Ang Lee’s beautifully-made Life of Pi‘s released on Blu-ray/DVD this week, and since I had just been talking about Asian directors, might as well feature his film on today’s music break.
Canadian Composer Mychael Danna has won a Golden Globe and Oscar for his astounding soundtrack work for this film. This is Danna’s third collaboration with Lee, previously scoring his films The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil. Though he’s got nearly 100 titles under his belt, Life of Pi is perhaps his most celebrated work to date, winning an Oscar in his first ever nomination. Certainly the win is well-deserved, the score is just as beautiful as the visuals, so talk about ear and eye candy!
My favorite is Pi’s lullaby in the opening sequence where we’re introduced to Pi’s family-owned zoo. The music literally has that soothing effect, it’s just so wonderful to listen to and it really takes me to another place. There’s obviously a soulful, spiritual quality to it that adds to its appeal.
Danna worked with Mumbai-based singer Jayashri Ramnath on this opening song, and her beautiful, calming voice is just so perfect for it. Ramnath also worked on the lyrics, so naturally she’s credited in the Oscar’s Best Music (Original Song) nomination along with Danna who composed the song. This article talks about Ang Lee’s direction to keep the song simple and soft — “A child sleeps not because he is sleepy, but because he feels safe.” They certainly captured that sentiment splendidly!
Per Awardsline, Danna spent a year on the score that uses music and sounds from around the world. … incorporated the sounds of Asia—especially India—into a multicultural stew of a score. Along with a full studio orchestra, accordion, piano, celesta, and mandolin, Danna added Balinese gamelan, Persian ney, basuri (an Indian transverse flute), Indian percussion, and, of course, the sitar. Plus, the venerable Pandit Jasraj (still going strong at 82) contributed vocals.
Thanks to SoundCloud.com, I was able to embed the tracks below for your listening enjoyment:
Hope you enjoyed today’s music break. Thoughts on Life of Pi’s soundtrack?