I just read this new NME interview with Kyd. It reminded me of why I miss him so much for Hitman.
Now, I don’t want to throw any shade on Niels Bye Nielsen. He is great in his own right, and I believe he has only improved over the course of the trilogy. But he, as many videogame composers, is more doing appropriating of music styles from movies, games, etc. that might be fitting: like the spy-thriller score of the first games.
It might be unfair to assume this, I can’t know how he thinks (I have heard a podcast with him though), but that is how it feels as a fan. If I’m being super critical, there is a bit of an inherent undervaluing of the artform in that.
But that is how it is with videogame-scoring. Kyd is the exception. He doesn’t want to appropriate. He wants to experiment and create something new. Go against conventions. He cares about the soul of the game. He wants to elevate the artform. He cares about the characters and their motivations, and he wants to put that, subconsciously, inside of the player’s head.
Check what he says at 20:30 in this documentary, to see what I mean (or watch it all):
This is why playing a game with a Kyd score hits so different. It’s art. I just wanted to say this. This kind of vision and passion is rare.
Kyd about scoring the first Assissin’s Creed game:
“But the word that really pulled me in was mysticism. That was such an interesting word for me. And I think for the music in general. I felt I really ran with that.”
“Because it was really, really important that people understood the Animus. That’s where it all came from. This is Assassin’s Creed one! We’re presenting the whole idea. So this idea of the Animus, filtering all the music and even these beautiful [orchestral] live performances, but editing them and filtering them in ways so it sounds like something is a little off here. We’re actually running in a simulation. That became a big part of the sound”
As a musician, he inspires me deeply. And Hitman is lucky for having had a pioneer like him working to create its DNA. If Hitman is ever rebooted again, they really should reconsider…