A Ballenas Secondary School graduate is one of two composers behind this season’s Vancouver Canucks game opening video.
Krystian Watts, who grew up in Parksville and now lives in Vancouver, created the music for ‘Protocol V: Activated’, an A.I.-themed video that plays at the start of every Canucks home game this season on the jumbotron. He and Devin Belanger worked on the project for approximately three months.
“It was definitely an experience. I mean just to be part of an organization like the Vancouver Canucks was awesome,” Watts said. “I grew up a hockey fan on the Island, so it was an honour to even have the opportunity.”
Watts has a diploma in audio engineering and composes music using a program called Ableton. Prior to that, he had already found success in the music industry as part of a music duo and as a DJ.
The 3:43 video shows an A.I. entity invade Vancouver and the Canucks have to create A.I. versions of themselves to defeat it and save the city.
Watts’s and Belanger’s composition consist of different sections that fit with what’s happening on screen.
They had a script to give them an idea of what would happen in the video, and were told the director wanted it to have a “super raw feeling”, Watts said.
“The guitar reflects on the rawness of hockey, that rocky type of feeling where you’re going to battle. Grit,” he said. “That was kind of the main inspiration for the intro. Then we transition into more the team assembling and the epic section leading up to the ending.”
For the heroic finale, Watts said he and Belanger aimed for a sound reminiscent of a blockbuster movie.
They recorded live guitar riffs and then processed it electronically to make it sound extra raw, Watts added. Strings and percussion are also integrated into the composition.
Growing up in Parksville, Watts was involved in Bard to Broadway and started DJing in high school.
“Both my mom and my dad were musical, so it just became a big part of my life and I’ve just been lucky to be able to do it full time,” he said.
Watts wasn’t able to attend the home opener, but he and Belanger were thrilled to see their video play at the Canucks’ next home game.
He encourages people to keep working towards their dreams.
“My dream was to work on music full time and make a career out of it,” Watts said. “I didn’t know exactly where I was going to go, like I started with DJing. If you’re a DJ, pursue it, if you’re a music producer, pursue it.”