The Karl Karma Trilogy

The Karl Karma Trilogy


Early in 2003, three Melbourne Muso episodes were made that were destined for infamy!

Karl Karma, Musical Private Eye!

duration: approx 26 minutes each

episode 193 .... Spill your guts Karma!
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episode 194 .... Heavy Metal Karma
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episode 195 .... The case of the Fat Elvis tapes
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How they were made and why ...

Ok, this is what happened ....
Early in 2003, I decided to sever my ties with Instrumental teaching at Secondary Schools, concentrating on my students at my home studio, things were far more positive there ...

This decision left me with more time to spend concentrating on other projects, at this time, it was short film, so, "Melbourne Musos" became a weekly "short film" for a while.

My character Karl Karma, was a popular dude during my time at Mixdown Magazine and I had written quite a few short stories based on this character, so, I thought to myself ...

"Why not incorporate Karl into a Melbourne Musos episode or three?"

I have this idea of parallel thought ... if a jazz musician improvises, it's called a solo, if he goes back and writes it down and gives it a name like "The Angry Duck" then orchestrates it for a quartet, it becomes a piece of "through composed music."

This technique was used by Frank Zappa in the late 70's to write his "Sinister Footwear Ballet" amongst others i.e. he hired a young Steve Vai to transcribe guitar solos (re: The Frank Zappa Guitar Book) he then took solos he liked and orchestrated them for Orchestra.

So .....

if that can work for music, why not short film?

So that's what I did ....

I took my camera, and filmed random items; me walking, checking out my post office box, footage of the local shopping centre and the like, then I downloaded the footage into my computer and after a bit of editing and insertion of various drum rhythms (musos is a drumtip show after all!) I actually improvised a story as I saw the footage, a bit like jazz be-bop poetry!

The reason I write about in 2006 is because these episodes are not only favorites of mine, but I received many complimentary emails from viewers ... God bless your little sox!

One of my favorite crime authors, Raymond Chandler in his essay "The simple art of Murder" says in effect that the best way to write a "whodunnit" is to not know "whodunnit" yourself until the last pages .... essentially the characters you create and the development of them combined with the circumstances you place them in, will essentially determine the outcome. The author John Fowles also writes about this in his famous book "The French Lieutenants Woman"

So that's the story of the "Karl Karma Trilogy" ... three shows I am particularly proud of ... the thing about it though was I created a little monster in that this improvisation technique took three days of work to complete .... time was not on my side!