By combining formal musical training with a creative drive and ambition, Stephen Viens grew from his roots performing at East Coast piano bars and continuing to Los Angeles as a writer-reporter for Star Magazine to contributing to Emmy-award-winning television programs in several creative capacities. Stephen brings a fresh perspective to each new project with a career as a composer, writer, and producer.
Stephen’s musical training includes a Bachelor of Music Education from Temple University and studying composition and theory privately with Julliard’s David Sokoloff. He also had the privilege of studying with Emmy Award-winning composer Billy Goldenberg. Goldenberg encouraged Stephen to attend the University of California, Los Angeles’ Film Scoring Program, where he was mentored and studied with Don B. Ray, Gerald Fried, and Lalo Schifrin. He’s also attended numerous lectures and workshops with prolific Hollywood orchestrator/arranger Steven Scott Smalley.
As a composer, Stephen has scored numerous films across several genres, including the award-winning Audit (Brian To, dir.), starring Sally Kirkland and Judy Greer, and the comedy spoof, The Helix…Loaded (A. Raven Cruz, dir.), starring Vanilla Ice. His music is also a part of Mini’s First Time (Nick Guthe, dir.), starring Alec Baldwin and Nikki Reed, and Slingshot (Jay Alaimo, dir.), starring David Arquette and Balthazar Getty.
For television, Stephen wrote the theme and underscore for the Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award-winning The Christopher Lowell Show and served as the head writer and comedy segment producer for 120 episodes. He wrote the music for the one-hour special, Cruisin’ With Christopher, for the Travel Channel, and his music was used for the MTV reality/dating series, Next.
Expanding his creative talents, Stephen wrote, scored, and co-produced the documentary, Translating Wonder for Public Television Japan, directed and edited by Mirai Konishi. Stephen and Mirai first met and worked together when Mirai attended the University of Southern California and searched for a composer to score his thesis film, Blind. The two then collaborated on the short film, Close To You: Look Who’s Stalking, which Mirai wrote, directed, and edited, and Stephen scored and produced. The film was screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles.
The duo teamed up again for Yoga for Happiness, a three-hour series of lessons created and demonstrated by Los Angeles-based Susan Nichols, creator of the world-famous SKIDLESS® line of yoga mats and products. The music from the series was later released in Japan as an original music soundtrack album by Leafage, a division of Pony Canyon. New Age Reporter lists Yoga for Happiness in the Top 20 Most-Played CDs selected by music programmers from radio stations across Japan for 2006.
More recently, Stephen and Mirai collaborated on the award-winning documentaries Kampai! For the Love of Sake and Kampai! Sake Sisters, which delve into Japan’s mysterious sake industry.
As a prolific creator and consistent collaborator, Stephen again collaborated with director Brian To. He composed the music for a series of public service announcements for the L.A. Metro Task Force On Human Trafficking. He also scored and co-produced Brian To’s inspirational documentary short, Try, Try, Again, and his award-winning short, Dry Dock. Randal Kleiser, the director of Grease and The Blue Lagoon, shared his review: “Brian To has created a moving, touching and sensual film in Dry Dock, greatly supported by the haunting and emotional music of Stephen Viens.”
Together, their work continued with To’s heart-wrenching short Arctic Plunge, narrated by Academy Award-nominee and Golden Globe-winning actress Sally Kirkland. She shared her enthusiasm about working with Stephen, saying it was “like a dream come true that [Stephen] was going to make music that married my words.”
Stephen also scored two projects for writer-director Brian Pelletier – the Award-winning, mad-capped comedy feature, Fishnet, starring Rebekah Kochan and Jillian Easton, and the thought-provoking short, Monster In The Closet.
Creating a presence on the Internet, he wrote the original music for maniaTV’s Comedy on Demand series National Lampoon Lemmings, which was subsequently broadcast on late-night cable television. Stephen also wrote the theme for Babelgum.com’s Mass Debaters comedy spots.
While in the recording studio for that project, Stephen continued to compose, writing music for Bobby Jo Lathan’s CD, Stories From A Part-Time American, and serving as an orchestrator and arranger for Pat Boone’s seasonal CD, California Christmas Card.
In addition to recently completing a project of his own, The Boy And The Tree: A Musical Story For Children, a 35-minute piece for narrator and orchestra, Stephen continues to push his musical endeavors into new media. In the International Film Music Contest FMC 2021, his work qualified in the Semi-Finalist categories for Video Game Music and Original Music for Film/TV/Ads/Video and as a Finalist for the Theatre Music Category.
Similarly, Stephen has found a new creative challenge and reward in creating music with a therapeutic purpose, featuring regular uploads to his new YouTube Channel, Soothing Healing Relaxing Music.
Still, successful artistic collaboration remains one of his career’s defining accomplishments. Today that continues with an exciting partnership with music producer Darren Burgos, who brought Stephen on as a consultant for some dance/pop music singles releases by RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, including Miss Vanjie, Raja, and Shuga Cain. Stephen and Darren are finishing up a “disco remix” of Shuga Cain’s Love, Sweet Love, set for a release in early 2022.
Stephen is a resident of Los Angeles, California.