1. Life and Death (or Win One for the Reaper) - Sheet Music from the Lost Soundtrack

    One of the best songs from Lost is The Sad One (usually played when someone dies) entitled Life and Death on the soundtrack. There’s actually another version, Win One for the Reaper that I like better—no strings in the background (although there is a little guitar) and it feels like a finished song. Life and Death sort of fades out and then up come the discordant strings letting you know that something is wrong, usually right before a commercial. Win One for the Reaper is very clean and has a distinct end to the song. It even ends a little high note, just a bit of hope there at the very end. Beautiful song.

    I don’t really play the piano. Well, not in the normal sense. I can learn a song note by note and then sit down and play it from memory, but I can’t read music to save my life (not while playing, anyway). Nevertheless I searched for the sheet music online, either to download or purchase but there was nothing. There was a torrent of the sheet music a while ago, apparently, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. Google returned a few results for some YouTube videos. After going through a couple of those I found one that shows step-by-step how to play the song. Bingo! Now all I needed was a piano…

    I purchased my Macbook last year and one of the first things I did was uninstall GarageBand. When I installed Leopard I decided to keep it this time and even spent a few minutes playing around to see what I could do. It sat unused for months until this weekend when I realized I could use it as my piano. There’s a neat mode that lets you use the keyboard to simulate the piano keys and works surprisingly well. I also played with the default piano sound to get much softer than default (turned down the velocity to about 23 and the release up to about 1 second). I started recording, tweaked things here and there and then ended up with what I thought sounded like a pretty good version of the real thing. I also repeatedly listened to the real thing to fill in some gaps in the YouTube videos (several subtleties that it took me dozens of listenings to sound out for myself).

    Now I wanted to share with everyone else who might have been searching for the sheet music just like me. I had no idea if this would work, but I went up to File > Print… and sure enough, I’ve got the sheet music! So, attached below is a PDF of the sheet music for Win One for the Reaper by Michael Giacchino (it has my name on the sheet simply because my name is in the computer, sorry Michael!). With a little modification this is also Life and Death. Listen to the soundtrack and you’ll be able to figure out the differences. Enjoy!

    Win One for the Reaper / Life and Death – Lost Soundtrack (pdf)

    Update Here’s an MP3 straight out of Garageband of myself playing the song. Had to tweak the default Grand Piano to make it softer and not nearly as bright:

    Win One for the Reaper (mp3)


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