Matthew Cannon

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Matthew Cannon
Matthew Cannon - 03.jpg
Born 1972-??-??
Birth Place Manchester, Greater Manchester, England
Nationality English   England.svg
Aliases マシュー・キャノン (Matthew Cannon)
Matt Cannon
Mat Cannon
Joe Smith

Matthew Cannon is an English composer and sound designer. He started working on games in 1988 when he worked at Ocean Software at the age of 15. At first, he was hired as a programmer, but after sending several demos of his music to their lead sound programmer Jonathan Dunn, Dunn suggested to Ocean that Cannon become a composer for them, and Cannon's first video game compositions were written for Ocean's computer game adaptations of Batman. In 1992, Cannon started working at Software Creations, where he worked on their SNES games.

In 1996, Cannon left the game industry to focus on his music studies.

Music Development

Commodore 64

Cannon said this in an interview regarding how he created music and sound effects on the computer:

Ocean's proprietary development environment was all I knew really. For someone who up to that point had very few "real" development tools to work with (unless you considered Microrhythm and Ubik's Music real tools), the Ocean kit was a real revelation! It was an Atari ST based cross-assembler that enabled you to focus on editing the sequences, notes and instrument patches without worrying about treading all over the C64's RAM. Dave Collier was largely responsible for maintaining the cross-assembler platform, and the music driver/player had been co-written by Paul Hughes and Jonathan Dunn. By the time I joined Ocean, the driver had evolved through several stages, beginning with Martin Galway's somewhat impenetrable driver (my attempt to fathom the Rambo loading music source had ended in deep frustration), and finally arriving at a very sophisticated player that emphasised Hubbard style voice functions. It was a joy to use really, and there were a variety of neat extensions hanging around, including an NMI-based sample player as I recall. Regarding customization, I remember tweaking some of the core routines in an attempt to escape the vanilla C64 sound. It was very much a cut-and-paste coding effort as I wasn't entirely comfortable with some of the darker recesses of the Assembly routines, so I would keep my tampering to a minimum. The driver was actually very extensible – if you were brave enough!

Game Boy

Cannon used Jonathan Dunn's sound driver and composed the music in assembly.

For Bart and the Beanstalk, he also wrote in assembly, but used the Software Creations sound driver by Stephen Ruddy.


Cannon used Music Driver V1.0, designed by Jonathan Dunn. Cannon says that for the NES version of Parasol Stars, he covered Over the Rainbow, but due to copyrights, he had to remove the song. In the USA and European version of Hook, the credits do not list him because there's not enough space on the screen. However, in the Japanese version, his name is listed in katakana.


According to Cannon, he wrote the title music for Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (SNES). [1]

He also stated he worked on two songs for Rock 'n' Roll Racing, one of which didn't make it into the final game. [2]

To write music on the SNES, Matthew used Mike Webb's sound driver. Music and sound effects were written in 65C816 assembly machine code.


Released Title Sample Notes
1987-??-?? Batman: The Movie (AST) Audio
1989-09-?? Batman: The Movie (C64)
1989-11-?? The Untouchables (C64)
1989-??-?? Batman: The Movie (AMI)
1989-??-?? Batman: The Movie (CPC)
1989-??-?? Batman: The Movie (MSX)
1989-??-?? Batman: The Movie (ZXS)
1989-??-?? F29 Retaliator (AMI)
1989-??-?? F29 Retaliator (AST)
1989-??-?? Operation Thunderbolt (ZXS)
1990-04-?? Operation Thunderbolt (C64)
1990-??-?? Adidas Championship Football (C64)
1990-??-?? Batman: The Movie (DOS)
1990-??-?? F29 Retaliator (DOS)
1990-??-?? Night Breed (C64)
1990-??-?? RoboCop 2 (AMI)
1990-??-?? RoboCop 2 (ZXS)
1991-03-2? Navy Seals (C64)
1991-??-?? Elf (AMI)
1991-??-?? Elf (AST)
1991-??-?? Elf (DOS)
1991-??-?? Hook (C64) Music arranged by Jonathan Dunn.
1991-??-?? Navy Seals (AMI)
1991-??-?? Navy Seals (AST)
1991-??-?? Navy Seals (ZXS)
1991-??-?? Parasol Stars: Rainbow Islands II (NES)
1991-??-?? Rainbow Islands: Bubble Bobble 2 (NES)
1991-??-?? RoboCop 2 (CPC)
1991-09-?? Navy Seals (GB)
1992-??-?? Civilization (AMI)
1992-??-?? Hook (GB) (フック) Music arranged by Jonathan Dunn.
1992-??-?? Hook (NES) (フック)
1992-??-?? Parasol Stars: Rainbow Islands 2 (AMI)
1992-04-?? Super Hunchback (GB) (SUPERハンチバック)
1993-09-?? Rock 'N' Roll Racing (SNES) (ロックンロール レーシング)
1994-03-?? Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (SNES)
Title Music
1994-??-?? The Simpsons: Bart & the Beanstalk (GB) (バートのジャックと豆の木)
1994-11-?? Tin Star (SNES)
1995-??-?? Striker '95 (DOS)
1997-10-?? Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball: Game Boy Edition (GB) With Chris Jojo; Arranged by Tony Williams


In Hook (NES), Matthew's name can be found only in the Japanese version's staff credits, presumably because his name couldn't fit with the large text of the international versions. In the Japanese version, his name, along with the other developers, was listed in Japanese katakana, possibly making him, as well as the rest of the staff the first English-speaking developers to have their names written in Japanese. His name in Japanese is pronounced "Mashuu Kyanon".

In Bart and the Beanstalk (GB), he is credited as Joe Smith. Matthew isn't sure exactly why his name was changed in the credits to Joe Smith, but presumed that it was due to the fact that he left the development studio, Software Creations during the game's development. Though Matthew said that it's possible the alias may belong to someone else, the fact that the game has only a short amount of music, all of which resemble Matthew's style, as well as the fact his name doesn't appear in the credits, is more than enough proof that the developers changed his name, most likely to prevent him from being hired by other game studios. However, Cannon quit the game industry after working on the game.

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