Kian is a professional Conductor who you may know from the Video Game Orchestra. Some video games he has made some killer music that always set the mood are Spec Ops: The Line, Dishonored and his latest Akaneiro: Demon Hunter. I’m eagerly awaiting this game Akaneiro is a hand painted MMO and has a lot of Japanese art and folklore influence. Be ready to loot till your hearts desire in this action RPG by Spicy Horse. I was able to listen to three of Kian creating trakcs for Akaneiro and they are killer! I had a chance to talk to Kian and here’s the man himself…
How’s life treating you?
Life is great! I’ve had the opportunity to live in different cities around the world doing what I do best and love: Audio for Games. I’ve recently relocated to where I’m currently based: Shanghai and working in an exciting and dynamic game studio called Spicy Horse, making bleeps and bloops for its games. With life treating me this fine, what more can I ask?
What was your first major experience with music and how did you know it was for you?
My first major experience with music happened when I was 18. I got a call from a friend who’s a studio engineer asking if I was interested in doing some paid guitar session work for a local artist. I went in the studio, laid down the tracks, got paid and felt an instant gratification. That’s when I knew music was the path for me. It didn’t seem like a “job” at all, and the idea of getting paid doing music is just simply awesome!
I loved the songs from Akaneiro: Demon Hunters very beautiful! I loved The Rotten Temple, What was your inspiration when creating these tracks?
Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! I usually spend a fair amount of time mindlessly staring at the artwork and/or the game itself to draw musical clues(not inspiration). Inspiration has too much ambiguity to it and it feels like it’s something that pops up only at random moments. Not quite the reliable working partner I must say. The game’s artwork already contains within it fragments of musical clues, revealing to me its style, pacing, mood and instrumentation. And all I have to do is piece all the clues together and the end result is what you hear in the game.
Three words that describe the music of Akaneiro: Demon Hunters?
Asian. Immersive. Dark.
What are you most excited about in Akanerio: Demon Hunters?
The hand painted world, definitely. It is one of the distinct aspects that sets Akeneiro apart from other games in the same genre. Being a fan of Asian art myself, it definitely is a dream come true being able to traverse and explore realms being made in this style. Also, how can I forget the excitement of battling big bad wolves clad in samurai outfits?
When you first get to create the soundtrack for a game what are the first steps you take before composing the music?
The first step would be to identify all the important aspects that makes the game what it is, these can include: time period based upon, reality or fiction, story/plot, art style and many more. It is imperative to get the aforementioned right as the music is a sonic representation of the visuals, and any misinterpretation can lead to an audio visual detachment. Once I’m done solidifying the general musical direction of the game, I proceed to writing the first music track of the game: the main theme. The main theme generally embodies everything the player needs to know about the game prior to playing it, which explains why main theme tracks usually sit in the main menu. The main theme also serves as a master music palette from which I draw fragments to compose the other music tracks.
I have to ask you’ve done such great work in video games are you a gamer?
If so what are some games you are looking forward to?
Dishonored, Assassins Creed III and Torch Light II for Macintosh.
You are a man of many talents. Out of everything which would you say is your passion?
Composing music. As a composer, I’m able to write music that are timeless and memorable, share them with the world and have a spot in the race to becoming the next Beethoven/Mozart.
Most memorable carrier moment?
My most memorable career moment would definitely be during my time as co-producer of the Boston-based VGO(Video Game Orchestra) back in 2009. We had our first sold out show and
received international press coverage. We were featured on television news, many major video game related blogs/websites and newspaper interviews & coverage. Our faces were literally everywhere within the video gaming community. It was during that short 1 week period I could proudly say: I’m famous. =)
What are some words of wisdom you would give a youth wanting to be a composer?
Realize that this is an industry where supply and demand are greatly imbalanced. There’re almost no fulltime jobs, benefits or whatsoever. You will most likely need to work multiple jobs to
keep yourself afloat. You might even need to work for free or at minimum wage for a period of time. But hey, if writing music is your passion, I’d say go against the odds and give it
a shot, you’ll never know until you try it. The great composers became successful by beating the odds and proving everybody wrong. If they can, why can’t you?
What’s coming up for you in the future?
There’re new exciting games being developed here at Spicy Horse at the moment, and I’m definitely looking forward to putting some awesome audio into them. Also, I’m currently working on
my own music and looking to release an album sometime next year, something that I’ve been procrastinating for many years and finally got to it. What can I say? I’ve got a job and bills to pay!
Any Last words anything you want to add?
Look out for the release of Akeneiro: Demon Hunters, it will be out fairly soon so head right on to www.angry-red.com and get yourself signed up! For information about me and my music, more of those can be found on my website www.kianhow.com.
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