Karl Steven is a composer of original music for film and television. Recent work includes Paul Oremland's feature documentary 100 Men, Seven Network Australia and South Pacific Pictures' drama series 800 Words (Winner Best Original Music in a TV Series APRA Silver Scrolls 2016), Christian Nicholson's sci-fi comedy 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), 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, and Touchpaper TV and South Pacific Pictures' drama series Tatau for BBC Three and BBC America. Earlier work includes the score and music supervision for Desert Road Films’ acclaimed six part police drama series Harry (a 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 music supervision for Joe Lonie’s award winning short films Honk If You're Horny and Shout At The Ground.
Karl has been heavily involved with a number of musical projects over the years, notably as co-lead singer, co-writer, and co-producer of multi-platinum selling 90’s group Supergroove, as one of the creative sparks behind Auckland’s surf-noir weirdos The Drab Doo-Riffs, as a member of Swiss label Voodoo Rhythm Records’ fiery blues trio Heart Attack Alley, and more recently behind a stack of synthesizers in synth-duo Queen Neptune.
Karl has created soundtracks for many documentaries and commercials and composed themes for numerous television shows. He has also been fortunate to be asked to curate shows at the Auckland Town Hall and Auckland 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.
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.
During a break from full-time music work, Karl studied philosophy at the University of Auckland, and completed a PhD in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy at Trinity College Cambridge.
The son of a filmmaker and a writer, and trained as a sound engineer on both tape and digital media, Karl brings to his work a sensitive ear and a passion for the marriage of music, imagery, and story-telling past, present, and future.