Julie Dunn is a British composer. Born as David Dunn, he attended primary school in Brampton from 1953 to 1960, then Erith Grammar School in Kent and trained at the Royal College of Music under Alan Rowlands and Anthony Milner, sparking a love for imagery, impressionism and live performance. He then worked as a tutor at London's Centre for Young Musicians, an organist, a school choirmaster which performed on Capital Radio, and head of several music departments. At least two of his C64 tunes were composed by him for other purposes in the 1970s already.
In 1982, when Dunn had already acquired a Commodore VIC-20 for unknown reasons, a salesman of a UK retail company talked him into trading the VIC-20 for the then-new Commodore 64. Dunn then made his only proactive attempt to get into the video game industry by phoning Rabbit Software, but did not get an actual response.
Later, he went to a computer shop in Dartford, Kent to ask for something faster than BASIC. This was suddenly answered by another customer, who turned out to be the co-founder of Anirog Software, Anil Gupta. When Dunn mentioned writing music, Gupta eagerly asked him to write something in machine code. Dunn created a driver and a demo program playing three covers illustrated by slightly animated PETSCII art. Gupta liked it and asked him to present some proposals for an intro song for Anirog's latest development, Flight Path 737 (C64), at their place. The second proposal was very well received and made it into the game.
Dunn's best customers were Anirog, their successors Anco Software and Red-Arrow Software, Ocean Software, Personal Software Services, Mastertronic and Codemasters. She cites 1986 as her decline, reasons including companies employing in-house musicians (specifically Ocean and Martin Galway), Compunet, increasing boredom with coding and the limitations of 3 voices.
After more years, Dunn changed his life and studied psychiatric nursing in London, worked at a forensics unit, led a psychiatric-admissions mother and baby unit, and bought a retirement home. In the mid-2010s, he became Julie Dunn and went into retirement herself. Her influences include Paul McCartney, Ray Davies, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch, John Ireland, Richard Wagner and impressionist works. She dislikes repetitive jingle-jangle.
Dunn is still praised for his use of SID's built-in filter. However, by 1986, he must have noticed that the filter varies with every chip, as his driver had no filter functionality ever since (except for Escape from Paradise). In VICE 3.2, his music altogether sounds best with the model 6581 (ReSID) and a filter bias of -75, but it is unconfirmed how close it is to his original setup(s).
Most tracks are preceded by the byte 0xDD, which was likely his signature, especially since it has no valid meaning to the driver.
- web.archive.org/web/20160313124027/http://www.puremelody.com - Official.
- facebook.com/julie.dunn.1690 - Facebook.
- twitter.com/puremelody - Twitter.
- c64.com/gt_display_interview.php?interview=45 - Interview from February 11, 2016.