In Focus: Audiomonster of Melon Design

Interview conducted by Magic of Nah-Kolor



Magic:
Hi Audiomonster, please write something about your demoscene past as introduction.



Audiomonster:
Well, you know, the 'Audiomonster' handle reminds me of a good souvenir, which is far far buried in the past. You can just call me RaphaŽl ;-) When I first joined the 'scene', I think it was probably at the end of 1989 or the beginning of 1990, I used my handle 'Audiomonster'. I think the first demo group I did some music for was 'Delight' with a demo called 'Overdose' (a friend of mine just showed me I was on 'Youtube' a few weeks ago with this demo, lol :)).


Magic:
What's the origin of the nickname 'Audiomonster'?


Audiomonster:
Well, no particular origin, I just wanna find a cool and a little funny name, a bit as if my music could have had some kind of monstruous side. Lol :)


Magic:
Please tell our readers which Amiga groups have you been in.


Audiomonster:
Wow, just from memory, I would say 'Delight', 'The Silents' (I even remember I was the French division 'leader', lol), 'Melon', 'Anarchy'... Not so many, after all... But I may have forgotten some of them, I hope I'll be forgiven ;-)


Magic:
You have been a member of Melon Design. What are your best memories being a member of this group?


Audiomonster:
Well, you know, the expression 'being a member' is a bit abstract for me, because I never took all that 'group' stuff too seriously. It was just a pleasure to be involved in each demo I was invited for, but I never really considered me as a 'member' or something, except my family from the 'SACEM' (french author rights distribution association)...


Magic:
From which demoscene parties you visited do you have the best memories? Please enlighten our readers which some nice anecdotes and/or how you experienced them.


Audiomonster:
Without hesitation, 'The Party 4' was great, because I didn't win anything, but I met some great people some of whom became my friends, and the party itself was huge. I won some prizes at other parties, which was nice, but nothing compared to 'The Party 4'...

The TCAT French party, near Paris, was also a nice souvenir, as French police joined it to get their hands on some hackers ;-) (Some parties were real 'pirate' lairs ;-)) Another great souvenir was 'The Assembly' party, back in 1991, where I was present in two great demos productions: 'Ice' by The Silents, and 'Virtual Worlds' by Thomas Landspurg. This was, I think, the real beginning of my 'career' in demos, because after this party, a musician friend of mine told me that I ranked at first position of the 'Eurocharts', the demoscene charts. I remember I kept that position for many months, which was very pleasant, of course.

Actually, 1991 was the also the beginning of my videogames career, with 'Snow Bros' on the Amiga (Ocean Software), a game that was never released but totally finished. (You can find it on the web, and you can see the intro on my webpage, also ;-))


Magic:
Please fill in the dots: 'Silence is nice but ........... is better!'


Audiomonster:
'Silence is nice! But FITTING NOISE is better!'

Sorry I prefer to put new words in place of the dots ;-)) This is from a well known Melon Design amiga demo.

(For our readers, you understand this question if you have seen the amiga demo called S.O.S. -ed)


Magic:
Are you perhaps still in contact with some of the members of Melon Design? What are they doing today?


Audiomonster:
I have one friend left from Melon, Walt (Christophe), and we often see each other, having a chat around a beer. He also lives from his art, as a designer, with his friend Alex, together he formed 'Melon Dezign' (http://melondezign.free.fr)


Magic:
Romeo Knight (if you remember him) made a comeback on the PC scene. So did the group Andromeda. Is a comeback something you would consider? I mean if Walt were making a new Melon D. demo and asked you for a track? Or if I asked you for a track for our diskmagazine? :)


Audiomonster:
Christophe (Walt) already did a few times ago ;-) But as I said, I have no time anymore to make music just for pleasure, my musical work takes me all the time, even if my work IS a pleasure... And besides, I'm actually and slowly beginning a new career in movies soundtracks, which gives me even less time for that... Of course, I loved the demo time, it was a great part of my life, but it belongs to past, as far as I'm concerned, and I prefer to focus on videogames and music, as I'm some kind of hardcore gamer and movie addicted man ;-) Life is short!


Magic:
What are you doing today on a personal level and for work?


Audiomonster:
I'm a full time music composer, arranger, and sound effects/voices maker/designer. I work mostly for the videogames industry, and began a new career a few years ago, in the movies industry. I made a "myspace" (even two, now) last year, to help people better to discover my work, as so many people kept on asking me for years ;-)


Magic:
You told me you are a full time music composer, arranger and sound effects/voices maker/designer. Did you work on any top titles? Which most known games did you participate in and what did you do for them exactly?


Audiomonster:
Well, let's see.. The best selling game I worked one are 'Flashback' (1992, Amiga music version conversion, about 1 million sold units, the best French sold game ever back a the time), its sequel 'Fade to Black' (Music and sound effects, over 1 million sold units back in 1995-96), 'Moto Racer' (Music and sound effects, over 4 millions sold units back in 1997, again the best sold French game ever back a the time), 'Mister Nutz' (Music, all platforms except the Amiga version, which was just a switch from another game to the Mister Nutz character, for marketing reasons, and contained music by Rudolph Stember if my memory is good)... Also, the GBA version contains music from another composer. Actually, the first real version ever of 'Mister Nutz' was never released, and it was on Amiga, with all musics made on protracker, initially, and then adapted on the SNES, the first version ever released, in 1993... I also made all the 'Cocoto' games music, sound effects and 'voices' (if you listen, for instance, to 'Cocoto Platform Jumper' or 'Cocoto Kart Racer', you will know that, apart from the music and sound effects, all voices - heros, monsters and even girls and women - were made with my own voice and a bit of work on it ;-)). A few days ago, I was very proud to be twice nominated on the very famous IGN.COM website, as 'Best Original Score for Nintendo DS' and 'Best Use Of Sound for Nintendo DS', with the 'GLORY DAYS 2' music soundtrack I composed... But if you really want to see all details of my 'videogamography' as I call it, you can go to one of my 'Myspace/Facebook' pages, and you'll find everything ;-)



Magic:
What artist do you admire the most and why? What's the best piece of music you've ever listened to?


Audiomonster:
In music in general, no hesitation, John Williams is my favorite composer of all times. I can't really say why, there is soo much greatness in his art. Of course, great melodies, orchestrations and arrangements, but also many other things. Actually, when I consider his career, I just have to admit how many things he changed in films scoring, and in music in general. In particular, he managed to create real 'standards' in many genres:

- Fear with 'Jaws', where he definitely associated sharks with his only 2 notes gimmick.

- Space operas with 'Star Wars', where he just put basis to space movies scoring. (Besides, George Lucas himself said that John Williams had saved the 'Star Wars' saga, at the time of 'Episode IV', because Lucas had put some classical music before Williams came, and the movie didn't work at all. And then Williams came with his powerful and historical symphony, and 'Star Wars' jumped into a new dimension! No cinema studio showed interest in 'Star Wars', except Twentieth Century Fox AFTER watching the show with Williams score)...

- The 'Indiana Jones' saga (I can't wait for may 2008 to come for part 4! :)). Again, impossible to imagine adventure movies without a heroic fanfare as Williams created.

- 'Close Encounter of the Third Kind' has been classified as one of the most important themes of the 20st Century, from what I've been told recently.

- And of course 'E.T.', 'Jurassic Park', 'Schindler's List', etc...

If we speak about Amiga scene music (when I was active), I'll tell you without any doubt that Uncle Tom (Thomas Dahlgren) was my favorite Amiga composer, and really contributed in my desire to create modules. This guy always produced strong melodies and very amazing technic, always more advanced compared to others.


Magic:
In the course of your life, did your gear and methods change in making music? Please comment.


Audiomonster:
Oh well, I think you may be surprised by my answer, as I STILL compose music on a tracker, the great 'MPT' ;-) Including for movies, I just can't manage to compose with other programs (as Cubase (even if I already tried and managed to use them). I just love the way trackers allow me to compose, with the use, of course, of high-quality 48k stereo samples, creating several gigabytes sized 'modules' ;-)


Magic:
Have you ever concidered to make/release a CD? If not is this something you could do in the future?


Audiomonster:
The only CD ever released from me was the 'Fade to Black' original soundtrack (see the cover in this interview -ed), back in 1996 for Sony Music/Delphine Records. But I think my next CD should be movie soundtracks, at least I hope so. In fact, I don't feel the need of creating albums, because movie and


videogames music is my real passion. But.. maybe one day...


Magic:
Do you still have an eye out on the demoscene? Do you still watch demos? Please comment.


Audiomonster:
Not at all. You know, I began to work as soon as in 1991 on my first video game ('Snow Bros' from Ocean Software), and lethally I had to stop all activities in the demo scene, as music became my full time job. And beside, I never composed any music just for my entertainment since that time, because you should know that making music all night (and part of the day) for work leads you not to feel like composing anymore when you stop. You just want to change of air, to go outside, to the movies, theatre, etc... So I never watch demos anymore. But I'm a hardcore videogame player and movies addicted! And I have other passions like robots (Aibo, Robosapien etc), aquariums...


Magic:
In retrospective, how do you look back on your Amiga scene period?


Audiomonster:
A great part of my life, where I met some friends, travelled a bit, and totally discovered my real passion for music.


Magic:
I am sure a lot of demosceners even today remember the great music by Audiomonster. What do you want to tell them, our readers and today's demoscene in general?


Audiomonster:
Well, if you're reading this interview, I surely thank you for your interest in my work. I try to do my best in order to always evolve in composition, so I hope you people will never be fed up with my modest creations ;-) Also, I want to thank all demoscene people still listening to my old modules, a proof that they have not (yet) been forgotten... And to everybody: see you on my pages on the Internet ;-)


Links related to this interview


http://www.myspace.com/raphaelgesqua
http://www.myspace.com/raphaelgesquatheater
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=648108679


Youtube links of Amiga demos Audiomonster did the music for:

1991 Virtual World by Tomsoft

Ice by the Silents

Overdose by Delight


Other:

Pedro by Melon Design


Magic & Audiomonster