On August 2nd, 2017, Daniel Licht, an American soundtrack composer, passed away. His body of work spanned not just notable games, but movies and entire television series as well. We wanted to take a moment to look back on Licht’s amazing body of work, and to remember what made this man so respected in the industry.
Arguably one of the most iconic pieces of music Daniel Licht scored was the opening theme song to the Showtime TV series, Dexter. Written by Rolfe Kent and scored by Licht, the eerie tune perfectly introduced the audience to Dexter and Dexter to his morning.
Fans of the Hellraiser series of movies will no doubt remember Hellraiser: Bloodline, another astonishing piece of work by Licht, and a haunting soundtrack that has stuck with us since the 90s.
Daniel Licht’s work also extends into the video game industry, specifically the Silent Hill and Dishonored series. Both of these titles are known for their suspense, horror elements, and atmospheric gameplay, which Licht managed to capture through his music.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Released on the PlayStation Vita, Silent Hill: Book of Memories was an odd entry into the Silent Hill series, as it used hack-and-slash gameplay instead of the slower pace the franchise is known for. However, despite this, Licht was still able to create a soundtrack that fused a sense of awe with a terror of the unknown.
Silent Hill: Downpour
Mixing organic tones with industrial music, Daniel Licht was able to take the sounds that Silent Hill was known for and add his own take. In an interview with Original Sound Version, Licht commented on wanting to stay true to the series’ tone, but also wanted the music to have his own touch:
“I wanted this game to have the same flow as the previous games while adding my own signature sound. It was important for me to understand where the music was coming from, the overall story, and the use of the musical themes throughout the game.”
Dishonored and Dishonored 2
Dishonored is one of the newest IPs that Bethesda publishes, and after the rousing success of the first, it was only expected that a sequel would come along. Daniel Licht was responsible for both of these soundtracks, and the music he composed truly lifted the Dishonored series to another level.
Licht focused more on ambient music, with prominent string sections. The entire sound harkens to a Gothic sort of London, and seeps through the game with a chilling unrest. Each area, and each encounter with enemies or characters has this undertone of suspense and an eerie quality that had become synonymous with Licht’s work.
The video game industry has lost a truly talented artist. It’s time to dive deep into these games and really listen to the world that Daniel Licht helped create.