Kelly Bailey (composer)

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Kelly Bailey
Genres Video game music
Occupation(s) Composer, game designer, conceptual artist, programmer
Instruments Guitar, keyboards, programming
Years active 1998-present

Kelly Bailey is a composer, musician, game designer, conceptual artist and programmer. He was the senior game designer of sound and music at Valve Corporation1 until he left in 2011 with Mike Dussault, to concentrate on their project Sunspark Labs LLC. He has since returned to Valve in February 2014.2

Bailey is notable for being behind the Half-Life series' music and sound effects. He is married to Christina Bailey.


On the defunct Half-Life website, his function was described as follows: "Kelly did all of the music and sound effects for Half-Life, and wrote sound code to create character speech and DSP reverb effects."3

On the previous version of Valve's official website, his function was described as follows: "Kelly, formerly a product unit manager at Microsoft, has a programming background that includes consumer multimedia, database engines, and networking. He created all of the music and sound effects for Half-Life."4

On the current version of Valve's official website, his function was described as follows before it was removed after he left the company: "Kelly is Valve's senior audio producer, responsible for creating sound effects & music."5

Bailey built the test chamber disaster sequence featured at the beginning of Half-Life with John Guthrie in a weekend. He also sketched out the journey through Silo D for the Half-Life chapter Blast Pitcitation needed.

Half-Life 2's Gordon Freeman's face was based on him, as well as on three other Valve employees – David Speyrer, Eric Kirchmer and Greg Coomer.6

Around March 2011, Kelly Bailey left Valve with colleague Mike Dussault to work on their project Sunspark Labs LLC, launched in December 2010, developing iOS applications, their first being "Morfo", released in June 2011.78 The news caused some concern and displeasure from the Steam community due to the lack of any public farewell or notification regarding Bailey's departure.9 However, at a press conference in February 2014, Mike Morasky (the current composer at Valve), stated that Kelly Bailey is now working with Valve again.1011


Video games


  1. ^ MobyGames profile
  2. ^ Mike Morasky interview at Podcast 17
  3. ^ Half-Life: Team on the defunct official Half-Life website
  4. ^ about the valve team on Valve's official website
  5. ^ Company People on Valve's official website
  6. ^ Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar - A Behind the Scenes Look: Prima's Official Insider's Guide. Prima Games. November 23, 2004. 
  7. ^ Valve Vets Launch 3D Face App for iOS on GameSlice
  8. ^ iTunes App Store page for Morfo
  9. ^ Beloved Half-Life Sound Designer, Face of Gordon Freeman Has Left Valve on Ripten Videogame Blog
  10. ^ "Music in Valve Games and Media". February 2014. Retrieved December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Update and new music from Kelly Bailey". September 2015. Retrieved September 2015.