India Is Like My Second Culture: Oscar Winner Danna


New Delhi: Mychael Danna, the Oscar-winning composer of “Life of Pi”, says India is like a second culture to him and he is looking forward to meeting Bollywood filmmakers in Mumbai next month.

Mychael’s India connect comes from his wife, Aparna, besides collaborations with directors Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta on movies like “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love”, “Vanity Fair”, “Monsoon Wedding” and “Water”.

“I definitely have a connection to the culture. I am married to an Indian and have spent many happy months in India… It’s kind of my second culture and something I am very comfortable with. I treasure the films that I have done with Mira and Deepa,” Mychael said in an interview over phone from Los Angeles.

The 58-year-old composer, who has worked on the original soundtrack of Warner Bros’ animation film “Storks” with his brother Jeff, will be in India next month to attend a film festival.

“I will attend the Mumbai film festival. I am going to be a part of the jury. I will be watching many Indian films and meeting directors. I will certainly have a great overview of what is current in Bollywood right now… I am looking forward to that,” says Mychael when asked whether he would like to work in Bollywood.

The Canadian composer duo loved working on “Storks”, which released in India on Friday, as it was something that they could share with their children. “We have worked in all kind of genres for over 25 years. We both have kids. There is something appealing about a film that you can enjoy with your children.

“It’s important to work on films that are positive and life affirming. ‘Storks’ is wonderful and in true Warner Bros tradition, it is goofy and fun and at the same time warm and moving.” Jeff, a frequent collaborator with his brother, says they have been working together since they were children so there is an ease.

“It’s very natural for us as we have been doing this since we were kids. We believe that two heads are better than one if they are in the same place and ours are. These films need enormous amount of work in a really short time. If there are two people at the wheel pushing hard, it is going to be better. It’s pragmatic and has worked out really well for us.”

The target audience of “Storks” may be children but Jeff says they brought a “mature sensibility” to the soundtrack. “The story often suggests the level of sophistication needed in the music. We knew there had to be a side of the score that had to be animated, energetic, strenuous and lot of fun but also needed genuine emotion.

“So, we could go crazy and acrobatic with the music at one moment and very heartfelt and emotional at the other moment. It was just about honouring the story in the best possible way.”