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"A Moment's Weight"  by Jeremy Hardin (Part 2 of 3)

Joris de Man - Killzone 3 Recording Sessions at Abbey Road Studios

Christmas comes and goes, Jools Holland graces the screen as 2009 gets a year older, and in January 2010, Joris and Sam learn of a new category at the Ivor Awards.

The Ivor Novello Awards recognise excellence in songwriting and composing. Sir Paul McCartney and the late John Barry number amongst the winners. And at the 55th ceremony, for the first time in the Ivor Awards' history, someone will receive an award for Best Original Videogame Score.

But for now, the in-game music on KILLZONE 3 is Joris's focus.

And as Joris thought, composing without his leg propped up is a relief.

Until April.

In early April, Joris's wife (and manager, remember) is called away to attend to family matters in Birmingham. What is thought to be a short trip becomes weeks.

Still, Joris continues to work.

Occasionally he has off-days. He calls Sam; she reassures him. (On the phone, she also reminds him to eat healthily, and to get up from his workstation. Sadie, their dog, who stayed behind with Joris, reinforces Sam's encouragement with a wet nose and a wagging tail.)

And as if to counter these difficult days, two events coincide to lift Joris's spirits.

Sam returns home, and the nominations are announced for the 2010 Ivor Awards.

Killzone 2 has been nominated for its score. Joris de Man, who drinks cans of Coca-Cola while he works and who likes to talk about Star Wars -- he has a coffee cup that proclaims he's a 'Trooper' -- may have his work honoured by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.

The excitement is palpable in the house. Joris has a spring in his step, and allows himself some video game playing time. But still, when inspiration strikes, he stops what he's doing -- be it eating, sleeping, or playing -- and runs up the stairs to get the idea down.

The coming months are a whirlwind of major life moments, around which Joris is still composing: sitting down, opening Nuendo, and staring at his LCD screens. One such moment, tragically, was a funeral of a beloved grandparent. He and Sam travel north to attend the funeral.

And in juxtaposition, only two days later, Joris finds himself sitting at the Grosvenor House Hotel for the Ivor Novello Awards. (The suit jacket is well-cut and fits nicely over the black shirt.)

British presenter Dom Joly opens the envelope and says, "Ah, a name I can understand."

Joris exhales. He thinks his Dutch name doesn't match that statement.

Until it is read aloud.

Joris de Man has won the Ivor Award for the Best Original Videogame Score for the very first year that the category exists.

Abbey Road is still six months away. And the next six months will be some of the hardest of Joris's life.


Continue to Part 3




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