Music Break: Life Of Pi Soundtrack


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, 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?

33 thoughts on “Music Break: Life Of Pi Soundtrack

  1. Great post! I’ve been anxious to revisit this film for several reasons. I liked the movie but I didn’t love it as much as others so I want to give it another shot. But another reason is because of the score. So many have spoke highly of it yet I hardly remember it at all. I really feel like I’m missing out.

    1. I wasn’t as in love with the film either Keith, but I thought the music was brilliant. This one in particular is just sooo beautiful, I’m quite surprised you didn’t notice it. But ah well, maybe you were distracted by the awesome visuals 😀

  2. Great post and I love having the SoundCloud tracks in there, very cool! I love Life of Pi, thought it was brilliant and i thought the soundtrack really helped. Not sure it’s one I would listen to on my iPod or anything but it works perfectly for the film.

    1. Yeah, I just found that out when I put the link in the post, I’m gonna do that for future music break posts 😀

      Thanks Chris, glad you like the music!

  3. Great post Ruth, I’ll have to admit that I was so ENGROSSED with this film, I hardly noticed the soundtrack. But now playing some of the selections you’ve kindly provided, it’s absolutely beautiful. I so can’t wait to watch this on Blu-ray. Best film of 2012.

    1. Ahah, I think you and Keith are in the same boat (pardon the pun). I think once he’s stranded in the ocean I was engrossed in the visuals too, but in some parts I really noticed the music. Ang Lee’s films often offer both eye and ear candy!

  4. Ted S.

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but the soundtrack sounds excellent. Back when I was younger and living in the Far East, I watched a lot of Bollywood films and this kind of music brought back some of my younger year memories.

    1. You watched a lot of Bollywood films Ted? I didn’t know that! I actually never did back in Indo, even though they’re quite popular there. I do love the soothing quality of this one, and I recognize the use of Indonesian gamelan, which is very cool!

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah, Bollywood films were quite popular in Laos and Thailand, I used to go to the local theater in Thailand and watched a lot of matinees showing Indian films. If I watch them now, many of them would be very cheesy and way over the top. Their action sequences were just too ridiculous, even as a young kid I knew it was just too much, lol.

        1. Hope you’re enjoying the book, T. I’ve been trying to get into The Great Gatsby but kept putting it off, just too busy. I guess I’d rather be blogging, ahah.

  5. That is a gorgeous soundtrack indeed. Danna is a great composer and I’m very glad he has his Oscar but I find his work in last year’s Moneyball to be superior to this one.

  6. Have yet to see this, maybe I will go and check it out tomorrow evening although that’s a low probability lol. Definitely an enjoyable soundtrack though!

    1. So you’re still working like a madman, Cas? I hope you’re not getting too burned out man. I think Life of Pi would be a good break from a long, stressed out day 😀

  7. I loved this soundtrack. The day after I saw it in the cinema, I searched for it on YouTube and the whole soundtrack was there in one clip. Not sure if it’s still there though!

    1. Hello Pete, glad to hear. I don’t know if you could find that one with the entire soundtrack, but you can listen on soundcloud which I’ve embedded here.

  8. It’s definitely a nice score. I just wish I remembered it within the movie. The visuals were the key for me, but I need to rewatch it at some point.

    1. Y’know I have to admit the only one I remember most is this one at the beginning, but it certainly helps add the mood overall. I started listening to the whole soundtrack afterwards.

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