Christopher Tin: The Drop of Dawn
The Drop of Dawn unites two large-scale, multi-lingual choral and orchestral works: the world premiere of The Drop That Contained The Sea, and a performance of Tin’s Calling All Dawns, whose opening movement, “Baba Yetu,” is the first piece of music written for a video game to win a Grammy Award.
Performing with the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Singers International, which features choruses chosen from across the US, Canada and England, and conducted by DCINY Artistic Director Jonathan Griffith, is an array of singers and world music artists including mezzo-sopranos Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek (of Anonymous 4) and Charity Dawson, tenor Saum Eskandani, Indian Classical vocalist Roopa Mahadevan, Mongolian pop star Nominjin, and Portuguese fado singer Nathalie Pires.
The Drop That Contained the Sea is a collection of works composed between 2012 and 2014, commissioned by DCINY and other organizations. “The title comes from a Sufi concept,” says Tin, explaining, “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.” Different sections evoke water in different forms, such as clouds, rain, and snow, and are arranged in the order that water flows through the world, from snow to mountain streams, streams become rivers, and rivers pouring into the ocean. Each of the 10 pieces is sung in a different language, starting with Proto-Indo-European, the ancestral root of most modern languages, and spanning out to others including Bulgarian, Xhosa, Sanskrit, and Lango.
A 12-part song-cycle in three movements, Calling All Dawns journeys from joy to darkest sorrow and mystery, and back to triumph and exultation. Movements named day, night , night and dawn correspond with the phases of life, death, and rebirth. A total of twelve different languages are represented, including Swahili, Mandarin, Hebrew, Irish, and Farsi, with texts both sacred and secular. Calling All Dawns’ first movement, “Baba Yetu,” was originally composed for the video game Civilization IV.
Following his undergraduate education at Stanford University, Christopher Tin won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London where he earned a MMus with Distinction, winning the Horovitz Composition Prize. His music has been performed by orchestras including the National Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and Metropole Orchestra. His music for video games includes Civilization IV and Pirates Of The Caribbean Online, in addition to working on Hollywood blockbusters X2: X-Men United and Lilo and Stitch 2.
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