Karoo: The Smackdown
Today we locked off the soundtrack to Karoo, the film I’ve been working on for Kaugoomi. It’s been one of the more challenging projects I’ve been involved with in that I’ve spent most of my time on it wayyyy outside of my comfort zone, composing music that is largely unlike anything I’ve ever had to write before. This is less scary than it sounds, because it also means I’ve been pushing myself and having a lot of fun.
Instead of epic orchestral, I’ve been doing lots of dark atmospherics, using palettes that are largely limited to organic instruments, with a strong emphasis on mood rather than melody. Most of the work I’ve produced on it is designed to support and punctuate what’s happening on screen rather than taking centre stage itself, which is as it should be. It was hard to begin with, but the process began to flow when the various characters defined themselves – not with melodies, but with textures of sound and signature instruments.
For example, we’ve got a leather-clad villain who decided he was best represented as a metallic sounding bushman bow. We’ve got a mysterious protagonist who eventually revealed herself as a sound not unlike breathing air.
Karoo is an interesting movie, jam packed with stuff that makes for entertaining viewing: sex, death, drama, violence, and even a bit of humour. I’m sad it’s over – I love this kind of work.
The producers have given me permission to post some of the score here, so below is a cue entitled The Smackdown. In it, a very pissed off bad guy tracks down someone who’s stolen something from him, and dispenses a liberal amount of corrective treatment. Without dropping spoilers, the scene resolves with gory death for someone.