Adjunct Professor, Music Industry
Trammell Starks is a veteran composer, producer, recording engineer, arranger, MIDI programmer, and keyboardist. After attending the University of West Georgia and Georgia State University as a piano performance student, Starks was hired as keyboardist for R&B icon Peabo Bryson, touring and recording with Bryson for three years. Starks toured the United States with Jennifer Holliday for five years as keyboardist and MIDI programmer. In between tours with Holliday, Starks toured as keyboardist and MIDI programmer for Patti Labelle. After years of touring as a sideman, Starks shifted his focus to the recording studio. A chance encounter with a video production company while working in Washington D.C. with Labelle led to scoring opportunities with a major telecommunications firm.
This developed into a passion for studio technology and the recording process. This introduction into writing music for the corporate world led to scoring videos for Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific Corporation, and the Weather Channel. Throughout the 1990s, Starks was the primary composer for the Weather Channel. From 1990 to 2000, Starks served as VP of Artist Development and staff producer for Intersound International, one of the largest independent record labels in the U.S. His division was consistently the most profitable, resulting in his promotion to Senior VP in 1997. Starks’ recordings for Intersound International covered a wide range of musical styles ranging from classical orchestral music, jazz, pop, new age, R&B, gospel, and world music. Included among Starks’ many recordings for Intersound are works with the London Symphony (at the famed Abbey Road Studios), London Session Orchestra (an all-star studio orchestra made up of some of the finest musicians from various European orchestras), San Diego Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, members of the National Symphony and Baltimore Symphony, the Taliesin Orchestra, and the American Film Orchestra. Pop, rock, and jazz recordings for Intersound included producing for the rock band Kansas with the London Symphony, a symphonic recording with the Beach Boys, and jazz recordings with pianist Peter Nero.
In 2000, Starks produced two albums for New York based Koch Records. The first was an album of original music based on Shakespeare's sonnets. Starks collaborated with Claire Van Kampen, the music director of the Globe Theater in London, with prominent Shakespearean actors from the Globe Theatre and from the Royal Shakespeare Society reading the sonnets of Shakespeare. The second Koch recording was an album of orchestral/rock treatments of songs by Peter Gabriel—recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Koch Records studio in Atlanta, and Chick Corea’s Mad Hatter studio in Los Angeles. In 2001, Starks transitioned from the corporate world to become an independent contractor, opening his own independent studio Studiomagic.