AAP staff report
Los Angeles (Feb. 13, 2011) – Composer Christopher Tin received Grammy Awards in both of the categories he was nominated in Sunday at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards Sunday, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was also a good night for several other Asian composers and performers.
Tin’s debut classical, world fusion album ‘Calling All Dawns’ (Tin Works Publishing) won for ‘Best Classical Crossover Album’, and the ‘Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists’ for his hit song ‘Baba Yetu’.
The other nominees in the Classical Crossover category included The Silk Road Ensemble for Off The Map (World Village); Matt Haimovitz for Meeting Of The Spirits (Oxingale Records); Roots – My Life, My Song with Jessye Norman (Sony Classical); and Bobby McFerrin for Vocabularies (Emarcy/Universal).
The other nominees in the Instrumental Arrangement category included Baby by Roger Treece on the Vocabularies album (Emarcy); Vince Mendoza for the tittle track of Based On A Thousand True Stories (Sony); Geoffrey Keezer for Don’t Explain from the When Lights Are Low album (Savant Records); Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein for Imagine from The Imagine Project (Hancock Records)
‘Calling All Dawns’ features the collaborative efforts of over 200 musicians from around the world, singing poems and prayers in 12 different languages. Performers include legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, the Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir, early music singers Anonymous 4, Iranian-born Sussan Deyhim, Portuguese fado singer Dulce Pontes, Chinese soprano Jia Ruhan, and Japanese pop singers Lia, Aoi Tada and Kaori Omura.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Lucas Richman, performs the orchestral accompaniment. The album was mixed and recorded by Grammy-winning engineer John Kurlander at Abbey Road Studios.
The opening song ‘Baba Yetu (feat. Soweto Gospel Choir)’ is well known to video game aficionados as the theme song to the popular game ‘Civilization IV’. Originally written for the game, it has since become a crossover hit outside of the video game industry, and has received close to 1000 live concert performances both from local and professional choirs, and as a staple of the Video Games Live concert tour.
Tin’s nomination marks the first time ever that a piece of music written for a video game has received Grammy recognition.
Christopher Tin is primarily a composer for film, video games and advertising. Despite this being his first album, Tin has an eclectic career that spans film, television, video games, advertising and the record industry.
A native Californian of Chinese descent, he still resides in Santa Monica. He was educated at Stanford University and Oxford University in England, where he studied Music Composition, Conducting, and English Literature.
Tin continued studies at the Royal College of Music in London with a Fulbright Scholarship. There, he earned an MMus with Distinction, graduating with the highest marks in his class, and winning the Horovitz Composition Prize. He is also a Sundance Institute fellow.
Mitsuko Uchida won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra) for ‘Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 23 & 24’ (Decca) with the Cleveland Orchestra.
Uchida was born in Japan to diplomat parents and lived in Austria as a child and so studied music at the Vienna Academy of Music. Today she is a naturalized British citizen and records and performs extensively worldwide.
In the ‘Best Opera Recording’ category, Kent Nagano conducted the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, along with Rundfunkchor Berlin singers Daniel Belcher, Ekaterina Lekhina and Marie-Ange Todorovitch, that together won the Grammy for ‘Saariaho: L’Amour De Loin’, Martin Sauer, producer (Harmonia Mundi).
Kent George Nagano (www.kentnagano.com) is an American conductor and is currently director of the Ochestra Symphonique de Montreal and the Bavarian State Opera. He is married to pianist Mari Kodama and they have one daughter together.
Born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., Nagano studied sociology and music at UC-Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. He returned to conduct the Opera Company of Boston, and also conducted the Berkeley Symphony.
Nagano became known for his collaboration with rock music musician Frank Zappa, in bringing his orchestral composition to the London Symphony Orchestra. He has since collaborated with Iceland pop star Bjork in live performances.
The ‘Best Hawaiian Music Album’ Grammy went to Tia Carrere for her ‘Huana Ke Aloha’ CD (Daniel Ho Creations). Born and raised in Honolulu, Carrere has expanded her horizons as an accomplished actor in motion pictures and television to become a Grammy award-winning musical artist.
This is Carrere’s fourth Grammy nomination and her third win. Her 2007 album, ‘Hawaiiana’, was nominated, and she won Grammy’s in 2009 for her album ‘Ikena’, and in 2011 for her album “Huana Ke Aloha.”
Also nominated were, Amy Hanaiali’i And Slack Key for ‘Masters Of Hawaii’ (Peterson Productions); ‘Polani’ from Daniel Ho (Daniel Ho Creations); ‘The Legend’ from Ledward Kaapana (Rhythm & Roots Records); and ‘Maui On My Mind – Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar’ from Jeff Peterson (Peterson Productions).
Chinese/Greek American tenor Nicholas Phan, along with Kyle Ketelsen and Roxana Constantinescu, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez were nominated for ‘Best Orchestral Performance’ with Stravinsky: Pulcinella; Symphony In Three Movements; Four Études (CSO Resound). However, the Grammy went to ‘Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony; Deus Ex Machina’ (Naxos), with Terrence Wilson and Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor Nashville Symphony.
Phan (www.nicholas-phan.com) is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and also studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Qing-Yang Xiao, art director, was nominated in the Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package’ category for her work on Story Island (Wind Music). However, the Grammy went to Rob Jones & Jack White III, art directors on Under Great White Northern Lights, Limited Edition Box Set from The White Stripes. (Third Man/Warner Bros.)
‘Story Island: Illustrating Mother Nature’s Beauty and Wrath’ is a continuous effort by a design team to represent the incessant changes in our environment. It is the 4th Grammy Awards nomination for Taiwan native Qing-Yang Xiao in the album design category.
There are 13 paper-cutting artworks in this music album to accompany the music of Cin-Cin Lee, including pictures of the pest-infested land, an island destroyed by hurricane, the global warming crisis, beautiful buildings, Grandpa’s betel-wrapping hands, the flying-fish festival on a volcanic island, children, animals symbolizing peace, and others.
Xiao has designed more than 1,000 music album covers. (http://storyisland-qing-yang-xiao.com)
Pioneering Asian American comedian Margaret Cho was nominated in the ‘Best Comedy Album’ category for her ‘Cho Dependent’ CD.
Cho Dependent is Cho’s the sixth comedy album – but her first studio album and her debut with Clownery Records. It features several song recordings in collaboration with several of Cho’s music celebrity friends such as Fiona Apple. However, the Grammy went to Lewis Black for his ‘Stark Raving Black’ album (Comedy Central Records).
Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon was nominated in the ‘Best Contemporary World Music Album’ for her ‘Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call’ album (Soul Chants Music). However, the Grammy went to Béla Fleck for ‘Throw Down Your Heart , Africa Sessions Part 2’ (Acoustic Planet Records).
Tandon is an Indian native who moved to the United States several years ago. She is renowned as a carnatic vocalist.
‘Pure Sounds’ from the Gyuto Monks Of Tibet (New Earth Records) was nominated as ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’. However, the Grammy went to Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté for their ‘Ali And Toumani’ CD (World Circuit/Nonesuch).
Grammy winning instrumentalist and composer Kitaro (Masanori Takahashi) was nominated for in the Best New Age Album’ category for his ‘Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 4’ album (Domo Records). However, the Grammy went to the Paul Winter Consort for ‘Miho: Journey To The Mountain’ (Living Music).
Also nominated were, Michael Brant DeMaria for ‘Ocean’ (Ontos Music); R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Will Clipman for ‘Dancing Into Silence’ (Canyon Records); and Zamora for ‘Instrumental Oasis, Vol. 4’ (Z-Records).
Grammy winners and nominees information obtained from lists provided online by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. at www.grammy.com.