Daniel Licht Q&A: ‘Dexter’ composer
Daniel Licht was "really happy" to be given the job of composing the main title theme music for the new Sundance small-town drama “The Red Road" as well as the score for each of its six episodes. And just why was this extra work so important to him? As he explained during our recent webcam chat, he had spent eight years scoring “Dexter” but was not responsible for that drama’s Emmy-nominated main title theme.
He admitted to being “a little disappointed” at being brought onto that crime drama after Showtime had commissioned Rolfe Kent to compose the main title tune. However, he was quick to add, “Rolfe did a great job, so kudos to him.”
Licht is set to soon begin work on the second season of “The Red Road,” which he explains has a “completely different” score than “Dexter,” one that is relatively subdued and is used to provide mood instead of amplification.
The composer stressed the importance of having a distinctive sound to land jobs. In defining his, he revealed he likes to use “odd instruments in odd ways” and enjoys “not being real clear sometimes what weird sounds are coming from.” He adopts a “whatever works” approach when finding the right instruments and admits to being prone to using tools like hammers and saws musically. He is particlarly partial to playing electric guitar with a frying pan on top.
Licht believes music is the single best way for audiences to understand what characters are feeling without them voicing their thoughts. He revealed that when he began working on “Dexter,” the producers were resistant to using much music. However, this shifted over the years to what he described as “a very in-your-face kind of score” culminating with "a lot of extra effort and time” for the final season.