You’ve probably never met Jordan Persson (that’s pronounced “Pearson,” not “Person”), but if you’ve watched FableVision’s animations or played one of our games, you’ve heard him. Jordan is FableVision’s (humble) musical talent.
“I'm definitely not a musical genius,” Jordan said. “I initially joined the team for video production/editing. As producers heard that I enjoy making music as well, they asked me to do more and more audio work on projects.”
From custom sound effects to original music, Jordan’s compositions are the icing on the project. MMMMM… icing. For April’s FableFriday feature we chatted with Jordan about music, food, and film.
Bring us back to a young Jordan, how did you start with music?
My parents made me take piano lessons from around age 10 to 14, but I thought of it as a chore and didn't pay attention to any of the music theory, then quickly forgot everything when I stopped taking lessons. Around 16 or 17, the game Guitar Hero inspired me to get my own guitar, which I taught myself to play (poorly). From there, I branched out into re-learning piano, buying a used drum set and creating electronic tracks on my PC.
Let’s talk about your favorite project you’ve developed music for – what makes it so special?
That'd probably be Geniverse. We did a motion comic to tell a story about a girl befriending a dragon, and I got to create a short, looping piece of music for each panel. I ended up creating some fun challenges for myself, like using different instruments to represent different characters, and reprising the protagonist's beginning theme in the last panel. It was the first project I had a lot of creative freedom on, and also the first project where it really sunk in that somehow, it was now my JOB to create dragon-adventure music.
Take us through the process of writing and producing original music for our clients’ products:
First, I chat with the project’s producer about what direction they or the client want to go in – what genre or instruments they want, etc. Then, I sit down and create several snippets of music in Logic Pro, and chat with the producer again about what they think works best. After that, I either flesh out the one they like, or start over.
Now, we've heard you are in a band!?! Tell us about it.
In college, a few friends and I called ourselves Break Stuff Steal Things. We played chiptune music with electric guitar/bass and vocoded vocals... kind of like Anamanaguchi, but with lyrics. One of the other members recently moved to Boston and wants to start playing shows again, but I'm trying to finish our first full album before getting back into playing live.
More about Jordan
We know you love junk food, but what’s your favorite healthy snack?
Celery, carrots, broccoli, apples... Whatever's handy, I'll eat it.
Favorite song at age 14:
Can't remember, but I listened to a lot of Barenaked Ladies around then. I guess it was a good influence – Steven Page is a really clever songwriter. BNL isn't the same without him.
Favorite song now:
Trying to choose a favorite song is like trying to choose a favorite moment in life – there are a ton of them that have made me feel awesome in unique ways... and there are still so many that I haven't experienced yet. I'll grab one of my faves out of the air, though: “Classy” by Kenickie. When I'm walking around the city on a bright day and that comes on my headphones, I feel like I can fly.
What’s the best movie score out there?
There are a lot of great ones out there, but I always love the Back to the Future main theme (plus, though this is more soundtrack than score, the “Johnny B Goode” scene is still one of the most awesome examples of Rock Music In Cinema). Oh, and the Cloud Atlas score had a GREAT recurring motif. Really tied the thing together beautifully. It's a shame that one didn't get recognized at the Oscars last year.
And the best video game score?
That's another toughie! A video game's score can complement the game in so many different ways... Silent Hill 2's music really sold the melancholy and claustrophobia of its setting despite sounding totally gorgeous, for example, while Journey's score managed to invoke different moods from curiosity to excitement to confusion to contentment all the way through. Then, you've got games like Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Sunshine/Galaxy that make everything sound so fun and vibrant. Pokemon Red/Blue's music has a special place in my heart, too... but it's hard to tell how much of that is purely nostalgia.
If you worked in another industry what would it be?
The film industry would be satisfying (I'd hope!).
If you could wake up tomorrow and play any instrument, what would it be?
Voice. I've always wanted to be passable at singing, but I'm too embarrassed to try exercises or practice.
Listen to Jordan's original music featured in the FableVision animation for Discovery Day Academy.