Audio: On the Score with Mychael Danna

By • November 13, 2012

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

Among the film composers who’ve incorporated the often-mystical sounds of ancient ethnic music into western civilization’s more straight-laced approach to movie scoring, the creative explorations of Mychael Danna has managed to turn soundtracks into a state of Zen. Ever since his first sores for alt. drama director Atom Egoyan on “Speaking Parts,” “The Adjuster” and “Exotica” Danna has incorporated any number of Middle Eastern instruments into his rhythmic, and often existential work.

While Danna’s explorations into world music grew to chart Asia with his brother Jeff on “Green Dragon,” perhaps no land has afforded this Canadian with creative possibilities like the rich culture of India.

First venturing to the subcontinent for “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love,” Danna’s intoxicating musical masala of Sitars, tablas, voices, flutes, drum percussion and a lush symphony have continued to fill such scores as “Monsoon Wedding,” “Vanity Fair” and “Water.” Now “Life of Pi” plays the vast instrumental and emotional dimensions of the land- as ironically marooned in the middle of the sea for most of its enthralling running time. For India in “Life of Pi” isn’t so much a place as it is a state of mind for a young man trapped on a rowboat with only a ferocious, unknowable Bengal tiger for company. Danna’s haunting score deals with Pi’s daily battle to stay alive, while also reaching into a deeper level of consciousness for his predicament with music that sees the teen as one drop of a bigger, thematic purpose.

“Life of Pi” marks the ever-expanding collaborative vision between Mychael Danna and Ang Lee, a filmmaker who’s seen the possibility of Danna playing 70s suburban Connecticut with Asian gamelans in “The Ice Storm,” and bringing a full orchestra furiously to bear on the Civil War canvas of “Ride With the Devil.” But it’s “Life of Pi” that’s their most striking effort to date, not only for its astonishing use of 3-D, but for a rich musical tapestry that make listeners feel the hope, danger and higher purpose within one of the cinema’s most fully realized tales of survival. With “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna’s love of India has truly reached Nirvana, a process of enlightenment that he reveals on a new episode of “On the Score.”

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Click above to Listen Now or Click Here to Download

a Buy the Soundtrack: LIFE OF PI
a Buy the Soundtrack: RIDE WITH THE DEVIL
a Buy the Soundtrack: THE ICE STORM
a Buy the Soundtrack: WATER
a Visit Mychael Danna’s site


By Pascal on December 10th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thanks a LOT for this groundbreaking interview!

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