Life of Pi (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
For his third collaboration with film director Ang Lee, Canadian composer Mychael Danna incorporated elements of Indian pop, European cabaret, and South Asian vocal music to create a living, breathing soundtrack for Life of Pi. The resulting set won both a Golden Globe and the Academy Award for best original score. Danna—whose works include Little Miss Sunshine and Capote—here creates a sonic world of orchestral magnificence, subtly trimmed with electronic filigree. Sitar and tabla help set the tone in the opening “Pi's Lullaby,” though it’s the honeyed voice of Indian Carnatic music vocalist and Oscar-nominated composer Bombay Jayashri that introduces the score’s recurring melody. The following “Piscine Molitor Patel” subtly recalls moments of Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" from The Nutcracker Suite before a music box, sweeping string arrangements, and waltzing rhythms bloom into a hybrid movement fused into an Eastern instrumental raga. The outstanding “Back to the World” is an eight-minute and 20-second composition that braids Indonesian gamelan into a lush orchestration dotted with elements of world music.