Headliner catches up with multi-award-winning, musician, arranger and former president of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, Starr Parodi, as she discusses her path into music and the Steinberg gear she cannot do without…
From composing music for some of the biggest titles in film and TV over the past 30 years, to playing in the Arsenio Hall house band, Starr Parodi has notched up a sparkling array of credits.
From James Bond and Harry Potter, to Transformers and a wide range of network TV hits, her work can be heard in some of Hollywood’s biggest productions.
She is also an active campaigner for gender diversity across the industry, currently sitting on the board of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, where she also served as president for two years.
Here, she sits down for a Zoom call with Headliner to discuss her incredible career to date..
Did you always know that you wanted to get involved in film scores? How did you make your start in the composing world?
I started playing piano when I was really young, and when I was about 14 I got hooked on music and I just knew that that was going to be my path.
What was your big break?
I was working as a pianist and synth player and was writing some demos for scoring. I sent a cassette to one of the busiest TV writers at the time and he hired me at a really young age. He had an orchestra and he hired me to write for him and do some orchestration.
He started me with very hybrid cues and then one week there was this massive orchestral piece for a network show, and I was like, ‘are you sure you want me to do this one’? And he said, ‘well, if you’ve got any balls you’ll do it’!
It was a big challenge. I went back to my bedroom studio, figured it out and it turned out okay. It gave me a lot of confidence – it lit a flame in me.
Another break came as a player. I was in the Arsenio Hall Show house band, playing five days a week and I had a computer running sequencing software and synths. We actually ran the theme of the show every night from my computer. I did that for six years and I got to play with all of my heroes growing up.
You never knew what would happen from one night to the next. One night we had Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston in the wings, and I started playing Superstition and they just came out, started singing and we had this spontaneous jam. It was a real pinch yourself moment!