The Music of “Twin Peaks: The Return”: A Chat with MD Dean Hurley

On “Part 6” of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: The Return,” the much heralded look at the surreal Pacific Northwest town 25 years after the mysterious murder of Laura Palmer, the character of Richard Horne — warning: spoilers ahead — recklessly runs over and kills a young child. That this heart-pounding moment was accompanied by the equally unsettling new music of legendary composer and Lynch regular Angelo Badalamenti was reason enough for “Twin Peaks” music director, sound supervisor, and re-recording mixer Dean Hurley to come out of hiding.

Hurley, a longtime collaborator of Lynch’s — maybe the most trusted — is the man responsible for co-writing and performing pieces of music for Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” – “SubDream” and “Snake Eyes” with the director and/or his son, Riley Lynch – and co-selecting new-school indie acts such as Chromatics, Sharon Van Etten, and Au Revoir Simone to play the local Bang Bang Bar at the end of each “part” (as well as appear on the Rhino label’s soundtrack). Along with being Lynch Studio’s go-to soundman, the multi-instrumentalist was the director’s partner on two of Lynch’s weirdly bluesy albums, 2011’s “Crazy Clown Time” and 2013’s “The Big Dream.” He spoke with Variety about soundtracking the iconic show.

You began working with Lynch before he crafted “Inland Empire” — how did your work together start?
Dean Hurley: When I started in January 2005, “Inland Empire” wasn’t yet conceived; rather he was filming these unconnected scenes. But, within that first year, it began coming together with his wheels clicking into place, where he was, like, “I can join all these pieces and it can be something bigger.” That was a crash course into working with David Lynch — how he feels his way through a dark room and one tiny match starts to illuminate the room, and brings him into another place.

Lynch built the studio in Los Angeles right after he…

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