Randall Dunn

Equally at home producing records and directing or composing scores for film, Randall Dunn traverses realms between genre and medium, guided by Buddhist and Jungian principles of creativity. Hailed as “the underground metal superstar producer” for his early work with legendary musical acts such as Sunn O))), Earth, Boris, and Master Musicians of Bukakke, Dunn is a critically acclaimed and award-winning audio engineer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Pitchfork has described him as a “go-to producer for metal but also for indie acts looking to add more edge and atmosphere.”

Dunn’s pathway toward the present began in the 90s, when he attended the Art Institute of Seattle to study sound design for film. There he would meet local musicians who became formative influences, collaborators, and mentors throughout his career: Matt Chamberlain, Skerik, Wayne Horvitz, and Eyvind Kang. Under the apprenticeship of Nirvana producer Jack Endino, Dunn inherited stripped-down recording practices that favor performance over effects and post-production.

In the decades since, Dunn’s productions have received near-universal critical acclaim, marked by a “strategically articulated, disciplined musicality without sacrificing [the artist’s] core sound or blunting their emotional impact,” as reported by AllMusic. Among these critically lauded records are Marissa Nadler’s Strangers, Anna Von Hausswolf’s Dead Magic, SQÜRL’s (Jim Jarmusch) Silver Haze, Algiers’ There Is No Year, Myrkur’s Mareridt, and Zola Jesus’ Arkhon. Known for his aptitude for cohering complex or heavy material with dynamic and performance-focused recording, he is sought after by major composers and artists such as Danny Elfman, Björk, and Thurston Moore.

Dunn has worked with filmmakers Guillermo Del Toro, Julio Torres, Harmony Korine, Panos Cosmatos, Benny Safdie, Nathan Fielder, and Emma Stone. His production and co-composition of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score for Cosmatos’ 2018 film Mandy won multiple awards and nominations from the Austin Film Critics Association, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, the Seattle Film Critics Society, the Chicago Film Critics Association, and the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Dunn’s production of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s score to Candyman made the shortlist for the 2022 Academy Awards in the category of “Best Original Score.”

In 2022, Dunn and Úlfur Hansson were the principal composers for the Crackle series Salvage Marines. They also co-composed the score to The Way of The Psychonaut, a documentary of the life and work of Stanislav Grof, whose work in transpersonal psychology is formative to Dunn’s approach.

Under the executive production of Daniel Lopatin, Dunn produced Lopatin’s score for “The Viewing,” Panos Cosmatos’ episode of Guillermo Del Toro’s television series, Cabinet of Curiosities, which premiered on Netflix in 2022. This partnership with Lopatin continued with the 2023 production of John Medeski’s score for Showtime series, The Curse, co-created by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie.

In 2023, A24 premiered Julio Torres’ debut film Problemista, produced by Emma Stone and starring Tilda Swinton, featuring a Dunn-produced score by Robert Ouyan Rusli.

Dunn has an ongoing recording relationship with Khu.éex’, the musical project of Bernie Worrell (Talking Heads) and American glass artist Preston Singletary, whose work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

In 2020, Dunn released his debut solo album Beloved, featuring guests Zola Jesus, Timm Mason, Jeremiah Cymerman, Eyvind Kang and Algiers' Frank Fisher. NPR’s All Songs Considered praised the release: “Dunn works in layers of rhythm, volume and performance to achieve the sublime. This translates to [...] the new Beloved.”


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