Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Calling All Dawns / Baba Yetu x 12!

Baba Yetu is the name of the song that is played when one first starts the popular computer game Civilization IV. The music was so good that I wrote to its composer Christopher Tin 4 years ago and actually got a detailed reply. He was the first 'famous' musician who had replied to my queries so I promised myself that I would buy all his future albums from then on.

Well last month, Christopher released his first album called Calling All Dawns which was four years in the making. I preordered it; the autographed limited edition 'CD jacket' even has a serial number!

Anyway, if we say that Baba Yetu has been an epic achievement, then Dawns is Baba Yetu x 12! (There are 12 tracks.) From Chris' website:
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. In short, it's 5 songs about life, 3 songs about death, and 4 songs about rebirth. There are songs of joy, mystery, and hardship, reflecting the complexity of our mortal selves. 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 songs are sung in 12 languages. It starts off with Baba Yetu in Swahili, continued by the Japanese 窓から見える (Mado Kara Mieru, Through The Window I See) adapted from a haiku. I'll bet my shirt that this second track is the most majestic piece of haiku ever set to music. It's just incredible.

This is followed by a Chinese piece based on Chapter 40 of the Tao Te Ching. The rest of the album consists of music in Portuguese, French, Latin, Irish, Polish, Hebrew, Farsi, Sanskrit and Maori. My feeling is that the producers of Civilization V already have their soundtrack all ready to go, and they need only to package the game with this CD. It goes so well together with the United Nations wonder in the game.

If you haven't heard Baba Yetu before, here's a video of what you'll see in the game. I really like this version with the percussion. Each time thousands of Civilization IV players start the game, there's nothing much to do except to look at the starting menu and enjoy the moving clouds and awesome music.

Here's a new official video that's released a few days ago. The animation from the game is so good!

There are lots of samples at the website. The most exciting parts are often right at the end so you'll need to buy the CD or MP3 tracks. I hope Chris doesn't need to take four years to come up with another album. But I've a feeling it'll take that long to produce such a powerful and classy album. More epic please! LOL

More Baba Yetu goodness

1 comment:

Limmy said...


Happy New Year! =) Maybe you can update your blog ONCE before school starts! Have a great year ahead!