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Grant Kirkhope Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Mini Bio (1)

Grant was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the age of 5, he moved to England and spent the rest of his childhood there. He attended The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, majoring in Trumpet.He obtained the qualifications G.R.N.C.M and P.P.R.N.C.M. He spent the next ten years playing in many different bands ranging from rock to soul/funk, and was a session player.

After 10 years he thought it was time to get a "proper" job and started work at Rare Ltd in 1995 as a Video Game Composer and Audio Designer. His first task was to convert Donkey Kong 2: Diddy Kongs Quest from the SNES to the Gameboy. This was a steep learning process but it got him started in games audio and was great fun!

The next video game he worked on was GoldenEye for the N64, it was one of the few Bond games that had the permission to use Monty Norman's theme. Grant has said that it was fantastic to be able to take that theme and re-arrange it in lots of different ways. No-one could've predicted that this game would go on to sell close to 10 million copies! It was the first time that he'd had to use sound effects and remembers having to try and make everything as small as possible as memory was so tight in those days. It taught him to make the most of what little resources he had, a skill that was essential for creating sound effects and video games music on the N64.

His next task was to join the Donkey Kong team on a game that started life as Dream, after going through a year of development Rare's management decided that the game wasn't going in the right direction and had the team re-think the design. After a short time of deliberation a new main character appeared with a wise cracking side kick and Banjo-Kazooie was born! This was Grant's first solo project and he created all the audio design and composed all the video games music, he remembers Tim stamper (Rare's founder) telling him "it's all yours, don't let us down". This game turned out to be Rare's Mario beater and gained rave reviews, the audio design and music received fantastic reviews and was lauded as the best on the N64. Grant was firmly on the map!

His next project was to take on Nintendo's mascot Donkey Kong. This game turned out to be another huge seller for Rare and Grant's video game music and audio design were receiving rave reviews again. At the same time Grant was also composing music for Perfect Dark, the follow up to GoldenEye, this game took the FPS to the next level and was highly praised, Grant's audio design and video games music on the game was again receiving high praise from all the reviewers and fans alike. Rare seemed like they could no wrong, it really was a golden era for the company and Grant has said this was an amazing and exciting time!

A sequel to the hugely popular Banjo-Kazooie was something that Rare couldn't miss out on and the original team got to work on a bigger better Banjo. When Banjo-Tooie surfaced it was again swallowed up by fans of the original game and reviewers alike. The audio on the game was praised again and Grant was firmly establishing himself as one of the top Sound Designers and Composers in the industry.

After Banjo Tooie, Rare's days with Nintendo drew to a close and the company was acquired by Microsoft. The first game that Grant worked on for the XBOX was Grabbed by the Ghoulies with Grant again providing audio design and composition. Grant was Nominated as one of the five finalists for "Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition" for Grabbed by the Ghoulies at the 2004 Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony and nominated for "Best Interactive Score" at the 2nd annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Ceremony 2004.

Next up for Grant was Viva Pinata, for which Grant provided audio design and video game music. This was Grant's first time at writing for full orchestra and he couldn't wait to get started. The score was recorded by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Grant was nominated as one of the five finalists for "Original Score"at the 2007 BAFTA's for Viva Pinata. This was indeed an honour and Grant was obviously overjoyed to get such prestigious recognition.

A sequel to Viva Pinata, Viva Pinata:Trouble in Paradise was immediately begun and Grant once again was providing audio design and composition. He used the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra again and the results were equally amazing!

Finally it was decided that a new Banjo game was to be worked on and Grant was reunited with his old friends the Bear and Bird! Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was released in 2008, again the score utilised the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the soundtrack was a mixture of the much loved music from the first two games and new material. The video games music soundtrack was released on Nile Rodgers' Sumthing Else label. This was to be Grant's last game for Rare.

During his work on Viva Pinata:Trouble in Paradise and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts Grant had decided it was time for him to move on. He'd always wanted to work in the USA and began looking for somewhere he thought he could fit in and make a difference. After much searching Grant finally found what he was looking for,and secured the position of Audio Director at Big Huge Games in Baltimore and up and moved his family to the USA.

Grant has just completed work in sound design and composition for the RPG by best selling author, R. A. Salvatore, award winning creator of Spawn, Todd Mc Farlene and "Oblivion" Lead Designer, Ken Rolston. The game is called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, that was released Feb 2012.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Grant Kirkhope

Spouse (1)

Suzanne Kirkhope (19 August 2000 - present) ( 2 children)

See also

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