MARTIN KVALESOUND ARTIST
SAE audio alumni Martin Kvale has combined his love of computer games with his passion for audio by pursuing a career creating sounds and audio for games. He and his colleagues have already received recognition for their work with the game ‘Among the Sleep’, while another one of Martin’s projects, which is a collection of 30 sounds for an iOS game, has already been downloaded 15 million times.
What inspired you to enter into the career you’re in?
At the moment I work with sound and music for games, I remember me and my flatmate at SAE, Stefan, were playing a game called ‘Limbo’, we were both impressed with the quality of the game, it was very well done, and the audio was simply perfect. I remember thinking that games would definitely be something I would like to work with, if I got to work on games as cool as ‘Limbo’.
What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
The good people around me, teachers, supervisors and students, as well as the owner of the on-campus cafe. It was friendly and creative. I was really lucky to get to know and grow around these talented and kind people. I did many things audio related outside of school, one of the best was going to Splendor in the Grass with a crew of audio people, and doing an art installation of birds silhouette on a canvas who reacted to the people viewing it. I got to be a part of some great sessions with some awesome musicians as well!
Are you able to shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
Through SAE I met a new group of people, and since I arrived at SAE without knowing anyone in Byron Bay, I made friends among those who shared my interests. During my time there I basically talked and thought of sound and music because of it. There was constant stimuli to keep me going and learning. I read somewhere that free sharing among a group of people lead to great growth for everyone involved, and I really felt that to be true on my side.
What are your career highlights?
At the moment, every day of working with the projects I am involved with feels like the best day of my career, I am making a living from working on incredible and interesting games with passionate people, their skills and their fields of expertise continue to amaze and inspire me. Lately we have also been getting nominated and winning awards for the game “Among The Sleep” and have been getting much credit for the audio. That is incredibly humbling, and I am inspired to work harder on the current projects I am doing to better myself and be an asset for those around me. Working on different games give me different joys, I did a small gig of maybe 30 sounds for an iOS game, and its been downloaded 15 million times within the last month and so. I have heard the sounds around from people’s phones as I´ve been travelling. Another smaller game, I´ve been working on for ages, and looking at it as its getting finished just makes me smile as I´ve put so much care and love into it, almost like letting a child loose in the world.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am working on quite few, Teslagrad has a sequel, I am doing work there, Krillbite has an unannounced project, I work with Glitchnaps´ Sentree and Progress by Tim Garbos. There is also some upcoming amazing work which will knock your socks off that I wont talk about as they are not announced or sealed yet! I am really looking forward to a project called “Draugen” which is a Lovecraftian horror game about a man stuck in the Norwegian fjords which we will be starting at some point:)
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful in their field?
Work hard, do heaps of extra work and projects on top of school. Imagine school as a baseline, and what you learn there you can bring into other projects, whether it’s music, audio, sound design or installations. I studied audio because I needed to find something that was interesting enough that I did not get bored learning it, and that’s still what I am aiming for with each project I take. I think working with audio and music is a hard line of work, one that you share with heaps of others, and you need to know your stuff. Why not then focus on really becoming good on the aspects of sound and music you love? Doing so is no guarantee for getting to be successful, but working with creatives, they like to see you burn for something. Approach each project with passion, spend time on it, look at it from all angles, make sure you give it your best as you never know when your next gig will come from.