Christopher Tin - Mado Kara Meiru
For most of this past year, I have been plotting together and fleshing out a world for Dungeons & Dragons, which I have never played as either a player or Dungeon Master. As with most things that I do, I jumped in head first and got very obsessive over my campaign. To fuel my obsession, I dove into a lot more fantasy-related media, including music for when I was brainstorming ideas. This is when I found the 'Calling All Dawns' debut album by Christopher Tin.
I was recommended Christopher Tin from a friend back a few years ago. All I knew of him then was that he wrote the amazing song 'Baba Yetu' featured on the Civilization 5 soundtrack. Baba Yetu was the very first video game song to not only be nominated for a Grammy, but to go on to win one as well. Despite the amazing single, I started the album with relatively low expectations. I could not have been more wrong.
The entire album works as a beautiful overall piece, that is held together by returning melodies mixed into shifting tones. The album is instrumental, but manages to stay interesting throughout. My favourite song 'Mado Kara Meiru' seems to represent the album as a whole. The soft introduction gives a beautiful repeating melody that builds up and takes you on a journey while still holding together as a single piece.
Originally, my post would have ended there, but as I researched the song I discovered how deep and thoughtful 'Calling All Dawns' was. Each song on the album is in a different language, which I picked up on, but never gave much thought. The album as a whole goes through a life, death and rebirth cycle with each song playing into this theme. 'Mado Kara Meiru' is a Japanese song that mirrors the same life cycle by using the seasons as metaphor. Each of the 5 parts of the song are small poems that describe a different season, starting from and ending back on spring. There is, of course, much much more that could be discussed about this brilliant song and album, but I fell in love with this song at face value, and hope you will to.