Interview with Panorama Inc. of Oxyron
What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?
I call myself PRI, which is short for Panorama Inc. I took Panorama because I thought it sounds good, and to make it look more professional I added the "Inc." which was quite fashionable in the earlier times.
When and where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Pinneberg, a small town near Hamburg, Germany. My date of birth is February 24th, 1974. I live now in Berlin since autumn '95.
When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?
My first Computer was an Atari 2600 Game console (1984), my first Breadbin I got in `86 or so. Later on c64 II as well. In spring `96 I bought a PC but never used it for anything else than writing letters or a little DTP. I didn`t invest any time to make music there, I rather used my energy to get into the Berlin music scene (no computer). I also wanted to do Harddisc-record ing, sequencing and stuff on PC, it didn`t work out. All the cracked software I got of course never really worked, and all that fucking hardware-/driver problems... and I didn't want to invest thousands of marks to BUY software which still doesn't work 100%... So in Spring `97 I got myself an Atari ST, a Midex+ and an analog 8-Track which works perfectly well.
How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?
Well, errr... I'm surprised myself, but I don't remember! This is all so far away...
Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!
In `88 me and a friend started a group by the name of Touch!. We froze games, put intros in front of them and pretended to be crackers. Some guys in Duplex were impressed by this (haha...), so we joined them in `89. In '90 Duplex made a coop with Oracle, which lasted until somewhen 91 or so. After that both groups quit, I went to Depredators where I stayed until spring `92. After that I joined Oxyron and started to get creative for real. I practically still am in there, although supposedly no-one is active on 64 anymore...
Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!
I have had some little insights into the scenes of Amiga and PC, but not so far as to be able to evaluate anything. When the Amiga came up, I stayed on 64 because 1. I wanted to concentrate my energy on a system I already knew well rather than to split things up and run both systems only with half the power, and 2. I had no money because already then I started to spend it into instruments! As for PC - see above.
What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?
1. I got to know a lot of people. Conversations mostly weren't really deep, but still it`s one of the most important things about being in any scene.
2. I had a platform to live out my musical creativity and present it to the public. The feedback I received and the experience I got from it was very important for me as musician.
3. I got famous! There was a time when being famous was one of the most desireable things to me, and when I climbed in the charts I thought YEEESSS, this is it! But later on other things in life became more important to me, so when I finally was on top of the charts I didn't find that so exciting anymore (it still pleased me, though).
What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?
I don't think I ever wasted my time. The thing which sometimes bugs me when I think back is that everybody tended to integrate into a certain hierarchy. Looking up to people you considered superior, looking down on others. Which was only based on a person's status in the scene, not regarding the person him/herself. Also doing wars and all that shit. But this is true teenage behaviour, and we can`t deny we were all teenagers when we entered the scene!
What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?
At the beginning I called myself a coder, although I only was able to do some simple intros. Sometimes I did some logos or charsets. But it took me quite some time to start making music because I disliked all the editors I could ge my hands on in the earlier times. DMC2.0 was the first program I felt I could work with, so things got started at last...
What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/coding/modem trading organising or whatever you did?
Graphics, music, coding: being creative, expressing myself. coding: making a machine do what I tell it to (well to a certain extent), controlling. swapping: getting to know people, getting interesting stuff
What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?
My greatest success was the winning of the Aars`92 demo competition with Oxyron. What I never really understood is why I never got rewarded on a music competition, although I always made decent tunes. Especially at Hernin`93, when everybody said my tune was brilliant, but i din't get a single point (stupid computer voting system).
Was there any special connection between you/your group and some other people/groups on the scene (co-operation, war, friendship etc.)? If so, what made it start and stop?
Phew, a detailed answer would exceed my harddisk limit I guess... But actually real friendships were very seldom. But there were one or two. In Oxyron you could sometimes call those group-internal relations also kind of friendship. I was never involved in any stupid wars.
Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.
I've been at Aars`91, Aars'92, Goeteborg(TCC)`93, Herning`93 and Hamburg`95 (or was it '96??). From Aars'92 to Herning'93 I'd say the subjective fun factor was rather high.
If you are not a C64 scener anymore, when and why did you leave the scene?
I never really left for good. I slowly became inactive, because I changed priorities. I spend all my energy in making (non-computer) music (well, when I produce at home I use my ST as for sequencing, but nothing further). I've also got to spend some time into studying (Communication, Electro-acoustics and Informatics by the way), so there's practically no time left.
What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?
Group: Camelot. Very good Demos - excellent code, graphics, music and DESIGN (the last aspect is something most Oxyron demos lacked a little) I also liked the stuff Bonzai produced until they quit. Oh, and of course the legendary Crest - good design, always stunning routines. Graphicians: Can't say I realy have a favourite one coder: the camelot guys and some more whose names I don't remember.> musician: Drax (gave me inspiration), most of the Vibrants Bunch (same, JCH also for the editor), Geir Tjelta, Rob Hubbard (the all-time greatest pioneer) Syndrom (brother in crime and super editor programmer), Jeff (excellent stuff), msk and some more... productions: There are quite many, but I forgot the titles of most of them!
Give us a brief description on the development of the scene as you experienced it and computer society in general!
When I entered the scene in`88 cracking was still a big business, although it was already obvious that game coders soon would reach the limits of the 64. But also the ideas were used up, so soon only well-designed but mostly dead-boring games were produced. At the beginning of the nineties, the games and the cracking, practically the roots of the scene, slowly started to dry and the Demo scene intensified its developement. People went over to Amiga or PC, new people entered. All the time the scene became more and more wide-spread, whereas before my time (in the eighties) it seems to have been a rather small thing for quite some time. But in the middle of the nineties even many coders quit 64 because they had run out of ideas and saw greater challenges for them on other systems. Well, I guess, the fact that technical possibilities are used up goes also for music and graphic, but there it is not so important because the technical aspect is just - more or less - a means of transport for an artist's work.
What is your profession? What do you do for a living? Does it have to do anything with computers? Is there anything you do in real-life that is similar to what you have been doing on the scene?
At the moment my profession is being the son of my parents. I study (see above)and make music. I have absolutely professional ambitions there, so sometime I hope I can quit studying and live off my music.
How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?
At first my 64 was more or less misterious to me (at least when I compared my basic-programs to well-programmed games), but later on I felt I could really control this machine. Regrettably I missed out to make myself into PC. There, itis rather frustating to me. 64 is much more overviewable, everything works together 100%, you don't have any trouble getting your hard/software components to cooperate... on PC, Mac, Unix or whatever there are so many things you have to know about just in order to do simple things... But I think while taking some informatics courses I'll improve my knowledge there as well.
What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?
Music is my life, music is my passion. I only haven't the guts to quit everything else and just make music, because I feel I could regret that when i grow older but didn't really make it so I could live off music for the rest of my life. I don't want to end up as an old frustrated piano player, doing any job in orderto survive. So I study practically the technical side of music, and if music itself doesn't work out, this certainly will. So I don't leave myself much spare-time. When I'm not studying, I'm making music. When I was still at school I used to play basketball. I also was a grafitti writer for a few years. I miss sports a little. But you can't do everything at the same time, now can you?
Are there moments when you feel nostalgic thinking back to the past years of the scene? If so what do you do when it happens?
That happens very seldom, and if so, only for a few seconds. Only once or twice I pulled out my old breadbin to let some friends of mine listen to what I've done because they were interested.
What are your plans for the near/far future?
Establish myself further in the Berlin music scene, getting bigger with the band projects I am involved in, doing my own project, making records, playing live, touring........... all this is possible, some things are about to happen, some most probably will happen, some maybe... I'll relax and see!
What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?
Making music and expressing myself, living off it (hopefully), having lots of fun, giving good vibes to the creatures of the earth and mother earth itself and hopefully make her feel a llllittle better.