Harrowing news has broken today: Film, television, and video game composer Daniel Licht has passed away. Known for his work scoring multiple entries in the Dishonored and Silent Hill franchises, Licht died in the late hours of Wednesday, August 2 following a battle with cancer. He was 60.
Licht’s passing was announced on Twitter by Austin Winroy, the composer of Flow, Journey, and ABZU, whose gameplay trailer stunned at last year’s E3. “Shocked to hear of the death of friend [and] colleague Dan Licht. What a genuinely kind man he was, and great musician,” Winroy wrote.
Born in Detroit where he began his path as musician at a young age, Licht emerged into prominence in 1991 when he scored Children of the Night, a vampire film directed by Tony Randel. Throughout the 1990s, worked on several other horror flicks including installments of the Amityville series, Hellraiser: Bloodline, and Stephen King’s Thinner.
From 2012 to 2015, Licht served as the main composer of the Silent Hill franchise, replacing original scorer Akira Yamaoka. Licht gained notoriety for composing music for Silent Hill: Downpour on the PlayStation 3 and for Silent Hill: Book of Memories on the PS Vita, adding the perfect touch of spook to the abandoned town of Silent Hill.
Licht also collaborated with Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks to create chilling scores for Dishonored and Dishonored 2, which took home the Game Awards 2016 honors for Best Action/Adventure Game. Perhaps his most recognizable track is “Honor for All,” the song that plays through the closing cinematic of the game and washes over the credits.
Licht’s compositions extend far beyond the realm of video games as well. From 2006 to 2013, Licht made massive waves in the television landscape, scoring all eight seasons of Dexter, Showtime’s serial-killer crime series starring Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter. He crafted spine-tingling sounds using unconventional items like wine glasses, scissors, duct tape, bones, knives, and various other instruments, all of which made up his largest and most acclaimed body of work.
Dexter executive producer remembered Licht fondly, stating, “Dan was an incredibly talented musician and composer, but most of all, he was a dear friend. His passing leaves all of us a bit quieter, a bit sadder, and without the gift of his music and his love.”
Licht is survived by his wife Hilary Kimblin Licht, his son Kian, his mother, his sister, his two brothers, and several nieces and nephews. His family has requested donations in his name be made out to the National Cancer Institute or to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Daniel Licht was a luminary in the entertainment industry, and will be dearly missed. Game Rant extends its sincerest condolences to Licht’s family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.