Olivier Derivière Evokes Emotional Soundscape For Dying Light 2 Stay Human

BAFTA-nominated French composer Olivier Derivière (A Plague Tale: Innocence, Streets of Rage 4, Remember Me) has scored his most ambitious soundtrack yet in Dying Light 2 Stay Human, the sequel to the best-selling open-world action game.

Renowned for his distinctive and dynamic soundtracks, Derivière commissioned a number of avant-garde musicians and custom-built instrumentation to bring a unique, emotional soundscape to the game’s story and visceral world infected by a viral outbreak.

As composer and music designer for Dying Light 2, Derivière sought to portray the game’s realistic themes of devastation, loss and isolation from a viral outbreak, human civilization’s fight for survival, and hope through unity, by way of a dual textured compositional approach.

In his pursuit of unorthodox sounds, Derivière commissioned the London Contemporary Orchestra and recorded at Abbey Road Studios with three-time Grammy award-winning score engineer John Kurlander.

During their collaborative process, Derivière captured the experimental articulations of the orchestra to enhance the emotional narrative, while his rhythmic electronic synth soundtrack is steered by the strings of a bespoke electric psaltery instrument blended into the score and manipulated to evoke the gritty, lonely landscape and cold, corrupted state of the world’s seemingly hopeless future.

“Dying Light 2 is by far my most ambitious game music project to date,” he confirmed.

“It has been an amazing journey working with Techland on creating the unique soundscape of the game and pushing boundaries for open-world music design. During this process, collaborating with the London Contemporary Orchestra and recording their unique sound was a great honour, and with the addition of a custom-built instrument - the Electric Psaltery - I believe players will experience a musical in-game journey they won’t forget.”

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is very dynamic, and gameplay is an incredibly important part of the game,” added Adrian Ciszewski, creative director.

“But we cannot forget the impact the soundtrack has on creating an in-game atmosphere. That’s why we’ve been working with Olivier to combine these two elements, so that our music won’t just be a background, but rather a companion alongside which the player will explore the city.

“It supports narrative by generating nostalgia in certain moments, encourages bravery in battles by adding to the adrenaline with the right tunes, and energises the player, pushing them to try harder as they parkour through the roofs.

“This close collaboration between us has led to the sound developing in line with our artistic vision of what we're going to see on the screen and blending in with it perfectly. It was an ambitious project, yes, but we had a lot of fun, and seeing the end result has definitely made it worth the effort.”

Hailed by MTV as “Game music’s eclectic daredevil,” BAFTA nominated Derivière has scored award-winning music for animation, films and video games and is widely acclaimed for both his sophisticated composition and innovative approaches to connecting music with gameplay.

Classically trained, Derivière often blends traditional musical elements with unorthodox sound techniques in pursuit of creating an authentic score that fully immerses the player in the gameplay and story through his neo-classical music styles.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human launches February 4 2022 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.