Life of Pi – “Pi’s Lullaby” // Cover by Ambika Jois & Amal Lad

sanj.k December 23, 2012 music, the latest Comments

One of my favourite books ‘Life of Pi’, based on the 2001 award-winning and best-selling novel by Yann Martel has finally been made into a film … WOOP! … A young man survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic adventure with another survivor, a fearsome Bengal tiger. It is directed by the acclaimed Ang Lee of Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame with the score by Mychael Danna. Lee’s vision together with stunning 3D visuals and Danna’s powerful score have resulted in a film that is thrillingly audacious in its exploration of the themes of courage, inspiration and hope.

Mychael Danna is recognised as one of the most versatile and original voices in film music. He is known for his work on Little Miss SunshineThe Imaginarium of Dr. ParnassusThe Time Traveller’s Wife and 500 Days of Summer.

In addition to writing the score for ‘Life of Pi, he has co-written the film’s original song, ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ with Bombay Jayshree, a Carnatic vocalist and composer who also lends her voice to the track. The score incorporates many genres and instrumentation, including church choirs, piano, accordion, mandolin, South Asian music & vocals and electronic music together with a Los Angeles studio orchestra.

Two of our very awesome friends, Amal Lad and Ambika Jois who came together earlier this year on the debut release of Amal‘s EP – Complex Simplicities. They are both back again for a special rendition of ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ … both extremely talented and both humble artists bring their own persona to an already fabulous track. Difficult to top, but they did it with immense grace!

We caught up with both to have a quick chat as to why they chose to cover this particular track.

When I discovered through a number of sources that Bombay Jayashri sang in an English film, I was curious to hear how she sounds on such a soundtrack. When I heard what I heard, I fell in love with the track instantly and knew that it was a track I wanted to sing. Bombay Jayashri is my favourite Carnatic vocalist on the playback scene, she has a clear style in her presentation where I can hear that she’s classically trained, yet there’s a sultry touch to the texture of her voice. I like that blend, I wanted to see if I could sound something like it too, so this song was a good point of challenge.

The moment I heard it, I called Amal and said we HAVE to cover it together. I knew that the connection I felt with this song as a listener could be created with someone as amazing as Amal. Since our gig in Aug together with Indybrown on Bangalore Live! we hadn’t really collaborated on anything and this was a perfect opportunity for us to create something special to both of us on the musical front before 2012 ended.

~ Ambika Jois

The track was quite difficult to make especially as I have no training. Its in 7/8 time signature with quite a low tempo which was a challenge to maintain flow and movement in the arrangement. The emphasis in the track were the subtle power in the vocals and I tried to build the music around that. Its a different genre altogether for me so it was a great challenge! Always a true honour to work with Ambika!

~ Amal Lad


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About The Author

Founder and Editor of NADA BRAHMA, Sanj.K is an Investment Banker with a sense of humor. Born and brought up in the UK, he has an ongoing love affair with music, martial arts and masala chai and in his spare time perfects the deadly art of watching old skool kung-fu movies. Sanj loves bringing a fresh outlook on ‘left field’, Asian, electronica and classical music from across the globe, but hates the music they play in supermarkets.