Friday Review » Music

Updated: January 12, 2013 01:52 IST

Chennai to LA: how the sounds of Pi were recorded

Meera Srinivasan
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Sai Shravanam of Resound India recorded the Indian percussion segment here while the music was simultaneously matched to the visuals in Los Angeles — Photo: R. Shivaji Rao
The Hindu
Sai Shravanam of Resound India recorded the Indian percussion segment here while the music was simultaneously matched to the visuals in Los Angeles — Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

Some of the soundtracks of the Oscar-nominated film had their origins in a studio in Adyar

Some of the soundtracks used in ‘Life of Pi’, now being celebrated for 11 Oscar nominations, had their origins in a Chennai studio.

A stable IP address, a software licence from Fox Music and some intense and quick learning is all that took Sai Shravanam to ready Resound India, his studio in Adyar, to meet the requirements of the Hollywood project.

As one thing led to another, Sai ended up recording not one song, but the entire Indian percussion segment for the film, in Chennai.

“It was all very sudden. One day, Bombay Jayashri said she needed to record something for ‘Life of Pi’ and asked me if I could do it. I was more than happy to.” The two have collaborated for a decade, and many of Bombay Jayashri’s albums were recorded at his studio.  

“After recording the lullaby in September, Fox Music was happy with my work and the quality of the sound we recorded here. So, I got the opportunity to record far more than what I was originally roped in for,” says Sai, who has recorded many top artistes in India.

But this experience was considerably new for him. He, along with the musician, was sitting in Chennai, while the composer Mychael Danna and director Ang Lee were in Los Angeles, communicating with them as they were recording.

“We used this technology called source-connect that enables such remote-recording. It is like a very advanced variant of Skype, but is rarely used here,” he says.

This meant that the sounds were recorded, just as the director was matching the music to the visuals on his screen in LA. “There is a small time lag between the moment we press a key here, and the moment when the music is heard in LA and that required immense precision,” adds Sai.   

Kanjira artiste Selva Ganesh played a range of instruments for the Indian percussion segment. “For projects abroad, we usually travel to those countries and play at their studios. In some cases, we record here and transfer the files later. But the possibility of a live recording from Chennai, coordinating with a studio in LA is remarkable,” says Selva Ganesh. Evidently impressed with the quality of recording, he says: “The acoustics at the studio and quality of sound that Sai recorded were amazing.”


Sai, like everyone else who worked on ‘Life of Pi’, is excited. Particularly so after receiving an e-mail from Rebecca Morellato, vice-president (film music production), Fox Entertainment. “Take a moment today and just be proud of yourself,” said her message that came on Thursday.

Very very proud of you Sai !!Awaiting the good News which makes India proud again.All the very best !

from:  Mani Murty
Posted on: Jan 14, 2013 at 05:48 IST

"As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”This is the best part on his speech on the convergence of all regions.The poet Kamban has brought out
the same idea in his Tamil classic 'Kamba Ramayanam' written centuries ago.Talking about river Sarayu,he says "the waters of the ocean taking its birth from different mountains traverse different paths with various
names and come back to the same ocean.In the same way,the great religions of the world though they take their source from different men however different in their cult,still they all tend towards

the realisation of one and the same fountain head of
Salvation." sarayu stands for this great catholicity to Kamban.He has read sermons in running brooks ,which is the universal Religion as pointed by the Sage in 1897.(ref Kamban's Kosala by T.N.seshachalam

from:  T.S.Gopalakrishnan
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 12:58 IST

Congrats Sai Shravanam. You did India proud. A historic moment indeed. May more
good news flow.

from:  prasad Mysore
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 08:13 IST
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