Sony Music announces the release of Mychael Danna's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Life of Pi, a journey of adventure and a tale of personal discovery based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel. The soundtrack recording of Life of Pi is available from Sony Classical on Tuesday, November 19, 2012.
Life of Pi takes place over three continents, two oceans, many years, and a wide universe of imagination. Director Ang Lee's vision, coupled with stunning 3D visuals, has turned a novel long thought un-filmable into a thrillingly audacious mix of grand storytelling and powerful and provocative themes.
Since Mr. Lee came aboard the project almost four years ago, he has worked to create a singular vision of author Yann Martel's unforgettable tale of courage, perseverance, inspiration and hope. The film takes us through a young man's incredible adventureat turns thrilling and spiritual; harrowing and triumphant; humorous and inspirational.
The main character Pi (as a 17 year-old) is played by newcomer Suraj Sharma. Suraj is a student who at the time lived with his parents in the suburbs of South Delhi. With no previous acting experience, Ang Lee cast Suraj for the role of Pi following an extensive, months-long search throughout India.
The contemporary (adult) Pi is portrayed by esteemed Indian actor Irrfan Khan, who was recently honored by the Indian government with a 2011 Padma Shri award recognizing his contributions to the Indian Cinema. Mr. Khan's many notable film credits include Maqbool, Haasil, The Warrior (winner of the BAFTA award for Best Film in 2003), Partition, A Mighty Heart and the recent hit The Amazing Spider-Man.
Mr. Lee, an Academy Award winner for Brokeback Mountain in 2006 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2001, carefully selected the international castand a composer whose talents and experience perfectly match the project: Mychael Danna, with whom he previously collaborated on The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil. Danna is one of the most original composers in the world of film music, a pioneer in combining non-western sounds with orchestral and electronic sources. He has worked with such esteemed directors as Atom Egoyan, Terry Gilliam, James Mangold, Mira Nair, Bennett Miller and Marc Webb. Danna has been nominated 13 times for Genie Awards and won the Original Score award five times. He has strong personal connections to India: Danna's wife is Indian and he has travelled and worked there extensively.
Mychael Danna's sensitive composition and innovative choice of instrumentation reflect the international character as well as the religious and philosophical aspects of Life of Pi. The music, in the composer's words, "guides viewers by means of emotions through a film that raises big philosophical and religious questions." His thoughtful instrumentation also lends structure to the movie. The Indian flute, for example, is associated in the music with Pi himself, the mysterious woodwind sound of the Persian ney with the tiger. A Los Angeles studio orchestra recorded the score, while the use of an Indonesian gamelan and typically French instrumentsceleste, accordionalso does justice to the cultural breadth of the story. Indian elements are recognizable in the sitar, percussion, and the mantras chanted by a choir. In addition to writing the original score, Danna co-wrote the film's original song "Pi's Lullaby" with Indian vocalist Bombay Jayashri, who performs the song in her native Tamil language.