Biography

Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer.

He writes music for the concert hall, but also for film, video games and commercials. His albums have reached #1 on the Billboard charts, his songs have been sampled by rappers and covered by trance acts, and he's had entire concerts at Carnegie Hall devoted to his music. He also collaborates with a wide variety of artists: from electronic music pioneers, to opera legends, to international stars of world music.

He made history with his song “Baba Yetu,” winning the first Grammy ever awarded to a piece of music written for a video game (Civilization IV) — then made history again by winning the last ever Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album (for Calling All Dawns). He followed that album up in 2014 with another fusion of world and classical music, The Drop That Contained the Sea, debuting at #1 on Billboard's classical charts, and premiering to a sold out audience at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium.

Tin grew up in northern California, firmly grounded in classical music, but with a heavy musical wanderlust: playing in jazz combos, writing musicals for his classmates, and obsessively listening to '70s classic rock concept albums. As he got older he supplemented his formal training by studying the music and languages of different cultures, but also by immersing himself in the underground rave scene of '90s San Francisco. He did his undergraduate composition studies at Stanford and Oxford; then won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London, where he graduated at the head of his class.

He now lives and works in Santa Monica, where he serves as a Governor of the LA Chapter of the Recording Academy.

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Awards

2 GRAMMY Awards
2 Game Audio Network Guild Awards*
2 Independent Music Awards*
USA Songwriting Competition Winner*
International Songwriting Competition, 1st Place
Regional Emmy Award: Best Historical Feature*
John Lennon Songwriting Contest Finalist
GameSpy: Best Music (H/M)
Archaeological Channel Film Festival (H/M)
RCM Horovitz Composition Prize Winner
Sundance Composer's Fellowship

Press

"When I first heard about an unusual classical album — devoted to a droplet of water moving from snow to a mountain stream to the ocean and back to the clouds — performed in 10 languages, I thought it might be a bit much. Then I heard the music. I was hooked." - Jason Margolis, PRI's The World
"This year's Grammy Awards will be remembered as a musical milestone for the video game industry and Christopher Tin. The 34-year-old composer from Santa Monica, Calif. won two Grammys for "Baba Yetu", a song he composed for 2K Games' Civilization IV and for a follow-up album that was inspired by the game. It's the first time that video game music has ever been awarded a Grammy." - Wall Street Journal
"What good is global domination without a great soundtrack? The 2005 hit Civilization IV got "Baba Yetu," as its rousing, anthemic theme song, courtesy of composer Christopher Tin." - Time Magazine
"Commissioning and performing one of the pieces in the project gave me a fresh perspective on how a gifted composer like Tin finds his voice as an artist and hones his vision for a project even in the face of challenging circumstances and multiple revisions... the experience of being inside Tin’s compelling and unpretentious creative process was exhilarating." - David Rutherford, Colorado Public Radio
"His piece, Baba Yetu, for Civilization IV, combined orchestral elements with strong African vocals, joyfully suggesting the cradle of life itself, instead of the more militaristic sounds one might associate with a strategy game about conquering... The sound is of a burgeoning, evolving civilisation itself, peaking in imperial crescendo before, appropriately enough, dying out." - Lucy Prebble, The Guardian
"Tin knows his craft. He certainly knows all the tropes that make those blockbuster soundtracks succeed... This was my first contact with what I would later discover was the prodigious breadth of Tin’s interests in different forms of music, not only on a global scale but also on a commercial one, since he was just as capable of writing music for video games as turning out this delightfully intimate little song..." - Stephen Smoliar, Examiner
"Composer Christopher Tin's "Baba Yetu," originally written for the video game Civilization IV, has been nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). It's the first time music written for a game has been nominated for anything at the Grammys. And a well-deserved first it is." - The Atlantic
But beyond the massive success of his Civilization IV theme “Baba Yetu,” Tin’s career in classical composition has earned him equal — if not more — praise from the recording industry. His 2009 classical crossover album Calling All Dawns also won a Grammy the same year as “Baba Yetu.” His newest album, The Drop That Contained the Sea, premiered at Carnegie Hall this past April before releasing at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical charts in May. - VentureBeat
"The opening theme to Civilization IV took home videogame music’s first ever Grammy award last night… “Baba Yetu” is a standout piece of music — always one of the highlights of [the Video Games Live] concerts, for me — and richly deserving of the award." - Wired

Videos

Behind-the-scenes, music videos and clips from scores.

The Drop That Contained the Sea

A theme and variations on water.

The Drop That Contained the Sea is a collection of commissioned works on the theme of water. Each of the 10 pieces is sung in a different language, exploring a different vocal tradition: Bulgarian women's choirs, Mongolian throat singing, and Portuguese fado, to name just a few. Each piece also deals with water in a different form, arranged in the order that water flows through the world: melting snow, mountain streams, rivers, the ocean, and so forth. And like Calling All Dawns, the end of the album flows back into the beginning, reflecting the endless nature of the water cycle.

The title The Drop That Contained the Sea comes from a Sufi concept: in the same way that every drop of water contains the essence of the sea, inside every human is the essence of all of humanity. In keeping with this idea I've introduced a water theme in the prelude, and woven subtle variations throughout the album. It contains all seven notes of a major scale-four descending and three ascending-mirroring the flow of water through our world, and representing the vast ocean of melodic possibility contained within a single scale.

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Calling All Dawns

A song cycle about life.

Calling All Dawns is a song-cycle in three movements: day, night and dawn. Each movement corresponds to a different phase of life--life, death, and rebirth. There are songs of joy, mystery, and hardship, reflecting the complexity of our mortality. There are songs of the deepest, darkest sorrow to accompany us through death. And finally, there are songs of triumph and exultation that bring us roaring back to life, beginning the cycle anew.

The twelve songs are sung in twelve languages, including Swahili, Mandarin, Hebrew, Irish, Farsi, and many more. The lyrics themselves come from a variety of sources, both sacred and secular: Japanese haiku, Maori proverbs, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita, and many more. Each song flows seamlessly into the next, and the album ends on the same chord that it opens with--thereby representing the fluid, cyclical nature of the universe. It carries a strong message of unity: that regardless of race, culture and religious belief, we are all connected through our common human experience.

Download Booklet

Featured Artists:

Baba Yetu


Mado Kara Mieru



Dao Zai Fan Ye

Se É Pra Vir Que Venha

Rassemblons-Nous

Caoineadh


Hymn do Trójcy Świętej

Hayom Kadosh

Hamsáfár

Sukla-Krsne


Kia Hora Te Marino

Soweto Gospel Choir
Solo: Ron Ragin

Lia
Aoi Tada
Kaori Omura

Jia Ruhan

Dulce Pontes

Maurice Williams

Anonymous 4
Solo: Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek

Frederica von Stade

Cait McWhir

Sussan Deyhim

Roopa Mahadevan
Misha Chowdhury

Jerome Kavanagh

Download Booklet Part I: Day
Baba Yetu
Mado Kara Mieru
Dao Zai Fan Ye
Se É Pra Vir Que Venha
Rassemblons-Nous
Part II: Night
Lux Aeterna
Caoineadh
Hymn do Trójcy Świętej
Part III: Dawn
Hayom Kadosh
Hamsáfár
Sukla-Krsne
Kia Hora Te Marino

God of Love

Renaissance poetry reinvented as trip-hop.

Stereo Alchemy is Christopher Tin's electronic collaboration with producer Kametron. Their debut album is God of Love--a collection of 10 songs based on Renaissance and Romantic era poetry, by writers such as Christina Rossetti, John Donne, and Lord Byron. They describe their signature sound as 'decadent electronica'--a blend of trip hop, post punk, and synth pop.

The album features guest vocals by singers Melissa R. Kaplan (of Universal Hall Pass and Splashdown), Mozez (of Zero 7), and Lia Rose (of Built for the Sea). The album was mixed by three-time Grammy-winning engineer Darrell Thorp (who mixes for Radiohead, Beck, and Paul McCartney) and mastered by Tom Baker (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson).

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Concerts

Email us your performance information, and we'll add it to the map.

Sheet Music

Links to scores for purchase or rental.

Store

Buy autographed CDs and more.

When you buy from our store, 100% of the proceeds go to supporting the creation of new music. (Learn More)
Image Example
Signed CD + MP3 $15+
Signed CD 4-Pack $50+
HD FLAC $15+
FLAC $10+
MP3 $10+
Water Prelude
FLACMP3
Haktan Gelen Serbeti
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Temen Oblak
FLACMP3
Iza Ngomso
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Tsas Narand Uyarna
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Passou o Verao
FLACMP3
Devipravaha
FLACMP3
Seirenes
FLACMP3
Haf Gengr Hridum
FLACMP3
Waloyo Yamoni
FLACMP3
Image Example
Signed CD + MP3 $15+
FLAC $10+
MP3 $10+
Baba Yetu
FLACMP3
Mado Kara Mieru
FLACMP3
Dao Zai Fan Ye
FLACMP3
Se E Pra Vir Que Venha
FLACMP3
Rassemblons-Nous
FLACMP3
Lux Aeterna
FLACMP3
Caoineadh
FLACMP3
Hymn do Trojcy Swietej
FLACMP3
Hayom Kadosh
FLACMP3
Hamsafar
FLACMP3
Sukla-Krsne
FLACMP3
Kia Hora Te Marino
FLACMP3
Signed Study Score $40+
Image Example
Signed CD + MP3 $15+
FLAC $10+
MP3 $10+
A Rapture
FLACMP3
Unbound
FLACMP3
God of Love
FLACMP3
She Walks in Beauty
FLACMP3
Is It Possible
FLACMP3
Monster of the Sky
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To Eternity
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My Heart's Fit to Break
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Young Lovers
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Love Is Love
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Contact

Say hello: mail[at]christophertin.com
and join the mailing list for a free download of 'Iza Ngomso'

Management

Sheet Music

Licensing (Master/Sync)