Kevin Penkin

Kevin Penkin

Kevin Penkin is a British-born Australian composer renowned for his soundtracks for anime and video games. Born on May 22, 1992, Penkin’s musical journey began early. He started playing the flute before moving on to the saxophone and piano. But what drew him to music were video game soundtracks, particularly the music in Metroid Prime. His passion led him to pursue a formal education in music. He first earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Music Technology from Edith Cowan University’s Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Later on, he would obtain a Master of Composition degree from the Royal College of Music.

Penkin’s anime debut came when he worked with Kinema Citrus on their shows “Norn9” and the OVA “Under the Dog”. This relationship allowed him to network with composers like Final Fantasy’s Nobuo Uematsu and provided him with further opportunities. But it was his score for “Made in Abyss” that catapulted him into the limelight, earning him the Best Score award at the 2nd Crunchyroll Anime Awards.

His compositions are characterized by their orchestral ambience. His seamless blending of traditional instruments and electronic elements create immersive soundscapes. Penkin’s ability to evoke the emotional depth of a scene has made his music integral to the storytelling in the anime he works on. He’s mentioned that he’s a big fan of Igor Stravinsky, but also enjoys musicians like Hans Zimmer, Bjork, Rival Consoles, and Sigur Ros.

Kevin Penkin’s most notable works:

  • Made in Abyss: Penkin’s music for this series is hauntingly beautiful, capturing the sense of wonder and danger in the Abyss. The soundtrack’s ethereal quality earned him critical acclaim and solidified his reputation as a composer.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Penkin provided a score that perfectly encapsulated the fantasy world’s trials and tribulations, enhancing the narrative’s emotional weight.
  • Tower of God: His work on this anime adaptation of the South Korean webtoon won him another Best Score award at the 5th Crunchyroll Anime Awards. It showcased his versatility and skill in adapting music to different storytelling media.

Penkin’s recent projects include the soundtrack for the 2024 anime adaptation of “Spice and Wolf”. His involvement in this project is a testament to his standing as a distinguished composer in the anime industry. As of this writing, he’s done a great job in capturing the anime’s medieval setting, bringing it to life.

Other interesting bits

Prior to working in anime, Kevin Penkin enjoyed the medium through works like Earth Maiden Arjuna, especially Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack. Beyond anime, Penkin has also made his mark in video games. He wrote the score for the BAFTA award-winning game “Florence” and “Necrobarista”. Overall, Kevin Penkin’s contributions to the world of anime and video game music have enriched the experiences of audiences and elevated the art form. His music remains a source of inspiration and enjoyment for fans worldwide, and his future projects are highly anticipated for the magic they will undoubtedly bring.

Kevin Penkin with Made in Abyss

Kevin Penkin’s Most Recent Releases