Philip Sheppard's Cello Gives Kara A Voice In 'Detroit: Become Human'

Jun 6, 2018

Kara, a character in Detroit: Become Human
Credit quanticdream.com

Composer and cellist Philip Sheppard imagined his first video game score, for Detroit: Become Human, would primarily use synths and have a techno feel to reflect the android, Kara, whose music he'd be writing. Instead, as he told me, he found actress Valerie Curry's performance of Kara's character so compelling that he wrote his most organic score ever.

Quantic Dream, the studio that created Detroit: Become Human, hired three different composers to write music for the three different characters: Philip composed for Kara, Nima Fakhara composed for Connor, and John Paesano wrote the soundtrack for Markus. Unlike other games that work with multiple composers, the three didn't have much communication between them. Philip credits Quantic's Music Supervisor Mary Lockwood and Aurélien Baguerre (audio lead) with helping keep the three composers on track musically, so the overall sound of the music in the game wouldn't be disjointed.

Philip says the inspiration for Kara's theme, used throughout his soundtrack, came from watching the flames in the fireplace of a cabin where he was staying. It was so spontaneous, he said, after that the soundtrack practically wrote itself.

The soundtrack also gave Philip a chance stretch his wings as a cellist, with solo cello lines soaring above the strings and synths (yes, he did use some!).

Having written over 60 film scores in his career, Philip told me he's had such a good experience writing his first-ever game score that when I asked him if he'd like to work on another, he said, "Count me in!"

There is no officially released soundtrack yet, but Philip wrote enough music working on this game that he had enough for three new albums of tracks that didn't make it into Detrot: Become Human Fall From Earth will be the first release, scheduled for sometime in June. You can check out Philip's other music on Bandcamp.

Detroit: Become Human recording session at Abbey Road Studios
Credit Top Dollar PR

Episode tracklist

All tracks by Philip Sheppard, performed by the English Session Orchestra, with Philip Sheppard, cello soloist

Detroit: Become Human: Not Just a Machine; What is a Mother; Kara Main Theme; Run with Me!; By Firelight; Carousel; In the Cold; All This Will Pass; Confrontation; By the River

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Thanks to Greg O'Connor-Read, Top Dollar PR