Detroit Become Human’s Musical Experimentation Made Connor Come to Life
According to a recent interview, composer Nima Fakhrara was given all the freedom he needed to create the soundtrack for Connor in Detroit: Become Human. Fakhrara appeared on the WSHU Public Radio’s Music Respawn podcast to discuss his process. When it came to creating the score for Connor, Fakhrara’s guiding question was, “How would an android compose music?… it’s supposed to be mathematical.” He went on to say, “It’s supposed to be really complex and sometimes it doesn’t make sense, but it’s what Connor is.”
Connor’s main theme was created on a vintage synthesizer, and it was the first song Fakhrara wrote for the project. He opted for the old school option, because vintage synthesizers have an unpredictability that analog ones just don’t have. He felt this calculated chaos fit perfectly for Connor’s character. The music has a pulsing melody that creates tension, while highlighting the robotic nature of Connor.
The need to depict Connor as the least human of the playable characters is what caused Fakhrara to reject traditional instrument choices. While violins and violas were used, amplifiers were not. This lack of resonance created a sense of emotional detachment.
As a composer, Fakhrara is known for building his own custom instruments. The Detroit: Become Human project was no exception. Fakhrara crafted a sort of “guitar” to create Connor’s portion of the soundtrack. The instrument is a twenty foot apparatus consisting of piano strings, metal piping, and contact microphones. The result is a chilling, sawing sound.
But when Fakhrara initially crafted the instrument, no sound came out of it at all. It seemed like it was back to the drawing board, but he was able to salvage the experiment and create something wonderful. He reflected on the moment:
The reason I built the instrument was to get those feeling[s] in your chest… I realized, ‘Oh, this has to be sub-harmonics.’ So I connected contact mics to the piping, [which is] hollow, and captured the sound through the actual instrument, rather [than] the air. It’s amplified that way, in order for it to be even heard.
Anyone who has played Detroit: Become Human, or is at least familiar with it, knows there are a many choices and endings. Rather than trying to compose music for each possible scenario, Fakhrara was asked to capture emotions/adjectives. He said he thought of it more in terms of composing for “Deviant level 1…2…3,” rather than specific scenes.
You can take a close look at some of the instruments Fakhrar used when composing songs for Detroit: Become Human here:
Rather than have a team of composers working directly together, each of the three composers were assigned to one of Detroit: Become Human’s playable characters. Here’s a look into the process:
[Source: WSHU Public Radio]