Matthias Steinwachs is a German composer, writer and lecturer.
Steinwachs moved to Düsseldorf early. At age 5, his parents put him down for recorder lessons which ended when his teacher died ("no, it was not me"). At 7, he had piano lessons. At 15, he founded his first own band, a bebop trio with trumpet, piano and bass. He has played synthesizer, Rhodes piano and backing vocals in fusion, pop, new wave, heavy metal, punk, funk and rock live and studio bands. In 1984, his band KOE ranked second in a statewide rock contest and, for weeks, first in an obscure statewide chart show. In the end though, he had enough of "sensitive drummers and egocentric bassists" and, to a medium extent, rehearsal rooms.
He studied in Duisburg to become a music and sport teacher, but did not graduate. For some years, he half-heartedly thought about going to opera and took classical singing lessons. Between 1984 and 1986, he moved to Berlin, where he was studying musicology, journalism and Italian from 1989 to 1992 and worked at a radio station for the first time. In 1989, he was making a living from giving piano lessons. In the 1980s, he read Happy-Computer magazine, spent whole nights playing Rally Speedway (C64), and made a little bit of music on the Amiga just for fun.
On March 8, 1989, a friend attended the annual CeBIT expo in Hanover, Lower Saxony and talked to Holger Gehrmann of reLINE Software, who told him they were searching for a musician for their Amiga game. The friend said he knew someone, and upon his suggestion, Steinwachs phoned them. The game was Window Wizard (AMI), and while today he is ashamed of both the game and his own music, he found the 1500 DM lucrative. So he applied as a freelancer at Kingsoft and Thalion, who took him to Psygnosis, Blue Byte and Studio 2. Steinwachs was also contacted by Lankhor.
Between September 1993 and March 1995, Steinwachs moved back to Düsseldorf. In 2002, composing became a hobby. He works for radio stations, reviews games, music equipment, releases press statements, and lectures on sound design. As of 2009, he has all his old hardware (his Amiga disks even work), collects old consoles and games, and still plays Rally Speedway (C64) and LucasArts adventures in emulators on Xbox and Wii, in MAME on the PC, and on Sega (especially Dreamcast and Saturn).
Depending on his mood, Steinwachs likes Clawfinger, Birth Control, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, Nickelback, Jimi Hendrix, Carl Orff, Richard Wagner, Edvard Grieg, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Earth Nation, Blackeyed Blonde, H-Blockx, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Porcupine Tree, Element of Crime, Whale, Plastic Voice, Tom Waits and Robert Schumann. He is kind of proud of never having owned one record of Pink Floyd. His favorite instrument is the church organ.
For every game, Steinwachs is given a brief description, images, the client's favorite songs, or a finished game. If a specific style is needed, Steinwachs browses through records at home, local radio stations, video stores, cable TV, and plays them for one or two weeks until he feels that style. He also jams on the piano until he hears something he likes, or remembers hearing a sound and composes an entire song out of that. He first sketches melodies using MIDI, like on a Roland CM-500 in 1995. Twice, Ikarion also talked him into singing.
Steinwachs found the Mega Drive rather tedious.
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,26632/ - MobyGames.
- instagram.com/hankmoodie/ - Instagram.
- linkedin.com/in/matthias-steinwachs-b5013944 - LinkedIn.
- soundcloud.com/audiotexturat - SoundCloud.
- twitter.com/audiotexturat - Twitter.
- twitter.com/HankMoodie - Twitter.
- xing.com/profile/Matthias_Steinwachs - Xing (a German LinkedIn).
- youtube.com/channel/UCIV495zhTtOmBekE7OXQG-g - YouTube.
- kultboy.com/Matthias-Steinwachs-Interview/22/ - Interview from January 3, 2009 (in German).
- projectfirestart.org/interviste/matthias_steinwachs_eng.html - Interview from December 6, 2010 (one answer in Italian).