Baba yetu, yetu uliye, Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina...Calling All Dawns
is a 2009 classical album, and the debut album of composer Christopher Tin. Recently, he was known for producing the first piece of video game music to win a Grammy, Baba Yetu,
with a rerecorded version included on this album.
The album consists of three movements:
Day, night, and dawn. These correspond to life, death, and rebirth, respectively, and each song is written accordingly. Notably, despite there being a total of twelve tracks on the disk, each one fades into one another
in a way that makes it feel like one continuous song, effectively playing along with the life cycle theme of the album.
The album, self-published by Tin himself, was released to universal acclaim, even winning a pair of Grammys in the process, and for once there's a good reason for that. Each song is very well-produced, with a consistent level of quality throughout, and the guest vocalists and choir give it a distinctly different feel from what is normally expected. Impressively, one group did a cover of Mado Kara Mieru before it was even released
. Overall, it's definitely worth buying.
The album can be bought at the artist's website,
and also on Amazon, where all reviews save one give it 5 stars. The single 4-star review has nothing bad to say, either.
Tropes seen in Calling All Dawns include:
- Animated Music Video: Sort of. The Baba Yetu music video uses CGI cutscenes from Civilization IV, to surprisingly great effect.note
- African Chant: Baba Yetu to some extent, as it's just the Lord's Prayer sung in Swahili.
- Award Bait Song: Baba Yetu in particular, which actually won Emmy awards and a Grammy.
- Bilingual Bonus: Every song seen in the album. Thankfully, the included booklet contains the translated lyrics.
- Book Ends: The opening to Baba Yetu, the first song, is played at the end of Kia Hora Te Marino, the very last song, resetting the cycle again.
- Concept Album: The summary more or less tells you why.
- Cue the Sun: Hayom Kadosh.
- Despair Event Horizon: Hymn do Trójcy Świętej, or "how Polish culture got so close to this so many times."
- Do Not Go Gentle: Rassemblons-Nous, to provide a counterpoint to Se É Pra Vir Que Venha, to revolt against death guns blazing. Appropriately enough, the song is in French.
- Epic Rocking: The album begins with Baba Yetu, which sums up the message perfectly, and ends with Kia Hora Te Marino, a pretty effective peace anthem. Both songs also echo the triumphant tone of the album.
- Fading into the Next Song: it's intended to be heard as an uninterrupted 55-minute song, after all. That said, there's only a few songs where the fade into/out of the previous or next song is really obvious.
- Four Is Death: Inverted. The night movement consists of three songs, while the following movement consists of four.
- Genre Roulette: appropriate for the different cultures of the songs, the music subtly shifts in style for each song. Special mention for the use of synthesized drums in only one song, Rassemblons-Nous.
- Grief Song: Caoineadh, literally meaning "To Cry," which is about a woman mourning the loss of her husband. The style of music seen here is often sung at funerals, for added oomph.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Aoi Tada, better known for Radical Edward, is one of the lead singers of Mado Kara Mieru.
- Hope Springs Eternal: The dark Night Movement may have pretty much blotted out the light, but it comes back in full force through sheer hope. The Dawn Movement in general is a pretty hopeful section of the album.
- Hindu Mythology: The lyrics for Sukla-Krsne is an excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita, specifically Krishna explaining to the prince of the two paths to the afterlife. This fits within the greater theme of the album, the cycle of life and death.
- It's the Journey That Counts: Hamsáfár. The title even translates to Journey Together!
- Lyrical Dissonance: Well, since all of the songs are in other languages, it is to be expected.
- Mood Whiplash: The mostly upbeat Day movement is followed by the somber Night movement, and then followed by the hopeful Dawn movement.
- Between songs, its not unusual for songs that come after another to be different in tone to the previous song. The best instance is the two song ending to the day movement, intentionally presenting two very different opinions on death in a matter of eight minutes and 43 seconds.
- Not Afraid to Die: The narrator of Se É Pra Vir Que Venha, a song about accepting death with grace.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Averted with the actual Latin song Lux Aeterna. True, different languages make up the song cycle, but the mood is never ominous.
- One-Woman Wail: The opening of Hamsáfár.
- Reality Subtext: The material used often has historical significance within the context of the culture represented.
- Recurring Riff: A few, notably the four-note sequence, do-sol-fa-mi, which shows up throughout the cycle.
- Recycled Soundtrack: The album's music was reused for the Civilization Facebook spin-off Civ World. Unlike other examples, this was prominently advertised, they even have a link to buy the album within the game itself.
- Rule of Symbolism: pretty much throughout.
- Rule of Three
- Shown Their Work: With few exceptions, much of the material used as lyrics acts as a great Genius Bonus for educated listeners.
- Sleeper Hit: Especially notable in that it was only sold online in a few select stores, including Tin's very own website.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Fluctuates between both sides song-to-song, leaning on the idealistic side.
- Spiritual Successor: Tin's second album, God of Love, despite a Genre Shift to techno(mostly from Trip Hop and Post Punk), follows a similar theme of Love and Death, and also draws upon poetry and literature, mostly from the Renaissance and Romantic periods. It's also far Darker and Edgier than Calling All Dawns.