Christopher Tin
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Q

No question, Just wanted to thank you for your beautiful music!


Christopher Tin responded on 12/02/2019
A

Thank you!

Q

Are you coming to the Netherlands as well for the making of your third Album? Kind regards, Hui Jiang


Christopher Tin responded on 12/02/2019
A

Unfortunately not, although Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world!

Q

Please hold a show in Australia. Please please please 🇦🇺 🙏


Christopher Tin responded on 12/02/2019
A

Someday I'd love to!

Q

Hello again! I'm that italian student from last time (the one who asked about the marimba part of Baba Yetu). I've just received my Calling All Dawns study score, and there are two things I wanted to say about it. First one is that I love reading it, of course, but I had no doubt I would have liked it in the first place, having appreciated the album so much. Second one is... being finally able to study the study score (no pun intended) I've noticed that you don't mind creating parallel octaves and fifths in chord voicing and linking. Now, I can understand that avoiding that is an old-fashioned rule, and it doesn't actually affect music perception that much, given how our ears have got used to this kind of simplifications. However, I was wondering if you have deliberately chosen not to follow this rule (and why) or if you simply don't mind. I know that this is another strange question, maybe even more than the previous one, but I'm just curious.


Christopher Tin responded on 12/02/2019
A

Very good question!

Parallel fourths, fifths and octaves are only to be avoided in counterpoint. If chords are moving around in blocks, you're inevitably going to have parallel 4ths, 5ths, and 8ves... and that's not really an issue. However, when you're writing counterpoint, the goal is to always give a sense of independent motion to all the voices, and so you have to always avoid parallel 4ths/5ths/8ves, as well as obey all the other rules that make for good counterpoint--contrary motion, allowing voices to take turns moving, etc.

Q

Hello Christopher ! I am a nineteen years old musician and my biggest dream is to compose orchestral music. What could you recommand as a neophyte like me ? Thanks for your music who remind me why I love music,
Greetings from Belgium


Christopher Tin responded on 12/02/2019
A

Writing for sampled orchestra is generally as simple as buying some software! To write for live orchestra, however, it helps to study orchestration, usually in university. Conducting also helps... there's no better training for writing for orchestra than just to be around orchestras a lot!

Q

When composing, do you typically begin with a melody or a chord progression first?


Christopher Tin responded on 12/02/2019
A

They both sort of happen at the same time to be honest! A melody without some sort of harmonic context doesn't really make sense. One thing I don't ever do is just come up with harmonies and then write melodies around them, though. That leads to really generic music.

Q

When composing, do you begin with a melody, or figure out the chords first, or some of both or neither?


Christopher Tin responded on 09/05/2019
A

They usually happen simultaneously. I think writing a chord progession in isolation is a little silly, personally.

Q

Hello mr. Tin, I'm a young music student from Italy, dreaming to become a composer one day. I can certainly say you are one of my favourite (currently alive) composers, a paragon of what one can do if both truly inspired and well-prepared. In particular, I've always loved your music for Civ 4. Coronation is really fascinating (and I would love taking a look at the score) and Baba Yetu is even more. Now, the live version of Baba Yetu is slightly different frome the in-game one, lacking for example the marimba part. I suppose it would be difficult to hear it in a live concert, but I love how it turns the general atmosphere of the piece more "tribal". Since I will probably buy the Calling All Dawns study score, I suppose I won't find any marimba part for Baba Yetu in it, but taking a look at it would be awesome. Would it be possible in any way to get the score of the original version or just only that specific part? Anyway, thanks for reading and keep making us dream with your pieces!


Christopher Tin responded on 08/20/2019
A

Wow! Very specific question!

Truth is, I have no idea what that marimba part is. When I first delivered Baba Yetu to Firaxis in 2005, I gave them each instrument on a separate stem, with a bunch of live recorded percussion that's similar to what you hear on Calling All Dawns. When the game came out, I discovered that their audio leads had taken away my live recorded drums, and added that synth marimba part. So that was a bit of a surprise for me. But the short answer is, I don''t actually have that synth marimba part, and don't really know what it is. Years later when I did the Calling All Dawns version I added an mbira part under the second chorus, and that's reflected in the study score. Thanks for being a fan!

Q

Aside from the enjoyment of music, itself, what motivates your music? Your compositions capture the transcendent beauty of life and I'm curious where your knowledge of that beauty comes from.


Christopher Tin responded on 08/13/2019
A

Travel, having a family, meeting new people and having new adventures... and just keeping a happy, healthy attitude in life!