MY QUANTIC EXPERIENCE – NIMA FAKHRARA
My Quantic Experience is the story of those who lend their voice and face to our beloved characters. In this episode though, we’re not meeting an actor but rather a musician, well-known to the Quantic Dream community: Nima Fakhrara, LA-based composer and arranger who has worked on several major projects of the studio, including Detroit: Become Human!
I had just finished a video game called 1979 when I got an email regarding a non-specified project and asking if I could sign an NDA. After seeing the name of the company, I was thrilled, as I knew of the game Detroit: Become Human because of its announcement earlier on. From there I was asked to present some musical ideas for the opening scene of Connor. I knew Quantic Dream from their previous games as a fan and knowing the groundbreaking way the studio works regarding all aspects of storytelling, I was – and I still am – excited about what was coming next. I have always loved video games; as a person with an overactive imagination, video games helped tame the need.
My approach was to ask myself how would an android make music? What would that sound like? What would android internal thinking sound like? The synthesizers and orchestral colors and their arrangements? I ended up exploring them all – for example: using non plugged electric violins – built a Connor guitar. It was to convey the ideas of an android.
So, I got to compose music for Connor and it was a blast – I became Connor! – I was in a playground of sounds. I used instruments that were unconventional in conventional ways, by building sounds. One instrument that I used, now called the Connor guitar, is a 20-pedals steel guitar-like instrument that created incredible atmospheres and rhythms.
The best memory of this project was being able to play the final product once it came out. Seeing the game with all three different characters after working on the project for so long was a very rewarding moment and a special memory.
AFTER THE RELEASE
It felt fantastic! When you work on a project for a very long time, it becomes very personal, especially for a character like Connor. Seeing the final product was terrific. I did get to play it and it was great – I got the game and that same day sat probably for 4-5 hours to play it. 4 years later it’s still rewarding to see the community of fans and players that have embraced Detroit: Become Human and eat character. It’s cool to see each player’s experience and how they have felt about the game.
What I’ve learned from this experience is one of the first things that David Cage said to me: go and have fun. So, that’s what I did, and I have taken that to heart ever since. As a musician/composer… Have fun!
Since then, I have worked on both the Balenciaga short movie, created in partnership with Quantic Dream, and the Star Wars EclipseTM cinematic reveal trailer. I first got to the call to create a piece for Balenciaga on a video David Cage and his team was working on, which would be then choreographed for dancers. It was very cool to see the art and the direction of what the story was portraying. For Star Wars EclipseTM, it came as a shock to me – being a big fan of the franchise and being asked to create a new musical language for it was a blast and an honor. Once again, thanks to David, I pushed for unusual and rare things, like recording a tutari from India or creating a drum sound by blending percussions from all around the globe. It was very fun!