Alan Wake 2 composer "violated one piano with adult toys" to create the horror game's nightmarish soundscape

Alan Wake 2 trailer
(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

Alan Wake 2 is a wild ride in nearly every sense of the word, and to match the game's oddball energy, composer Petri Alanko used some, err, unconventional 'toys' to bring the nightmarish soundtrack to life. 

Developer Remedy Entertainment seemingly pulled out all the stops for its long, long-awaited horror sequel Alan Wake 2. There are two protagonists. A lavish musical number. Heavy nods to the studio's two-decade history. So Alanko had to keep pace with the studio via unusual means. 

"By now [Remedy] knows I won't leave a stone unturned in order to find something extraordinary," says Alanko in an insightful interview with NME. "I recorded a rusty old cattle fence, burned two pianos, violated one piano with adult toys, and triggered a fire alarm, then dropped [a piano] from a forklift onto a concrete floor." (I knew I could hear a plastic piano-playing phallus in the woods!) 

Alanko says that the last accident happened "by mistake," but his unconventional methods didn't harm the game's moody soundscape. "What matters is: does the music speak to you, does it move you? Everything else is f***ing pointless nagging," he says. "A great score is a great score."

Defiling countless pianos sounds like a pretty easy way to sink development costs, but Alan Wake 2 recently became the studio's fastest-selling game ever, so no harm done. Remedy is now working on two expansions for Alan Wake 2, and though they won't directly cross over with Control, they will tease what's next in the Remedy Connected Universe

Check out what else is on the horizon with our full guide to new games of 2024 and beyond. 

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.