Interview with Skyrunner / xibalba
I met Skyrunner at Dialogos 2001. It turned out that, although he had been successful at several parties, he still feels rather unnoticed in the international scene. Therefore I decided to make an interview with him.
Could you introduce yourself to the readers a bit. Name, handle, age, what you're doing in the scene, what you're doing in real life...
I am called Skyrunner, and I am a musician. I have been familiar with the scene since 1998. My first party was Mekka 98. I started making music about 10 years ago. I started composing on Amiga with Noisetracker.
So you started composing with a tracker without being aware of the scene? Weren't these trackers programs made by sceners?
I don't know who created Noisetracker. Another tracker, Startrekker, was made by Exolon of Fairlight. I saw the handle in the credits, but from this alone one couldn't derive the connection with the scene. But I knew Fairlight from cracker intros.
How did you finally join the scene then?
I was looking for use of my music (which I then composed in Fast Tracker II) by means of putting an advertisement in the "PC Games" magazine. PaP (nowadays a member of Access Denied) called me and asked if I could do game music for a real-time strategic game. He was aware of the scene and one day he asked me whether I'd like to join him to Mekka 98. In 1998 I placed fourth in the 4-channel compo. This was my biggest success at Mekka - afterwards I was always preselected. (smiles)
But you had great success at other parties, right?
Yes, for example my second place in the TP99 multichannel compo was a success. The only time I really placed first, however, was at the 4 channel compo at Evoke 99.
However, as far as I know, you placed 1st in all music competitions at Breed 99?
Yes, but this doesn't count because there were only 20 visitors. Voting was done by raising hands. It was a shame that there were so few people because it was a really cool party place, very atmospheric. The organizer SR really made a lot of effort. He got many sponsors and he even organized that the pizza service delivered at half price. This was the only party at which the organizer himself was running around the party place and accepted the pizza orders!
So, let's talk about your music. Into what category do your compositions fit best, in your opinion?
It is not easy to answer this precisely. I've already done many different things, like e.g. oldskool demostyle, metal, or even Latin music. I always try to do something new.
How much time do you spend on composing?
Today I don't have so much time as I had when I was at school. As a pupil I spent nights composing. Nowadays I mostly find time in the weekends - or I have to take vacation. For example, for the Dialogos 2001 mp3 competition I took one day off in order to finish my tune.
So you're also doing mp3 nowadays. What equipment do you use for this?
Hmmm... (smiles) I'm still using Fast Tracker II but I additionally use Wavelab in order to edit the songs. The samples I use in the XM files which I later convert to mp3 are pretty large. This makes the XM files bigger than the final mp3s.
Are you doing music just on computers? Or do you also play an instrument?
Yes, I played the piano.. from 1986 to 1993. Last year I tried to teach myself the guitar but I failed! I was too lazy to practice. (smiles)
Have you done other things than music in the scene?
Yes, I've done some fast intros together with PaP/Access Denied. I made the graphics. At Mekka 2000 we won the fast intro compo and in 2001 we came third. But the intros were not really meant seriously. The graphics were bad comic style.
How many parties have you visited so far?
Fifteen. I have mostly visited parties in Germany, but also some in Holland, Denmark and Switzerland. Bünzli rules!
You enjoyed Bünzli a lot?
Yeah. It was the coolest party place ever. The organizer is a member of the same group I belong to, xibalba. We were sitting at a level above the stage. There were no gamers, and you could drink as much as you wanted, for free! (Of course no alcohol - just ice tea and Cola!)
Do you have some final words?
I'd like to see fewer gamers and more sceners at parties.
Update: Skyrunner has not only suceeded in the 4 channel compo at Evoke 99. He has also won the 1st place in the MP3 compo at Dialogos 2001.
Skyrunner & Adok