Jesper Jakobsen Kyd was born 3rd of February 1971 in Hørsholm, Denmark (close to Copenhagen). He started playing piano at an early age. He later started training in classical guitar, where he taught himself the most of it. Kyd was always more interested in the producing-part of music and received a Commodore 64 when he was 14, enabling him to compose music for the demoscene. Several year later he obtained an Amiga, allowing him to compose music with samples in it. He, along with his friend, 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. They would later make the legendary Amiga demoscene production Hardwired.
However, after some time Jesper Kyd decided to quit the demo scene and focus on a professional career as a game musician. Zyrinx, a development team formed around former Silents/Crionics members, was working on the game Sub-Terrania for the Sega Genesis. Kyd was given the opportunity to write the music. The game was very successful and Kyd's work received particular acclaim.
Jesper Kyd and Zyrinx moved to Boston, because of their recent success. Here they made two new games, Red Zone and Scorcher, of which Jepser Kyd also composed music for. However, their publisher, Scavenger, went bankrupt, forcing the Zyrinx team to dissolve as well.
Many former employees of Zyrinx decided to return to Denmark to start IO-Interactive, Jesper Kyd decided to move to New York City, where he has his own studio.
Kyd's compelling, and often beautiful, work features a diverse array of acoustic and symphonic orcestrations, hypnotic vocal performance and electric manipulations, immersed with and emotional depth, described by critics as "rousing, surreal and beautiful."
Game Related Work
With Kyd's work with the Hitman, Kane & Lynch, and the Assassin's Creed franchise, he is considered one of the best composers by many. The first video game he is credited in is Sub-Terrania for the Sega Genesis.
His latest and most famous work are titles and franchises such as:
Ubisoft seeked out Jesper Kyd to compose music for their Assassin's Creed, because of abilities to provide a rich and melodic musical varieties, hoping that Kyd could prove his worth. Kyd recorded the soundtrack with ethnic and percussion musicians and veteran Hollywood vocalists, to get the right atmosphere for the medieval game, with setting in the middle-east. Ubisoft did right in hiring Kyd, hence he won 8 awards for his music, awards such as "Hollywood Music Awards Nominations - Best Original Score" and "British Academy of Film and Television Arts Nomination - Best Original Music".
Assassin's Creed II
Because of the work he did on Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft pulled Jesper Kyd in for Assassin's Creed II as well. For this game, Kyd took the music in a new direction, because of the changes ACII had compared to its predecessor. ACII is set in Italy around year 1500, and the story focuses more on the life of the main protagonist, Ezio, meaning that the music would have to propel the action and capture the mystery of the story.
Hitman: Blood Money
The OST for Hitman: Blood Money is performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Choir. It features Kyd's trademark ambience and dark, foreboding arrangements with the choral parts in deep brooding Latin.
From an Jesper Kyd interview:
It seemed like a natural choice to mix things up for the Blood Money score. After the electronic-driven score for Hitman: Codename 47, the orchestral Hitman 2: Silent Assassin score was a new direction for the sound of Hitman, although there are still a few purely electronic tracks in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. For the third title, Hitman: Contracts, we wanted to go back to the games's roots and create an updated and more modern electronic score. So the Hitman series has a strong background in electronic music.