Daniel Licht, Composer on 'Dexter,' Dies at 60

Daniel Licht - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Impact24 PR

He specialized in quirky sounds and horror music and worked on films like 'Hellraiser: Bloodline' and Stephen King's 'Thinner.'

Composer Daniel Licht, who specialized in the horror genre and scored all eight seasons of the creepy Showtime series Dexter, has died. He was 60.

Licht died Wednesday at his home in Topanga Canyon, Calif., after a battle with sarcoma, his representatives, Seth Kaplan at Evolution Music Partners and Jana Davidoff at Impact24 PR, told The Hollywood Reporter.

"I am so saddened to learn of Dan's passing," Dexter star Michael C. Hall said in a statement. "His music quite literally set the tone for Dexter. I'm fortunate to have known Dan, as his talent was matched by his kindness."

Licht also worked on Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), the film adaptation of Stephen King's Thinner (1996), the second and third Children of the Corn movies and a pair of Amityville films.


Licht often performed his scores live — he did a Dexter season-seven show at Largo in Los Angeles in 2012 and a concert in Poland in 2015 — and employed unusual "instruments" to get what he was after. (He told THR that he recorded with sacrificial drums and used "a human femur, which was an ancient Aztec instrument, as a percussion instrument.")

Kaplan said Licht's shows "were always special because the audience was treated to a look inside his mind. The many found instruments that he employed [bones, scissors, glass] were never used as artifice. They were always critical to the effect he was out to achieve, and his thematic writing was sublime."

The Detroit native collaborated with directors Alex Cox on The Winner (1996), Gregg Araki on Splendor (1999) and Xavier Koller on Cowboy Up (2001).

Also for television, Licht contributed music to the NBC series Deception and The Blacklist, to ABC's Body of Proof and Jake in Progress, to Freeform's Guilt, to Fox's Kitchen Confidential and to the 2000 Showtime telefilm Hendrix.

He most recently served as the composer on the Lifetime telefilm Tiny House of Terror, which premiered in June, and he worked on the video game franchises Silent Hill and Dishonored.

Survivors include his wife, Hilary, son Kian, mother Eve, brothers Alan and Ed, sister Deborah and nieces and nephews David, Timothy, Jonathon, Jessica, Melissa, Robyn, Sophia, Jacob and Eva.

A memorial service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 at Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. Donations can be made to the National Cancer Institute or to his alma mater, Hampshire College.