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Lion [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]


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  • Based on the best-selling memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly, Lion looks into the life of an Indian boy who was adopted and raised in Australia. Twenty years later, he decides to seek out his biological family. The film's soundtrack consists mostly of an original score rooted in poignant piano and strings. It also includes "Never Give Up," a song written and performed for the movie by Australian pop icon Sia that, unlike the rest, tips its hat to Bollywood. The 45-minute score is the result of a collaboration between two composers known at least as well for their work outside of film as for their soundtrack output. Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) is an experimental musician recognized for his work with prepared piano, and Dustin O'Halloran, also a pianist in the art-music sphere, is a member of dream pop band the Devics. They both have growing film rsums, though, with Hauschka having scored the indie horror film The Boy, and O'Halloran having won an Emmy for his theme for Transparent, both in 2015. Lion's director, Garth Davis, approached Hauschka about writing the music, at the same time suggesting O'Halloran for the second half of the film. The pair, who were already friends, were eager to work together and soon scrapped the idea of dividing up the assignment. Arpeggiated piano and atmospheric strings mark their "Lion Theme," which reappears regularly throughout, sometimes switching up instrumentation and context. Also early in the track list, "Lost (Part One)" emphasizes anxiety with irregular, clattering percussion and dissonant tremolos on strings. As with the rest of the score, though, it stays within a low dynamic range, all to serve the quiet sorrow of an emotional story that comes to terms with different forms of loss. ~ Marcy Donelson
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