Pat Irwin has been living in and making music in New York City since the late 1970’s.
He writes music for film and television and recently composed the score for Dexter: New Blood which premiered on the Showtime Network on November, 2021 and became the most watched show in Showtime history.
He was a founding member of two bands, 8 Eyed Spy and The Raybeats. In 1989 he joined The B-52s and toured and recorded with the band through 2008. He currently records and performs with SUSS.(https://www.sussband.com/).
Pat is from the Midwest and attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa where he graduated with a degree in American Studies in 1977. It was at this time that he received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for International Study and moved to Paris where he attended composition workshops with the iconic composer, John Cage. After that experience there was only one thing to do which was move to New York City, form a Rock and Roll band, and play either CBGB’s or Max’s Kansas City. Or both.
Pat first met Lydia Lunch through the bass player, George Scott. George was playing in The Contortions and Lydia had her band, Teenage Jesus and both were looking for something new. While recording the Lydia Lunch record, Queen of Siam, 8 Eyed Spy was formed. Shortly thereafter George got together with Jody Harris and Don Christensen from The Contortions and decided that it would be a good idea to start an instrumental band. It didn’t take long to pull together The Raybeats, who toured relentlessly and recorded two albums, Guitar Beat and It’s Only A Movie. Sadly, 8 Eyed Spy disbanded after the death of George Scott in 1980 but The Raybeats continued to perform with bassist Danny Amis through the mid 1980s. In 2013, The Raybeats released The Lost Philip Glass Sessions, a series of collaborations with composer Philip Glass that were originally recorded in 1982. In 2020 the recordings were released on Ramp Local Records on vinyl for the first time. Robert Palmer, writing in the New York Times, described Irwin as a “mercurial presence on the New York rock scene of the early 80’s. The bands he helped found, The Raybeats and 8 Eyed Spy resembled each other only in that they had an aversion to the predictable and ordinary.”
In 1989, Pat joined The B-52s and toured and recorded with the band through 2008. He currently records and performs as a founding member of ambient instrumental band SUSS, who have released several records on the Brooklyn based indie label, Northern Spy Records.
In addition to Dexter: New Blood, Pat's numerous television credits include the Netflix series The Good Cop, starring Tony Danza and Josh Groban: Showtime’s Nurse Jackie; and HBO’s Bored To Death.
He has composed the music for many independent films including: But I’m A Cheerleader; My New Gun, and Bam Bam And Celeste. His documentary work includes Fall To Grace, written and directed by Emmy Award winner Alexandra Pelosi (HBO and Sundance 2013); and Hopper Stories, a series of shorts based on paintings by Edward Hopper including The Muse, written and directed by Sophie Barthes (Arte France.)
Pat has scored many cartoons including Rocko’s Modern Life (Nickelodeon); Pepper Ann (Disney); and Class Of 3000 with OutKast’s Andre 3000 (Cartoon Network.) His contributions to the SpongeBob SquarePants soundtracks were awarded ASCAP Film &Television Awards in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. The Cartoon Music Book referred to Irwin’s music for Rocko’s Modern Life as “astonishing musical cues that hold up with the best of Raymond Scott."
Pat has published articles and reviews in The New York Times Review Of Books, The Village Voice, DownBeat Magazine, and Musician Magazine. In 2012, Pat received an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College. He currently teaches a seminar in film music composition at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Music Theater Program as well as Music for Film and Television at CUNY, Brooklyn College, Feirstein School of Cinema.