With track titles as diverse as “Meeting Krishna” and “Thank You Vishnu For Introducing Me To Christ,” it’s appropriate that Mychael Danna’s score for “The Life of Pi” is an appealing mix of East Meets West, as strings, tablas, sitars, flutes, accordions and gamelans blend together for waltzes, Indian rhythms, and sweeping orchestral flourishes. The album opens with “Pi’s Lullaby,” a beautiful song sung in Tamil by Bombay Jayashri. Translated, the lyrics are “My dear one, the jewel of my eye/Sleep my dear precious one.” The gentle melody of the song finds its way into several of the tracks on the soundtrack, but it never wears out its welcome.
Most of the tracks on “The Life of Pi” are under two minutes in length, and there’s a mystical quality to the music; my iTunes categorized the CD as “New Age” when I popped it in the computer. As the approximately hour-long disc nears its conclusion, the cues and themes get a little longer. Nevertheless, I think the soundtrack works best as a continuous play, rather than excerpting a piece or two at a time, as nearly all the cues flow effortlessly into one another, providing a beautiful musical parallel to the spiritual journey of the film, directed by Ang Lee.
Danna’s score has already won the Golden Globe as Best Original Score. Will it take the Oscar as well? And will “Pi’s Lullaby,” already the first Best Song nominee in Tamil, also win? We’ll find out on February 24.
Official Mychael Danna website: http://www.mychaeldanna.com/