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Mark Cooksey 
Handle: Mark Cooksey
Real Name: Mark Cooksey
Lived in: United Kingdom
Ex.Handles: n/a
Was a member of: n/a

Modules: n/a
Interview: Read!
Pictures: 2  online

Interview


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            TLb.  ,dMP'          all rite, now you get the chance to read
             TML.dMMP            some facts about some of the major amiga
          ,nmm`XXMPX              musicians. read about their history in 
       ,#MP'~~XNXYNXTb.          the scene and their plans in future.yes, 
     ,d~'     dNNP `YNTb.       that's meant to be read while listening to  
    ,~       ,NN'     `YNb   their modules. read 'em over and over and over..
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    Handle: Mark Cooksey

    Group: --

    Date of birth: 18/01/1966


  • 1-How did your interest for computers start? Which year was that?

  • Using computers at school around 1982 and then increased interest with the
    1st home computer that I bought in 1984 which was an Oric Atmos.


  • 2-What machines did you previously have? What did you do with them?

  • Oric atoms 32k, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Sanyo 286 PC. I still have the
    Oric and the C64 the others I gave away to a cancer charity so that they
    could sell them for a small amount of money.


  • 3-For what specific reason did you end up making music rather than gfx, coding?

  • I applied for a job at Elite systems in february 1985 as a trainee games
    programmer. To prove that I knew something about assmembly language programming
    they gave me the task of writing a music player in 6502 for my Oric computer.
    They wanted me to also programme a tune using this player and this music was the
    theme tune to Airwolf. I got a job at Elite on this basis, and of course was
    roped into doing music from that point on. So really it was by accident, if
    they had asked me to write a sprite routine perhaps I would have been doing
    graphics instead.


  • 4-Which composing programs have you been using? Which one in particular?

  • I use at the moment Logic Audio Platinum on the PC. Previously I have used
    Cubase PC and Logic Notator on the Atari ST.


  • 5-With which module did you feel you had reached your goal?

  • Difficult to say. At lot of the early stuff was really bad because the music
    player programme I was supplied with was very simple, only about 50 lines of
    code. When I wrote my own custom player for the C64 the quality improved.
    I'm most remembered for the C64 version of Ghosts 'n' Goblins all though I
    dont think this was the best music I've ever done. My personal favourites
    on the C64 are Felix (title tune) and some of the music in Storm Warrior.


  • 6-Is there a tune you would like not to remember? For What reason?

  • I think the worse music I ever did was for the C64 version of Frank Bruno's
    boxing. They asked me to do the music on a Thursday and I was going on holiday
    for 2 weeks the next day. So I took the Rocky theme tune and bodged it together
    really quickly and then made a quick get away to my holiday. I hadn't written
    my own music player at the time and so the combination of a crap music routine,
    and doing the tune in a couple of hours, led to a really awful and eminently
    forgettable music track!


  • 7-In your opinion, what's the value of a music in a demo, game?

  • Music is most important in demos or games. Especially in todays almost movie
    like PC and console titles. Like in a movie the music can set the atmosphere
    of the game and portray danger and inspire emotions at relevant points, if done
    correctly.


  • 8-At present, are you still composing? For professional or leisure purposes?

  • I compose both professionally and for leisure as well. I'm doing a lot of
    Gameboy music at the moment. This pays reasonably well but isn't that
    artistically fulfilling. Also I have arranged the Ghosts'n Goblins theme
    using modern synth technology for a commercial CD called Back In Time II
    which features modern arrangements of C64 game music, composed by the likes
    of Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway etc. Chris Abbott who masterminded this
    CD as also asked me to do 2 tunes for the next CD in the series i.e Back In
    Time III. To this end I have arranged some Storm Warrior tunes which Chris
    may use on this CD. Chris's website (www.c64audio.com) has loads of demos
    on it and I think my music may appear there at some point in the future
    (hopefully).


  • 9-What do you think of today's pieces of music such as mpeg,wave,midi,etc...?

  • If you mean the formats of the music then I think we have taken a big leap
    forward, especially with MP3. It means music is accessible to more people
    and makes internet download times for tunes more realistic. On a pesonal
    basis MP3 means I can take all my old tapes, records etc. and convert them to
    MP3 then put them on A CD. I can fit loads of albums and tapes on 1 CD.
    The only downside to MP3 (and the other formats to some degree) is the
    piracy issue which costs the record industry lots of money.
    (Perhaps they should drop the prices of CDs, especially in Britain,
    most chart CD's cost about £15.)


  • 10-Could you tell us some of your all times favourite tunes?

  • I liked a lot of Rob Hubbard stuff on the C64. When I first heard
    'Thing On A Spring' it really blew my mind. Other tunes I liked were
    'Crazy Comets' and 'Delta'.


  • 11-Are you planning to make an audio cd with some of your music remastered?

  • I don't have any plans to re-master old computer games music other than
    the stuff for Chris Abbott. However over the years I have produced lots
    of full music tracks which I may consider releasing on a CD if there is
    any demand for it. Of course I have produced a demo CD with some full
    length tracks and some excerpts of tracks which I use when attempting
    to secure music contracts.


  • 12-What bands are you currently listenning to?

  • I've really got a very broad musical taste, the only music I dont like is
    really over the top opera, over improvised jazz and some of the really
    heavy metal and punk sounds.

    At the moment I quite liking listening to bands such as The Corrs, The
    Stereophonics and some of the Pet Shop Boys tracks. On a lighter note,
    before going out on the town I like listening to dance music to get me
    in the mood or something like the Cher 'Believe' album.


  • 13-What does/did the amiga/c64 scene give you?

  • The C64/Amiga scene got me known as a musician in the games industry and
    has led to me doing my hobby (music) as a job for over 15 years. Although
    I have never earnt megabucks I have been happy in the main doing music as
    a career. Even the really bad stuff I did now gives me pleasure cause I
    can look back at it and laugh about it and consider how things have
    moved on in those 15 years.


  • 14-Are you still active in the scene these days?

  • Programming Gameboy music and doing music for the Back In Time CD's means that
    to a degree
    I am still in the scene. Hopefully there is a long and fruitful future in
    producing music for computer games. If not I'll have to get a proper job
    along with all the other pawns in the rat race.


  • 15-Anyone to greet? Anything left to say? Feel free...

  • I'd like to say Hi to Pete Connelly, Chris Brighton, Chris Abbott and all the
    other musicians I've met who have been able to teach me new ideas and
    hopefully they have learnt something off me too.
    Finally I'd like to say a big thanks to all the companies and individuals who
    have given me work over the years (especially the ones who pay on time) and
    to my friends and family who have supported me through the good times and bad.

    (Good grief! can you imagine my Oscar acceptance speech if I ever won one).

    Cheers


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    please note: this interview is ©opyrighted in 2001 by crown of cryptoburners
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