Inspiration Through Music: Jesper Kyd

I’ve written before about certain music inspiring scenery. When one song can teleport you to a place you’ve never been, a place you’ve only dreamed of or imagined, that’s real talent. Over the last week, I’ve been struggling with editing and haven’t had the chance to really write anything new. Editing puts your mind in a different mode entirely. It requires you to be more analytical but also keep a bit of your creativity so that you know how to fix things. But I’ve been longing for just that creative streak, that inspiration that keeps me writing and prevents me from getting hung up on mistakes that I can fix later. Imagine my delight when I discovered Jesper Kyd and his music. This man is truly a talented composer.

Jesper Kyd is a Danish composer who has done work for television and film but most notably, for video games. He’s worked on such popular video games as Kane and Lynch, Borderlands, the Hitman Series, and, my personal favorite, the Assassin’s Creed series. Particularly with Assassin’s Creed soundtracks, I find it so much easier to lose myself in the setting and in the characters heads, especially if the scenery is historical. He really has captured the time periods from the series in his music to a point that you can see everything about them when you listen. His work has been a real help to me while I’ve worked on the Monstrum Chronicles series. Below, I’ll be sharing 5 of his songs with you and discussing what I see when I listen to them.

Assassin’s Creed Theme (Assassin’s Creed Revelations): The clouds roll in the sky as the storm approaches. He looks over the land, over the place where his family has ruled for generations. There is still a mystique to it, still a presence that sends a chill up his spine every time he views it. There is power here, a type of magic found nowhere else in the kingdom. This is the place where his ambitions to become a worthy leader were born. This was the place where he won the battle, where friends died, where others he once thought loyal turned traitor. It was the beginning of a new day. To think that this place might be taken away by those seeking unbalance and chaos… it makes his heart ache. He needs to win this upcoming battle or risk the safety of everyone living beneath his rule. He doesn’t know that this is only the beginning of his story. He unsheathes his sword and stares at it. He traces the scratches on the blade, the chips here and there. He must return to war with it once again… hopefully for the last time. (I honestly got something akin to a King Arthur/Game of Thrones vibe when I listened to this piece. It really is gorgeous and later gets pretty epic.)

Byzantium (Assassin’s Creed Revelations): Sun breaks through a thick barrier of clouds, casting points of light down on the ancient city. The dark creatures scuttle into the shadows as the light sweeps over the old architecture, slips into the cracked cobblestone and bathes the stones and bricks. In the night time, this city is a different place. By day, all of its darkness and sin washes away. It becomes a new place, a hopeful place. There is almost no trace that it ever was the place it had been the night before. He steps out into the sunlight and sighs. Another night he’s survived. Daybreak is his reward. He’s free to embrace it until the night falls once more and he returns to his job of ridding the city of its monsters. (This is a one-shot from the upcoming Book 3 in The Monstrum Chronicles).

Anti-Matter: She slides a clip of bullets into her gun and takes the safety off. The day has finally arrived; a day she’s set herself up for for the last ten years. Ever since she started training herself, making sure she was properly prepared mentally and physically. Finally, she will get her revenge. The man took everything from her. Her daughter was her most prized possession and in a moment of weakness, she’d let him have her. He’d exploited her. He’d taken advantage of her desperation. Now, she realized her mistake. She realized his dark intentions. She’d do anything to get what belonged to her back. Anything.

City of Rome (Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood): The horses clopped down the dirt road, edged by the thick green plains. The sun was smothered by a thick mist and the grass topped with a fresh blanket of dew. They had been traveling for nearly a week now, the temperatures plummetting each day. Soon, winter would be upon them. They didn’t have time to stop. They had to reach the kingdom soon. The knight rides at the head of the party, navigating them toward the neighboring kingdom. It had been said that there was someone who lived within its walls that could help them, a powerful sorcerer with magic beyond anyone’s comprehension. The knight didn’t want to admit that he was their only hope… but he couldn’t see any other way around using this man’s abilities. Their kingdom was doomed unless he helped them. But would he? They’d also said he was a selfish man, that he only did things if they benefit him in someway. What did they have that he wanted? They’d only know when they got there.

Vegas (Hitman: Blood Money): Smoke drifts into the sky. He stands overlooking the land, the wasteland that used to be his home. It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been six months since the global disaster. Hard to imagine that he used to walk down these streets daily on his way to work. Walking down them now could get one killed. Everyone has become desperate for supplies, people kill other people just for a slice of bread or a bottle of pills. It’s mayhem. It’s the worst thing that could have possibly happened. The only reason he was still alive was because he’d managed to stay quiet, stay low. Don’t be seen and they won’t come after you. He’d watched people break into a house down the street where a family had holed up. The result… wasn’t pretty. He’d been ashamed to sneak in there later the same night and take canned food from their pantry. This was no longer the same world. The rules were different. He to change, too, in order to survive.

Later today (since I’m posting last week’s Inspiration Through Music today, I’ll be posting an ITM blog with the works of Alela Diane, a musician who I recently discovered. Stay tuned!


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