Community: Interview - Morten Sorlie, Omni-Tek Maestro
  Morten Sorlie, composer and audio engineer at Funcom gives us an audience where we find out some background about him and some insight into why he thinks leets are the best mobs in the game. Also - for your enjoyment - a never before released Anarchy Online sound piece!      
  If you are Omni in particular, I am certain that the soundtrack of Anarchy Online has made a permanent impact on your perception of the game. The ambiance of Omni-Trade where it all began for Twicer, certainly had an impact on him.

And it therefore no coincidence that it is outside of Rompa Bar that we meet up with Morten "Jazzid" Sorlie. He says he was never intending to go inside anyways (uh huh..) so we dragged him off to the side for an interview...

na na   WANTED! DEAD OR DEADER! - Morten "Jazzid" Sorlie
For crimes against the clans and sonic interference with the Clondyke radars, Jazzid is a wanted man by the clans! If you should come across this man, use extreme caution as dulcet tones might induce a trancelike state from which you will not recover!

Twicer: So, first of all - let the readers know, why Omni-Tek and not Clans or Neutral?

Jazzid: I've always played Omni's. I've written most of the omni-tek music, and I guess through the music I developed a special connection. My co-composer Bjørn Arve Lagim, wrote most of the clan-music, and he has always preferred to play Clan. Coincidence? Furthermore, one of the first playfields I saw during development was Omni-Tek City, and I remember I was stunned by the graphics and estheticooks of this Bladerunner'ish city. It immediately appealed to me!

Twicer: To make up for the heinous crime of being an Omni-Tek employee you must now part with secrets, lest I won't let you go alive- tell us the deal about Yuttos. Some people say that the sound while played slowly is a norwegian folk hymn or something. What is the deal with them?

Jazzid: [Laughs] Well, that's a well kept secret, which if I told you, I'd had to kill you. Tor Linløkken, our sound designer colleague from those days, made those sounds. To be honest, I don't even know the full extent of this myself, but I do know that at least one of the Yutto's phrases are from an old song by Jan Teigen who wrote the Norwegian contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The song "Mil etter Mil" was so awful that it was the first song in Eurovision history to achieve a total score of... wait for it... zero points! Sweet, eh! So I guess Tor wanted to tribute that achievement! [Smiles]

Twicer: Just to clarify this to our non-european readers - the Eurovision Song Contest is basically where all the european countries gather together and host a music festival where one group from each country gets to sing one song and votes for whichever song is the best. No country really wants to win, since the punishment for winning is that you have to host the even the next year.

Jazzid: I wouldn't exactly have put it like that, but essentially yes.

Twicer: Im curious, where does your nickname come from, "Jazzid"? Something to do with jazz, I presume?

Jazzid: We'll, it's a nick I got from band rehearsals back when I was 18 or so. As the jazzy keyboard player in our band, I always managed to squeeze in of few jazz licks and chords into our tunes, and it didn't take long before my fellow band-members started calling me Mr. Jazzy, which over time evolved into Mr. Jazzid.

Twicer: It seems that you really enjoy making music pieces with a massive feeling to them, which of course again would explain Omni music - but what kind of music do you prefer making, if there is indeed a preference?

Jazzid: We'll back in the days of AO-development, I would answer epic orchestral/symphonic music with electronic drones and elements. Today, I'm more back to basic and what I believe I do best; playing and writing just with my grand piano.

Twicer: So tell us a little about the actual production of Anarchy Online. What were the challenges? What was causing the most problems for you in making Anarchy Online (including of course expansion packs)?

Jazzid: With AO, we aimed at having interactive music, something which we neither had any technical or musical experience with. No developer had ever done interactive music with an online title (or any other title for that matter) so there were few leads to follow. After a lot of back and forth with the technical design, we came up with a solution we believed was plausible, and with that the composing of the music started. All composers are used to think in a linear fashion when writing music, and I knew that writing music for this title would be a very different process and approach.

However, I was not prepared to face so many different issues. When doing non-linear music, you run in to so many problems. Melodies not making sense, harmonic movements which are "off", tempo-issues etc etc... But in the end, I think it turned out quite nicely, and as a testament to that, some players still play with music on after many years and thousands of hours in-game.

Twicer: Was there anything for Anarchy Online that you really wish had made it into the game?

Jazzid: Surround-audio, no doubt...

Twicer: That is a blessing in disguise actually I think. I'm not sure I could cope with surround-sound enhanced rollerrats! I would've had multiple heart attacks. But yes, I see your point, surround sound would have been amazing.

Jazzid: Indeed it would have been!

Twicer: What ended up being your favourite music piece in the game? A lot of people tend to say that the Shadowlands Battle Music, or indeed the "Flimmer" track are the best.

Jazzid: Of the stuff I wrote, I'm quite pleased with the Ocean-music (can't remember the name on the Soundtrack CD). However, the most characteristic music from AO is in my opinion Lagim's Forest-music, which is "instant AO". But my favorite track? Blue Dots by Tor Linløkken no question.

Twicer: I think the ocean music is actually the Flimmer track.

Jazzid: There you go, then!

Twicer: And last but not least - What is your favourite mob in Anarchy Online, and also - tell us why Leets are your favourite mob?

Jazzid: I'm ashamed to say that it's been a while since I played, so I don’t remember its name, but the sand-worm/scorpion that lives under ground and leaps from the sand when attacking really freaks me out. Oh wait, Eremites! That was it. Those are creepy. I love leets because they are just so darn leety. Who can not love them?

Twicer: Then with that, I would like to thank you for your time, and I will release you so you can go back to Rompa Bar and... mingle... with the ladies.

Jazzid: I know where you live, should you ever tell anyone.

Twicer: My lips are sealed.

na na   Anarchy Online - "Robots"
Download the song by clicking on the link to the left.

Last updated 29.May 2003