Who Is Grammy-Winning Composer Christopher Tin?

Christopher Tin: movies, compositions and albums. Find out more about the composer of ‘Baba Yetu’ and his new album ‘To Shiver The Sky’.

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Christopher Tin composer photo
Composer Christopher Tin. Photo: Decca Gold/Alfredo Chocano

Who is Christopher Tin?

Christopher Tin is an American composer, best known for his film and video game scores. In 2011 his theme song ‘Baba Yetu’ became the first piece of video game music to win a Grammy Award.

The composer has just signed to Decca Gold and announced his new album, To Shiver The Sky, will be released in August 2020.

Christopher Tin - ‘To Shiver the Sky’ (Album Trailer)

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Christopher Tin is from California and studied at Stanford and Oxford Universities as well as the Royal College of Music, London. He later went on to work as a staff arranger for Silva Screen Records and to do an internship with Hans Zimmer.

Which movies has Christopher Tin scored?

Christopher Tin has written music for a number of movies and documentaries including Crazy Rich Asians, Sausage Party, Tess, MLK Boulevard, Another Day In Paradise and The Lost Bird Project.

Which video games has Christopher Tin scored?

Christopher is best known for his music for video games, which includes the scores for Civilization IV (which includes ‘Baba Yetu’) and Civilization VI – including the choral anthem ‘Sogno Di Volare’ (‘The Dream Of Flight’).

‘Baba Yeta’ is a choral setting of a Swahili translation of the Lord’s Prayer. The piece has gone on to become one of the best-known pieces of video game music and is credited with doing much to change the music industry’s attitude towards video game music.

It’s been performed by ensembles around the world and has even featured in America’s Got Talent.

‘Sogno Di Volare’, or ‘The Dream Of Flight’ is another monumental choral piece written for the Civilization game franchise – this time for Civilization VI.

It’s inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s writings on flight. In a statement, Christopher Tin said he wanted the piece to encapsulate the “essence of exploration; both the physical exploration of seeing new lands, but also the mental exploration of expanding the frontiers of science and philosophy.”

Christopher Tin’s To Shiver The Sky

To Shiver The Sky will be Christopher Tin’s first album on Decca Gold. He said the album was “an oratorio about the history of flight, and mankind’s quest to conquer the heavens.”

The 11 tracks are each based on the life stories of some of history’s greatest astronomers, inventors, visionaries and pilots.

One track, ‘Sogno Di Volare’ (‘The Dream Of Flight’) will be familiar to video game music fans – it featured on Civilization VI. Christopher said: “The inspirational main theme serves as a recurring motif throughout the album, periodically returning after moments of darkness and despair.”

Sogno di Volare (“The Dream of Flight”)

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Christopher Tin’s Albums

Christopher Tin has released two albums so far: Calling All Dawns, his debut recording, came out in 2009. The album is an epic song-cycle exploring themes of life, death and rebirth in a wide range of languages and musical styles. There are songs in Swahili, French, Persian and Maori, among others.

The composer’s second album, The Drop That Contained The Sea, was released in 2014. As with his first album The Drop That Contained The Sea is a choral album and features many different languages. It features performances by the Soweto Gospel Choir, Norwegian choir Schola Contorum and contemporary Turksih group Kardeş Türküler.

Christopher Tin’s new album, To Shiver The Sky, will be released by Decca Gold on 21 August 2020 and can be pre-ordered here.

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