Mychael Danna is an Oscar and and Emmy Award-winning film composer recognized for his evocative blending of non-western traditions with orchestral and electronic music. His highly awarded works include the Oscar-winning score for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (2012), and his many Genie Award-winning scores for director and longtime collaborator, Atom Egoyan.
His passion for presenting complex ideas in a musically accessible way began as Danna learned his craft at the University of Toronto. There, he was exposed to early- and world-music that later influenced his style. Danna earned the school’s inaugural “Glenn Gould Composition Award” in 1985 and also began scoring for student theatre groups, as he launched his artistic partnership with Egoyan. Danna has scored all of Egoyan’s films since 1987’s Family Viewing (1987).
Danna’s work on Egoyan’s films, Ararat (2002), Felicia’s Journey (1999), The Sweet Hereafter (1997) and Exotica (1994), secured him Genie awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television; as did his score for Deepa Mehta’s Oscar-winning film, Water (2005).
Danna earned the 2013 Golden Globe and 2013 Oscar for scoring Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (2012), following his collaborations with Lee on The Ice Storm (1997) and Ride with the Devil (1999).
Life of Pi (2012)’s rich soundscape reflects a deeply transnational story with inventive cross-cultural arrangements: Indian sitars play French melodies, European play South Asian motifs, a church choir sings in Sanskrit, and a variety of other musical combinations soar alongside a full studio orchestra.
The highly awarded work embodies Danna’s approach to composition-creating rich soundscapes to be appreciated by a wide audience.
Other celebrated collaborations include those with Bennett Miller on his multiple Oscar-nominee Moneyball (2011) and his Oscar-winning drama, Capote (2005); with Terry Gilliam on his Oscar-nominated The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) and Tideland (2005); with Mira Nair on Vanity Fair (2004), Monsoon Wedding (2001) and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996); and with Billy Ray on Breach (2007) and Shattered Glass (2003).
Danna’s credits also include the Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine (2006), for which he shared a Grammy Award nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album; Marc Webb’s acclaimed romantic comedy, 500 Days of Summer (2009); and James Mangold’s Oscar-winning film, Girl, Interrupted (1999).