Johannes Bjerregaard is a Danish jazz pianist, former programmer and computer game composer.
Bjerregaard grew up in Grenaa. His father used to be a choral director and his mother a singer. He started piano lessons at age 6 and was found to have perfect pitch, but was not interested in classical music, conservatories or college. When his father brought home an album by Art Tatum, Bjerregaard immediately fell in love with jazz (which did not even wane when he played in a rock band).
Bjerregaard's first computer was a Philips Odyssey² console. A few years later, he saw and wanted a Sinclair ZX81, but didn't get one. Instead, just before Christmas 1982, his father bought him a Commodore 64. His first played game was Crazy Kong. Other favorites were Impossible Mission and Uridium.
Around 1986, Bjerregaard made his first C64 contacts (possibly in the demo scene) and was soon praised in Danish game magazines. In 1988, he moved to Copenhagen to work as a topographer. At demo parties, he became friends with Jens-Christian Huus and Jesper Olsen. They shared sound programming knowledge, and Huus witnessed him re-arrange all sorts of radio hits on the C64 as an exercise. Bjerregaard also sold Huus his Roland JX-3P synthesizer keyboard, bought a Kawai M8000 MIDI keyboard, and used Dr. T's KCS and a Roland U-110 rompler. In October, he was invited to Maniacs of Noise, whose co-founder, Charles Deenen, would give him one task after another, usually for around £200 to £400.
In 1994, Bjerregaard was no longer interested in making music for demos or games, but allowed Huus to release his AdLib demo music. In spring 1996, his C64s were broken and he was still working in topography and in Copenhagen, but as a programmer and at the National Survey. In 2007, he was living in Austin, Texas, USA with his American wife. He later moved to Lubbock to work as a programmer in insurance. He wishes to keep Danish citizenship, but considers dual citizenship since it became possible. Around 2010, he was discovered by Cactus Theater. Since February 5, 2018, he also works as a piano instructor. On August 2, he was diagnosed with cancer. Due to the lack of health insurance, a friend of his vocalist wife Amber Pennington started a GoFundMe campaign. Thanks to both Bjerregaard's C64 past and his Cactus present, over 200 fans donated over 20000$ in less than 6 weeks.
On the C64, Bjerregaard has always been very self-critical and only finds unnecessary imperfections or too big similarities to songs by others, especially Rob Hubbard. Huus even witnessed him delete the aforementioned training songs. Still, he appreciates preservation, fans, and remixes. He was glad to see many companies prioritize game soundtracks like movie soundtracks. By February 1998, he confirmed to HVSC that his last name is spelled with "aa" rather than "å".
On his first three games, Bjerregaard used different drivers: David Whittaker's driver (from his arrangement of The Model), a driver also used by Henrik Jensen, and Rob Hubbard's driver. Afterwards, he used his own.
In 1991, Bjerregaard started programming drivers for the Sound Blaster card.
To arrange a song, he first recorded it on Roland equipment in MID format. Next, he created YM3812 instruments using his smf0ed software (in his INS and PAT formats). He further optimized these files by converting them to his MFP format (using smfpak). To the developer, he gave the MID and MFP files, a file with sound effects in an unknown format, a file with his driver, and text instructions with example source code in Borland C++ 3.1.
|1987-01-??||The Vikings (C64)||Loading music.|
|1987-02-??||Tiger Mission (C64)|
|1987-09-??||Special Agent (C64)|
|1988-01-0?||Thunder Force (C64)|
|1988-12-??||Omega Force One (C64)|
|1989-04-??||Street Cred Boxing (C64)|
|1989-06-0?||Stormlord (C64)||Loading song by Jeroen Tel.|
|1990-02-??||Flimbo's Quest (C64)||Story and loading song by Reyn Ouwehand.|
|1993-??-??||Troddlers (DOS)||Composed by Martin Nyrup.|
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,185208/ - MobyGames.
- facebook.com/johannes.bjerregaard - Facebook.
- csdb.dk/release/?id=9619 - C64 Disk Interview from August 1989.
- zakalwe.fi/~shd/texts/imr/ca121jb.htm - Interview from 1996.
- amp.dascene.net/detail.php?view=3814&detail=interview - Interview from 2002.
- web.archive.org/web/20180928163808/http://www.lubbockonline.com/news/20180922/cactus-pianist-diagnosed-with-colon-cancer-must-be-treated-in-denmark - Biography from September 22, 2018.