Nima Fakhrara: David Cage ‘Challenged Me to Create Something Unique’ for Detroit: Become Human

‘Connor (Main Theme),’ as its name clearly suggests, was a much more significant, lengthier track compared with the other music composed for the character. How difficult was it to create the right tone for this specific track?

‘Connor (Main Theme)’ is the suite I created for the project. I usually create a suite for each of my projects to explore different ideas — and Detroit wasn’t any different. This exploration was to develop the right tonalities for Connor’s world, as well as to stay true to the idea of who Connor is: a deviant hunter that can also become deviant or at least has deviancies.

Take us back to the earliest moments of creating the music for Connor; were there any specific instruments that you immediately identified as the perfect fit for Connor’s various tracks?

I created rules for the projects and the rules were to use as much analog and modular synthesizers as possible. The first instrument I put my hands on was the Minimoog Voyager and that became the main sound of Connor and his musical theme.

Give us an insight into the experience of working with Philip Sheppard and John Paesano on the soundtrack. Of course, you all had your individual characters to work with, but did you come together at any point to have some creative input on each other’s music?

We didn’t collaborate in the traditional sense of writing music together. The collaboration was to exchange musical stems and combine the musical worlds, specifically for moments where the characters cross paths.

One of the first emphasized notes for the project and the thought that David Cage and the rest of the creative team had was to treat the project as a film vs. a video game. -Nima Fakhrara

What was it like to work with David Cage on Detroit? Did he provide you with enough creative freedom for the score, or did he have a specific music style in mind for Connor?

It was a dream come true to work with such an author as well as a visionary. David created a fantastic platform for me to build what was necessary for Connor [in the] musical world. He provided me with lots of detailed information about Connor as well as the script for the project. David also allowed me to explore the musical ideas that I wanted, but [he] kept a close eye to make sure it was right to his beliefs of the story, which is, of course, my job to translate into musical ideas. But he also challenged me to create something unique and do something special.

Detroit: Become Human

Actor Bryan Dechart plays Connor in Detroit: Become Human.

What did you make of Bryan Dechart’s performance as Connor in the final product?

Absolutely everything! Bryan is Connor! He did a fantastic job to become Connor and portray this really complicated character with different paths.

Looking back at Detroit, would you consider it as your most accomplished piece of work to date?

Yes! It was a very challenging score, and once I was I able to accomplish and conquer the challenges, it became a product that I am very thrilled with.

Do you think your experience on Detroit will impact your music style in future gaming titles? Was there anything particular about this experience that helped you see music — or even gaming — in a different light?

I am not too sure about that. What Detroit allowed me to do was to break rules of the traditional scoring methods of gaming, films or just media as a matter of fact. I built custom instruments, used lots of analog and modular synthesizers and the most critical element was that I didn’t use a traditional orchestra. I think video games allow the creators to do something that is not traditional and provides for a much more immersed storytelling platform. I think putting the user in the world of the game and creating something that is true to that world is the challenge and I hope that I have the chance to create another ‘world’ again soon.

Detroit: Become Human was released as an exclusive for PlayStation 4. For more on Quantic Dream’s adventure title, check out Hardcore Gamer’s review.

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