Martin Galway is an Irish-American composer, known for his Commodore 64 music.
Martin Galway was born on January 3rd, 1966 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At the age of five his family moved to Manchester, England. Because his father was a music teacher, Galway was introduced to music at an early age. His father gave him lessons on the flute, violin, clarinet and piano, but he wasn't interested in them at the time, something he regrets. At 16, Galway became involved with his high school's computer lab, which was only a single room with a few home computers like the VIC-20, Commodore PET, ZX81, and TRS-80.
Only a year later, Galway was hired by a small company owned by the "Micro User" magazine company, and at 17, his very first professional music was published on a BBC Micro. From the money he made he was able to buy his own computer and teach himself how to program.
While pitching one of his friend's computer games to Ocean Software, Galway also tried selling his BBC music. Ocean, realizing that there wasn't a market for the BBC Micro, only wanted Commodore 64 music. Ocean lent Galway a Commodore 64 and the source code to their sound engine and he was able to figure out how to make music from it by playing around with their existing code. The results of this attempt was the loading music of Daley Thompson's Decathlon.
Galway began working as a programmer, but he was also expected to compose music. However, the multi-tasking didn't work well in Ocean, so they eventually made him a full time musician. From that point on Martin worked for Ocean Software and wrote music for a large number of Commodore 64 games and is one of the most popular SID artists to date. His work with the SID chip and assembly music is one of the most complex and profound. He was also the first artist to include sampling into a Commodore 64 soundtrack.
Galway's favorite Commodore tracks that he created are the title music of Wizball, Arkanoid, and Rambo: First Blood, Part 2. His least favorites include the title music for Green Beret, The Great Escape, and Top Gun.
After having to deal with the terrible working conditions and low pay of Ocean Software for too long, Galway quit and moved to Austin, Texas, USA to work for Origin Systems. He worked at Origin Systems composing music, and doing some minor design and programming work. When Origin Systems was acquired by Electronic Arts, he left with the main programming staff to form Digital Anvil.
Some of Martin's influences include Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Depeche Mode, Thomas Dolby, and Cocteau Twins. For guitar influences he likes David Gilmour, Ry Cooder, Brian May, and Arlo Guthrie. For SID authors he likes Rob Hubbard and Fred Gray.
Galway wrote his own sound driver and entered the music in 6502 assembly.
Galway's only NES game was Ultima: Warriors of Destiny, which he did for Origin Systems. Galway created the game's music the traditional way by programming a 6502 assembly sound driver for the NES' RP2A03.
Wearing a Q-Sound shirt. Unknown source.
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,4639 - MobyGames.
- sidmusic.org/sid/mgalway.html - Two interviews from Happy Computer 11/86 and the late 1990s.
- akalwe.fi/~shd/texts/imr/c85galwa.htm - Interview from May 3, 1996.
- c64.com/interviews/galway.html - Interview from apparently 1998.
- remix64.com/interviews/interview-martin-galway.html - Interview from March 28, 2001.
- lemon64.com/interviews/martin_galway.php - Interview from July 9, 2003.