The Oscars reward the previous year’s greatest cinema achievements as determined by some of the world’s most accomplished motion picture artists and professionals. The Academy’s roughly 6,000 members vote for the Oscars using secret ballots, which are tabulated by the international auditing firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack includes Asian-American pop star CoCo Lee singing the end-title song “A Love Before Time,” with music by Tan Dun and Jorge Calandrelli, and cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma. The score reunites Tan Dun and Yo-Yo Ma, who collaborated previously on Tan Dun’s Heaven Earth Mankind (Symphony 1997), written to commemorate the return of Hong Kong to China.
To create the score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tan Dun blended the rich sounds of a western orchestra with the distinctive textures of traditional Eastern instruments such as the rawap, tar drums, and Chinese erhu. Director Ang Lee and Tan Dun worked closely to create a score for the film that would capture its traditional 19th century Chinese setting and heighten its impact for audiences around the world. Ang Lee has said that he conceived the film’s elaborate martial arts sequences in the manner of a film musical, making Tan Dun’s score an even more vital element in the film. With cellist Yo-Yo Ma as soloist, the music has the sweep of a romantic film score while reflecting the action and atmosphere of the film through the mesmerizing, often delicate sounds of traditional Chinese music.
In Tan Dun’s own words:
“We often say music is a universal language without boundaries. Yet, it is in fact the most divided industry. It creates boundaries between parents and children, ethnic groups and communities. Artists/performers battle over what form of style is more accurate.
The key led me to America, to New York. I chose New York, because everyone here had a goal in mind, to eliminate all boundaries. And that is what brings us all here today. Like myself, I believe everyone here share the same goal, to break that boundary. At the same time, it is also crucial that we create and nurture the audiences for the future.
Like I said earlier, this award is for you. It is only with your effort and support that we can reach higher. So let us take our key to reach and be beyond!”
“My music is to dream without boundaries. With the Academy, I see boundaries being crossed. Blending distinct elements of all artistic traditions to touch basic chords of human experience, Oscar evokes elements of nature and human passion and mortality. As a music composer, I am thrilled to be honored by the Academy. The film, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” breeds east and west, romance and action, high and low cultures, and that is what I hope my music can bring to the audience too.”