Julie Dunn (formerly known as David Dunn) is a British composer. She 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. She then worked as a tutor at ILEA Centre for Young Musicians, an organist, a school choirmaster which performed on Capital Radio, and head of several music departments.
In 1982, when Dunn had already acquired a Commodore VIC-20 for unknown reasons, a salesman of a British retailer talked her into trading the VIC-20 for the then-new Commodore 64. Dunn then made her only proactive attempt to get into the video game industry by phoning Rabbit Software, but did not get an actual response.
Later, she 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 her 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 her 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 considers 1986 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 her life and studied psychiatric nursing in London, worked at a forensics unit, led a psychiatric-admissions mother and baby unit, bought a retirement home, eventually went into retirement either, and at some point, changed gender. 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 her use of SID's built-in filter. However, by 1986, she 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, her music altogether sounds best with the model 6581 (ReSID) and a filter bias of -75, but it is unconfirmed how close it is to her original setup(s).
Most tracks are preceded by the byte 0xDD, which was likely her signature, especially since it has no valid meaning to the driver.
Dunn said this in an interview with C64.com regarding how she ported over Aidan Bell's title music:
- web.archive.org/web/20160313124027/http://www.puremelody.com - Official.
- copainsdavant.linternaute.com/p/david-dunn-17745475 - Copains d'avant (a French Classmates.com).
- facebook.com/julie.dunn.1690 - Facebook.
- twitter.com/puremelody - Twitter.
- c64.com/gt_display_interview.php?interview=45 - Interview from February 11, 2016.