Karl Steven is a New Zealand/Swedish composer of original music to picture. Recent work includes scores for Ant Timpson’s deranged thriller “Come to Daddy”, Hamish Bennett’s rural drama “Bellbird”, Mastiff Denmark and Screentime New Zealand’s thriller series “Straight Forward”, Peter Burger and Philly De Lacey's acclaimed true story telefeature Resolve (Winner Best Original Score NZTV Awards 2018), Seven Network Australia and South Pacific Pictures' drama series 800 Words (Winner Best Original Music in a TV Series APRA Silver Scrolls 2016, Winner Best Drama Series NZTV Awards 2017, finalist Best Original Music in a TV Series APRA Silver Scrolls 2017), the score for Phil Brough's Fire In Cardboard City (Winner Best Comedy LA Shorts International Film Festival 2018, Winner Best Animation Richard Harris Film Festival 2018, Special Jury Mention Tribeca 2018, Winner Best New Zealand Film, Show Me Shorts 2017), Great Southern Television’s documentary series The Casketeers (Winner Best Original Reality Series, NZTV Awards 2018), Screentime's feature length docu-drama Pike River (finalist Best Original Score NZTV Awards 2017), and Christian Nicholson's sci-fi action feature This Papier Mache Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy (Winner Best Comedy London Sci-fi Film Festival 2016, Best Comedy Boston Sci-fi Film Festival 2016, Best Film GenCon 2016, Best Dramatic Presentation Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2017). Earlier work includes Touchpaper TV and South Pacific Pictures' drama series Tatau for BBC Three and BBC America, the score and music supervision for Desert Road Films’ lauded six part police drama series Harry (finalist for best original music in a TV series, APRA Silver Scrolls 2014), the score for South Pacific Pictures’ Nymphe d’Or nominated thirteen part prime time drama The Blue Rose, and Screentime New Zealand's true story telefeatures Bombshell - The Sinking of The Rainbow Warrior, How To Murder Your Wife, Venus and Mars, and The Monster Of Mangatiti.
Karl has an established track record in music to picture, having created soundtracks for numerous documentaries and commercials and composed themes for many television shows. In 2013 he was the recipient of the APRA PDA award for film and television and attended the celebrated ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop at New York University. He has curated musical events at the Auckland Town Hall and War Memorial Museum, and collaborated with iconic New Zealand guitarist the late Ben Tawhiti on the soundtrack to Nova Paul’s experimental 16mm short film “This Is Not Dying”, which has screened at the George Pompidou Centre in Paris.
With a PhD in philosophy from Trinity College Cambridge, and having worked as a sound-engineer/producer on both tape and digital media, Karl has an academic as well as a studio background, and has been heavily involved with a number of musical projects over the years, more of which can be read about here.
The son of a filmmaker and a writer, Karl brings to his work a sensitive ear and a passion for the marriage of music, imagery, and story-telling past, present, and future.