2K Games and Firaxis Games are proud to congratulate composer Christopher Tin for writing the first piece of music for a video game to ever receive a Grammy nomination. Tin’s beloved “Baba Yetu,” commissioned specifically for the award-winning Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, has been nominated in the category of “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists,” while the album in which the track appears, Calling All Dawns, has received a nomination in the category of “Best Classical Crossover Album.”
“Working on Sid Meier’s Civilization IV was a thrill for me – not only because it was a game that I grew up playing obsessively, but because it was my first-ever video game job,” said Christopher Tin, composer for Sid Meier’s Civilization IV. “Firaxis gave me the time, space, and means to create something unique and special – you can’t ask for better creative conditions as a composer. I look forward to working with them again and again, from now until the end of… well, civilization.”
Making headlines and forging new ground over the past 20 years, the Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is one of the most beloved gaming franchises of all-time, and this historical achievement adds to the wealth of accomplishments earned by the series. Sid Meier’s Civilization IV is one of the most cherished games of the past decade due to its trademark “just one more turn” gameplay that has entertained millions of gamers worldwide. Tin’s universally praised “Baba Yetu” is a beautiful aural experience that perfectly articulates the excitement and wonder of setting forth on a path to discovering a beautiful and emerging world.
Originally composed for Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, “Baba Yetu” achieved great success after the game’s release, first winning two Game Audio Network Guild awards for video game music, and then becoming one of the most popular and frequently performed pieces of video game music ever written. It became a fixture of the Video Games Live touring concert series, and was played during performances at the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Royal Festival Hall, and many other renowned venues. It was also used in the opening ceremonies of the World Games of 2009 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and as a featured segment in the choreographed Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest interactive water feature.
In composing “Baba Yetu,” Christopher Tin tapped into the rich history of African choral music. Missionaries of the 19th-century used Swahili as the lingua franca for spreading Christianity across East Africa. As a result, a rich tradition of vocal music arose that blended European harmonies with traditional African call-and-response. “Baba Yetu” literally means “Our Father,” and is a Swahili translation of The Lord’s Prayer. Tin re-recorded the song in 2009 as an overture to Calling All Dawns, and supplemented it with 11 companion pieces in 11 other languages, including Japanese, Farsi, Hebrew, Maori and more.
Sid Meier’s Civilization IV is currently available for PC and Mac and is rated E10+ by the ESRB.
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