Interview with Grammy award winner Christopher Tin whose most recent work “The Drop That Contained the Sea” premiered at Carnegie Hall with his thoughts on the creative process.
April 17, 2014
Interview questions by Andrea Nierenberg
Interview coordinated by Emilie Erskine of CW3PR www.cw3pr.com
Introduction provided by CW3PR:
Christopher Tin won a Grammy award for “Baba Yetu” (Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists), the first Grammy awarded to a Song composed for a video game(Civilization 4). “Baba Yetu” was included on Christopher’s debut album Calling All Dawns, which also won a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album.
Christopher’s new album The Drop That Contained the Sea is premiering at Carnegie Hall on April 13. The album features Tin’s expert use of song cycles, diverse musicians and choirs and different vocal languages and traditional. The 10 pieces each explore a different form of water. The album features over a dozen Grammy Award winning artists including The Sowesto Gospel Choir and Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares.
What was a strong influence in your life that started you on your path?
I was a huge music fan growing up, and coming from Northern California, I grew up largely on a steady diet of classic rock albums by bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who, and Led Zeppelin. I think that’s where I get my predilection for making concept albums… great albums like The Wall, Sgt. Pepper’s and Tommy.
How did you first become involved with the performing art world and why?
Aside from early childhood experiences in concerts and theatre, the most important milestone for me when I was younger was when I wrote a musical my senior year in high school. It gave me a taste of what it was like to nurture a project from idea to completed work, and I really developed a taste for broad and ambitious creative undertakings.
What has been the biggest breakthrough and given you the most joy with the what you have accomplished and built with your work?
My biggest breakthrough was probably the song ‘Baba Yetu’, written for Civilization IV. Professionally it was a huge turning point because it led to two Grammys, but creatively it was also one of the first times where I was really able to integrate a lot of my disparate training in classical and world music into one work.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
“Carry on, young Christopher. The end is always worth the journey.”
What are your hobbies-what do you do in your “free time”?
I watch and play hockey. I also enjoy playing video games with my wife.
Since you are both accomplished and respected in your profession and life, would you do anything else if given the opportunity and what would be your why?
I don’t plan on leaving the music business, even though I often complain about it. This is what I was born to do.
What are some questions that you would want asked of you and what would be the answer?
Q: How much travel did you do for this album?
A: A ton. Since starting it, I went to Istanbul, Sofia, Dubai, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, New York, Washington DC, and London three times.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to be You in their lifetime?
Don’t ever bother trying to be someone else… be you. Be the best version of you you can be!
What are some things that you wished you knew before you learned through the school of hard knocks- if there are any?
I don’t think there’s a substitute for experience. There’s a big difference between being warned about something, and going through it yourself. Lessons are best learned in the first person–the only thing I can say is to be the type of person who can rebound from failure, because failure is a part of life, and the people with the best success stories are the ones who know how to learn from their mistakes.
What have I not asked you that you would like to share with my readers?
The album is available at www.christophertin.com !