An Interview with Peter Mörck

by Neil Carr

Peter has arranged just a few tunes to date. His latest arrangement was Big Deal. Previously he arranged mixes of Sanxion and Enigma Force. These were about 4 years ago.

Real name: Peter Mörck
Born: 1974
Nationality: Swedish

What are your favourite c64 sid tunes?

I’m afraid I’ll have to stick to the common stuff. I like the Sanxion Loader, Wizball, Parallax, Armageddon Man, Zoids, Comic Bakery… But in general I like strong, sad melodies.

Peter Mörck
Which C64 composers gave you the most pleasure?

Galway and Hubbard. Even though I’m afraid the most famous composers will (because of their reputation) have their music exposed to a bigger audience and thereby increasing their popularity even further, I’m sure they deserve to be the most famous. Sometimes just being a pioneer will make you famous, but these guys are really, really good.

Who gives the current c64 scene the biggest boost, and why?

To me? I’d say The Dead Guys. I’m never really happy with my own remixes, just because of the fact that they sound like a straight-forward synthesizer conversion. Sadly enough that applies to lots of others too. The Dead Guys however manage to create something modern that isn’t just sampled SID with drum-loops. Their songs might be easy to create, or they might take weeks. I don’t know which and I don’t care. They are really creative, which is not equivalent to radical and different. I reserve the rights to really enjoy ordinary synthesizer remixes too, of course 😊 DhS/TsW and o2 are good examples of guys who make great remixes I just love.

What equipment do you use?

At the moment it’s not much. I had a friend’s gear over at my place for some time and if needed, we can pool our resources. That’d be: Yamaha SY-77, Roland JX-3P, Roland JX-8P, Oberheim Matrix-1000, Novation Drumstation, EMU ESI-4000, Behringer 2442 (24-4-2) mixer. My friend recently bought a SID-station, so I might try that one out sometime too.

What one piece of equipment that you do not own, would you like?

I’ve always wanted a Roland Jupiter-8 or MKS-80, but today I wouldn’t have been satisfied with only one. Maybe a Novation Supernova or similar. A synthesizer always seems to lack some detail that keeps it from being the universal synthesizer, like ring-modulation or band-pass filters or anything. It’s all got to be there 😊. I’m really not up to date with the latest, but last I checked I’d say a Supernova would keep me smiling for a couple of months 😊

What do you think about the music in modern PC games?

Not much. The only music I even remember is to Icewind Dale, and I recall being impressed by the might of Baldur’s Gate II music. I just get the impression it’s more arrangement than talented melody-writing today. Especially with the ease at which you can create decent techno-tracks.

It’s been a while since we last heard anything from Peter Morck. That was until
Big Deal was arranged. Are we going to hear a lot more from you?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say a lot more, but a few more tunes I guess I can (and will) manage before I go into creative hyper-sleep again. Different circumstances in my life inspire me to do music, or draw my attention away from it. I write my own music too (or used to), and that might seem more appealing at times, which of course lets the c64 remixing suffer.

What do you enjoy most from the current C64 scene?

Uhm, the music I guess. The C64 scene for me is C64-music. That’s the only thing worth enjoying about the C64 today. There have been some great games and innovative game concepts on the C64, but I can’t say I enjoy it today.
However, music lasts.

Will you be attending the Bit Live event?

I’m afraid not. I’d really like to, but it feels like it’s too much trouble getting there from Sweden. Not that it’s that far but still… I’m a lazy guy 😊. Maybe if a friend or two decides to join me I’ll change my mind. It’d be a fun thing to do.

Did you get any feedback on your music?

Hardly none. One or two messages perhaps. The strangest thing was that only a couple of days after I uploaded Big Deal to RKO, I got a message with the subject Congratulations on a great tune!. Naturally I thought it was feedback on the song I just uploaded, but it turned out to be from someone who had found a song I wrote myself (non-SID) about 4 years ago.

Did you ever write any sid music?

No. Tried Rock Monitor III or whatever the number was once, but I didn’t have patience/interest enough to write when I was younger.

What are your dislikes about the scene?

Nothing in particular. Maybe a few remixes that are so boring you fall asleep. I can’t come up with any exampled but I’m sure I’ve heard one or two of them.

What tune would you like to cover, but have not?

I’d really really like to hear the Parallax highscore arranged kind of like the Dallas theme. A real string section doing the lead, with brass taking over after a while. All that 70’s TV-show sound 😊. Unfortunately I don’t have the resources to make something like that, and I’m not going to hunt samples to create an entire orchestra. Also an orchestral Zoids would please my ears and probably give me goose bumps.

What were you fondest memories of the c64?

Hmm, playing Trollie Wallie I think. It was the first c64-game I played. Other great games I remember are Wizball and Paradroid.

Why did you start re-mixing c64 sids?

I really liked some of the tunes, and I like synthetic sounds with strong melodies.
I can enjoy simplicity, but sometimes I felt some songs could use a stronger arrangement than what is possible with the SID. Also, I found some General Midi SID-covers long ago which probably gave me the idea subconsciously.

Do you think that c64 music can make a commercial impact?

Not really. I think the music market will suck out every possible chance to create a new sound or create new waves, but c64 music in itself is still too computerish, even with new arrangements. Of course there could be an occational hit by someone, but I doubt it will make any real impact. The now (among c64-remixers) infamous Zombie Nation managed to make something of it, but honestly I never heard it until the topic came up on the mailing-list. I don’t listen to radio much and think it’s hard to find good new bands.

What do you miss most about the c64?

The joy and endless hours of fun, but I guess that’s part of a 9-14 year old boy’s life.
I am another one of those maniacs who recorded the music from some games (parallax in particular) to tape and listened to it sometimes just because I liked it so much. I don’t really I think I miss much about the c64 in itself. You weren’t picky with the graphics because at the time there was nothing better and, well the sound is still great.

What tune are you to compose next?

Actually I’ve already started on Armageddon Man, but I’m having a hard time deciding in what style I’d like it to be. Currently it’s something like Rendez-Vous, but I’m having other thoughts. Maybe I’ll just make 2 versions so I won’t have to choose, but then I fear I’ll put less effort into it. We’ll see. I guess I have to find some other tune to arrange when Armageddon Man is done. Master of Magic perhaps.

While creating some very good covers, his work is very limited. Expect a few more to come soon, before he vanishes again. Who knows in another four years he could be back again 😊 - Neil

Interview date: 20.03.2001