Bar Karma was a television series, the first show ever to be entirely developed by an online community of people. It was set in a mystical bar that skipped through time and space while serving patrons who were at a karmic crossroads. How the rest of the story unfolded required the audience to tell it, so people voted online for different plot developments, and the most voted was chosen for the episode.
The same happened for music, and in February 2011 I had the honour of participating in a contest on Indabamusic, by which they were going to choose original music for an episode which took place in the 1960’s US, where a college football player walked into the bar. The production needed a song that represented the transitional feel of the America in the 1960’s, in a college atmosphere, and they were looking for a 2 minute cue that represented an authentic snapshot of the era.
You cannot imagine how much this stirred my imagination, so I immediately got to work at a theme. Since I was a child, I have always been attracted by theme music from the most famous telefilms of the 60’s and 70’s like The Avengers or The Persuaders, as well as 80’s themes like The Rockford Files, Chips, Magnum P.I. and others. Because of these and many other influences, the result was a kind of Batman meets The Monsters meets surf 60’s TV show vibe. They only used about 20 seconds of the music, but it was enough to be credited at the end of the telefilm.
Here you can listen to the whole track, which lasts 2 minutes exactly. The pic is taken from the same episode, #105 by the title “Fair Catch”, broadcasted on March 11th, 2011 on Current TV (a channel from Sky):
The composition didn’t take much time: music came out by itself as I simply imagined myself playing with the Beatles. It was not difficult to find the right sounds of the era, as they didn’t use many complicate effects at the time, the most important being reverb and chorus. For the organ I used a simple 60’s sound, while for the drums I used real drums, sampled and then edited in order to fit the theme. They had an excellent pace. The result was quite good as the whole sound recalls the old TV themes perfectly.
Unfortunately, Bar Karma only lasted for one season. Anyway, after I won, I was interviewed on the Indabamusic website, and you can still read the interview here: http://testblog.indaba.webfactional.com/2011/02/winners-interview-with-rustyjam/