a copy of The Independent on Sunday, this Sunday 16th May where I’m part of a feature from Andrew Johnson about Video Game Music…
The 20th of May is certainly a red letter day; I’ll be heading up to London with Sam to attend The Ivor Novello Awards. All appendages crossed, it’s the first time that the category for game music composition has been recognised at the awards so it’s really a great honour to be selected.
The Ivors are the one of the most prestigious awards in the music industry calendar, celebrating the writing achievements of songwriters, composers and their music publishers. The awards either celebrate artistic excellence in a specific work, exceptional performance figures in the award year or recognise the outstanding achievements of a particular songwriter or composer throughout their career.
The Ivors continue to be acknowledged as the most widely coveted awards for British songwriters and composers in the world and are judged and presented by the songwriting and composing community.
Ivor Novello, was a Welsh composer, singer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the early 20th century. Along with the Ivors his legacy includes a statue which was unveiled outside the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.
My fellow nominees in the category of BEST ORIGINAL VIDEO GAME SCORE are:
Game: Empire: Total War
Composer/s: Richard Beddow / Richard Birdsall / Walter Mair / Lorenzo Piggici / Simon Ravn
Developer: Creative Assembly
UK Publisher/s: SEGA
Game: Killzone 2
Composer/s: Joris de Man
Developer: Guerrilla Games
UK Publisher/s: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Game: Savage Moon: Waldgeist
Composer/s: Armin Elsaesser
Developer: FluffyLogic Development Ltd
UK Publisher/s: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
On Friday 21st May, the day after the Ivors I’m off to Malmo in Sweden for Joystick 3.0 where music from Killzone & Killzone2 will be playing in a concert performed by The Malmo Symphony Orchestra.
British conductor Charles Hazelwood will be leading the orchestra and Orvar S<ä>fstr<ö>m, one of Sweden's most popular film reviewers and video game journalists will be presenting the show. Orvar writes and lectures on gaming, produces symphonic concerts with game music and has written a book on the subject. He has also spoken in Swedish parliament at a seminar on gaming.
The concerts started back in 2006 with a free open air concert in the main square in Malmo. The moved to the concert house in 2007, and last year there was another concert in Umea in the north of the country. You can see photos from my trip there in ‘features’.
The team at Joystick have been very supportive of my music and have played Killzone every year, adding Killzone2 in 2009 and creating a medley with re-orchestration support from Jonathan Williams, my copyist and conductor for the project.
Later this November there will be 3 concerts in Gothenberg too; keep watching ‘news’ for updates.
My interview with G-tech Hitachi is now on YouTube. G-tech invited me to be an ambassador earlier this year, and I am genuinely really impressed with the stability and speed of the G-Raid drives and am really happy to have them as part of my set-up. I can’t tell you some of the nightmares I’ve faced with other brands so it’s good to have great back-up.
April has been a busy time, lots of planning and preparation going on at JDM HQ! I also had some very exciting news late in the month; I’ve been nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for the music I composed for Killzone 2. Here’s a 10min clip that Laura Seymour @ Open Book edited for me for the submission movie… It takes a lot to cut down the action from the cutscenes, especially when there’s such a lot to tell from the story, but I think she made it happen :)
Laura has also started editing my new demo-reel, I think she’s doing a great job, I guess we’ll find out what others think of it when it’s ready in May. Plus I’m updating my website again, well, I’m not, but Richard Gladman is. I’m really happy with how it’s looking, and it’s going live mid May too; thanks for your hard work Rich…
The style of the music is a mixture of rock and industrial; it’s quite a departure from Killzone and the orchestral work I’ve been producing over the past few years, but for me it’s a welcome return to some of my electronic and industrial roots, allowing me to channel some of my influences such as Nine Inch Nails and demonstrate an alternative genre.
I’ve been working with Slick’s co-founders, Nick Waanders and Kees Reijnen for the past few years since they set up in 2006, and before that I used to work with them at Lost Boys Games before it mutated into Guerrilla Games. I love what they are doing, indie gaming is a cool place to be right now and supporting smaller games is really important to me.
Screened Music Network featured the music I composed at the ASCAP workshop on their site. The scene was taken from Around the World in 80 Days starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan, and I wrote 3 minutes of music for it that was consequently recorded at the Fox Newman stage in Los Angeles.
I attended the renowned workshop back in 2005 and was fortunate to meet some of film and television’s most respected composers, arrangers and mixers.
And this month G-Tech Hitachi visited me to record a clip for their site. It should be up in the next couple of months. Watch this space!
I have a Fanpage on Facebook!! Yup, Open Book have set me up with a page where we’ll be posting all kinds of information, photos, movies, music and musings. It’s really lovely that so many people are supporting me, and I’ve been enjoying reading posts from folks from all over.
I was approached by Hitachi to be an ambassador for their G-Tech data drives. I’ve been using their G-Raid and am really happy with how it’s fitting nicely into my set up. How reassuring to have a hard drive that is speedy and reliable! I’ve transferred all my sample libraries to the G-tech drives and am running my sessions on them too which is working out well.
All wrapped on music for Scrap Metal, watch out for new news in March…
I was in Los Angeles this month, and whilst I was there I went along to the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. I didn’t win unfortunately but I had a great time at the event and especially enjoyed hanging out with my friend and super talented Mixing Engineer John Rodd. It was also fun revisiting some of the spots we had been during the summer of 2005 during the time of the ASCAP workshop, and sampling some of LA’s great food and nightlife.
We were really lucky to get to see Fat Freddy’s Drop at The Roxy on Sunset, the gig was packed, and the support band The Lions were really impressive too. And to complete the musical connections we also hooked up with Sam’s friend Simon Steadman of London to Tokyo when we held a wonderful autumnal BBQ at our LA hideout. Can’t wait to get back…
At last!!!! The Killzone2 OST is launched on iTunes!!!!
I’ve been nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award!! That’s just part of the exciting news…I’m also going to Los Angeles to be at the event.
I’ve landed the job for DUST 514!! I did a pitch a short while back for CCP who are developing their new MMO DUST 514 in Shanghai. It’s an evolution of the legendary EVE online and looks to be pretty awesome!! Diederik van Middelkoop is my producer over at Massive Music who have a studio there and he put me in for the gig…I’ll be taking care of Sound Design on this one.
On Saturday the 13th I'll be speaking at the Symposium Music@Games in Ottone, Utrecht about the scoring of Killzone 2, amongst other games industry professionals. If you work in the industry or are just interested, why not come along?
Though exact details are yet to emerge, the Official Soundtrack to Killzone 2 should be released in the not too distant future on iTunes! To coincide with the release we will be launching a behind the scenes featurette called 'Behind the Score - Killzone 2 at Abbey Road', produced by Open Book so watch this space…
Working on various pitches and projects, including a production for Ubisoft China; Fairyland Melody Magic aimed at 4 year olds...quite a departure from Killzone!:)
Gamespot interviewed me for their online Gaming TV show about Killzone 2; if you like to hear me waffle on about game music, the Killzone franchise and the industry in general, take a look at this:
Read the online version of the Abbey Road feature EDGE covered…
Great interview in the December print edition of EDGE, the first time that music has been covered exclusively!
The days leading up to the session at Abbey Road were exhilarating, I was composing furiously to make up for lost time and I was working with copyist and conductor Jonathan Williams who'd recently fractured his collarbone; we really did sweat some blood...
The recording was an incredible experience and from my perspective it went really quickly, so I’m glad I asked Open Book to document the two days we spent there. You can hear a little more about Killzone2 and see what we got up to ‘Behind the Score’ when it’s released.
The in-game material was mixed by yours truly and mastered by Clint Bajakian at Sony in California, and the orchestral sections were edited and mixed by Rich Aitken at Nimrod Productions who also produced at Abbey Road. I traveled up to work with Rich and then headed off to The Royal Festival Hall to watch ‘The Bays’ who were performing an improvised set with The Heritage Orchestra. If you’ve not been to see them, do try…
Both Music4Games and EDGE came down to Abbey Road to interview me; you can read what they wrote online….
Other Killzone 2 recording coverage can be found at the following sites:
Scoring Sessions has a lot of pictures: Check it out Here
Tracksounds kindly featured me on their podcast: Check it out Here
IGN covered the recording and has some mp3's of the music: Check it out Here
Whoops! Just what I needed… slap bang in the middle of composing the orchestral sections for Killzone2, I’ve slipped and broken my ankle!! So surgery, titanium plate and a couple of screws later I'm back at my desk, leg elevated (8 weeks in a cast) and working to meet the deadline for recording at Abbey Road in November.