Randall Shinn composes theater and concert music. Reviewers have called his music “passionate,” “lyrical," and “lusciously beautiful.”
In a 1983 profile in the Phoenix New Times Torey Malatia described Shinn’s works as “lyrical...
expressive...contrapuntally and harmonically rich. Much of Shinn's music has a sensation of physical motion and a sensuality not unlike rock or folk music.”
Other reviewers have described his works as “powerfully expressive” and filled with “aural beauty.” Other have called his works “stunning,” “sophisticated,” and “spell-binding.” One reviewer wrote that he integrates “modern music and language with more familiar classical styles to create a sound that is uniquely his.” That description was echoed in the following program notes:
Shinn’s interest as a music listener are broad—he might dance to a blues band one night and attend an opera production the next. So he finds it natural to write music with unexpected combinations of material. The influences on his music are just as broad, and his manner of dealing with these multiple influences has become a distinctive musical fingerprint.—Peter Laki, Phoenix Symphony program notes, 1992
As a writer Shinn has written original librettos for three operas. His interest in the theater spills over into a general interest in imagination and magical atmosphere. For two years he was chief correspondent for DeepGlamour.net, where he wrote posts about various aspects of glamour (including its older meaning of enchantment and magic). His Musings at randallshinn.com explore some of his aesthetic preferences.