About Danny Bensi
Denmark-born, U.S.-based composer/multi-instrumentalist Danny Bensi is best known for his film, TV, and game scores with writing partner Saunder Jurriaans. Both members of the indie rock groups Tarantula A.D. and, later, Priestbird, they made their feature-film debut as composers at Cannes with Two Gates of Sleep in 2010. Their spare, suspenseful score to the 2011 film Martha Marcy May Marlene created a buzz on the international festival circuit and led to work on more thrillers, including 2013's Enemy and 2015's The Gift. Though most associated with tense, off-kilter chamber music, their diverse scores for other genres include the 2015 family drama Jack of the Red Hearts (2015), the action video game For Honor (2017), and the TV fantasy series American Gods.
Before composing music for the screen, Danny Bensi co-founded orchestral art rock group Tarantula A.D. in New York with guitarist/bassist Saunder Jurriaans and drummer Gregory Rogove. A cellist by training, Bensi played piano and strings and sang. They released one album, Book of Sand, via Kemado Records in 2005 before reforming as neo-prog trio Priestbird. That band issued In Your Time, also on Kemado, in 2007, following it with tour dates in North America and Europe. They self-released second album Beachcombers in 2011.
In the meantime, Bensi and Jurriaans began to focus more and more on a sideline of composing music for a variety of commercials, short films, and documentaries. Their first feature films, Two Gates of Sleep and Finding Virginia, were released in 2010. Work on well-received indie thrillers such as 2011's Martha Marcy May Marlene, 2012's Simon Killer, and 2013's Enemy soon followed. They won Best Musical Score at the Canadian Screen Awards for Enemy.
By then working at a pace that saw the release of at least a dozen projects per year through 2016, they scored films such as A Good Marriage and The One I Love from 2014, and 2015 brought Nasty Baby, The Benefactor, and the thriller The Gift starring Jason Bateman. Crime films such as Frank & Lola, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, and the documentary Amanda Knox were among their output in 2016.
Continuing to work in multiple genres and media, in 2017, Bensi and Jurriaans composed music for the Jason Bateman TV series Ozark (2017-2018) as well as for the documentary LA 92 and the action game For Honor. Varèse Sarabande issued their scores for the romantic comedy 5 to 7 (2014) and the Netflix Barack Obama biopic Barry (2016) that same year. The thriller Siberia followed in 2018, as did the biographical drama Boy Erased, which received a score release by Back Lot Music. Bensi and Jurriaans joined the crew of the Starz series American Gods in its second season in 2019; Milan issued the American Gods: Season 2 soundtrack before the end of the year. ~ Marcy Donelson