Cover art for podcast The Annotator

The Annotator

103 EpisodesProduced by Christopher ColemanWebsite

The podcast where composers share thoughts and stories about their original scores. In every episode, a composer tells the creation story of their music used in some of today's top film, television and video game soundtracks.


Jesse Harlin - Yoku's Island Express

Jesse Harlin has been a composer for video games for over 15 years. His music has been played by the London Philharmonic at Abbey Road’s Studio 1, but has also has his music blasted among crowds in New York’s Times Square. He is an interactive music designer building music systems with some of the top audio engineers in the industry. Some video game titles to his credit include: THE FORCE UNLEASHED, MONKEY ISLAND 2, STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC and MAFIA III. One of his most recent original scores has been for the video game, YOKU’S ISLAND EXPRESS.

Yoku’s Island Express, a pinball platform adventure game, launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch™ and PC on May 29th 2018 from Team17 and developer Villa Gorilla. Yoku, the dung beetle, has arrived on Mokumana Island to take over the role of postmaster and he’s ready for the easy life, soaking up the sun and delivering parcels on a tropical paradise! However, an ancient island deity is trapped in a restless sleep - and it’s all down to Yoku to traverse the island using a unique blend of pinball mechanics, platforming and open world exploration.

In this episode Jesse Harlin talks about how he focused creating strange and unique instrumentation mixtures in the score: from odd toy sound pairings to percussion via beat-boxing, mixed with soft female vocal work + turntablism … run through ring modulators. He also talks about his use of language as the score starts in French but morphs into Polynesian-like-skatting to other spontaneous sounds he formed into fictional vocabulary.  


02:13 - "Welcome to Mokumana Beach"

05:44 - "Welcome to the Space Monks"

09:46 - "What Lies Beneath"


00:09 - "The Slug Gardener"

13:18 - "Gorilla Woods"


The original score was released on May 28, 2018 and is available digitally on, iTunes, and streaming on Spotify and Apple music. 


You can also hear more music and find out more about Jesse Harlin on his official site: You can also follow him on Twitter @oogew


Produced by Christopher Coleman (@ccoleman) and you can Find more episodes at THEANNOTATOR.NET or you can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher Radio or wherever you find quality podcasts.


Twitter @audioannotator

Facebook @TheAnnotator





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