STEPHEN JAMES TAYLOR, Composer
Stephen James Taylor is a Los Angeles based composer best known for his film and TV scores with 4 Emmy nominations ('93 and '97), 2 Annie nominations ('99 and '00) and a DVD-X Award on "Best Original Score (for a DVD Premiere Movie) to date ('05). His style is a blend of pop, classical, jazz, world music and experimental surround sound genres. Taylor has written the scores to most of the feature films of Charles Burnett including the award winning, To Sleep With Anger (Sony Pictures), The Glass Shield, Selma, Lord, Selma, Oprah Winfrey's, The Wedding (TV miniseries), and Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation for which he won best score at the Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival. For director, Robert Townsend (actor), he has scored several projects including Holiday Heart for Showtime, and a feature film about the life of Sonny Liston, Phantom Punch (film), starring Ving Rhames. Other credits include the HBO movie, BOYCOTT, directed by Clark Johnson, the Disney animated theatrical release, Teacher's Pet (film), as well as a number of television, cable and direct to video movies.
In 1993 he wrote the music for the 2nd season of NBC's I'll Fly Away (TV series) resulting in Taylor's 2nd Emmy nomination. Another historically significant network show was Under One Roof (1995 TV series) for which he wrote the main title song and underscore for the first few episodes. This CBS show was the last primetime black family show on a major, non-cable network.
In 1996 he was commissioned to write and conduct an orchestral suite, with Mark Watters, for the Atlanta Symphony to perform at the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics for which he received a BMI Olympic Tribute Award. In 2007, he was also hired to create world music for the lobby of the World of Coca-Cola (museum) in Atlanta as well as do some surround sound design for one of the permanent installations there. The new wing of Fantasyland at Disney World now plays some of his arrangements on as ongoing background music as of 2012. He is currently writing music for a new Amusement Park opening in 2014 in Jordan called the Red Sea Astrarium.
Taylor’s experience in writing music for animation began with Hanna Barbera and Ruby-Spears in 1980, runs through Spielberg's Tiny Toon Adventures in the late 80's and several series for Disney TV animation in the 90's such as Jungle Cubs and Raw Toonage, up through the present with the recent release of the Black Panther (TV series) for Marvel.
He received a bachelors degree in music composition from Stanford University, after which he continued his studies in classical composition and conducting privately for several years with Henri Lazarof, Dr. Albert Harris (composer), and microtonality with Erv Wilson. In recent years he has been expanding his music composition skills into the visual arena via a multimedia programming language known as Max/MSP. As a "music oriented content provider", he has redefined himself as a 21st century composer/artist.