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Christopher Tin is an amazing classical music composer. Listening to a few minutes of his latest album, The Drop That Contained the Sea, inspired me to close my eyes and soak in the majesty of his music and the cultures represented by the different voices. Reading and hearing more about this album and his message inspired this Encore!.

According to his website, Christopher Tin composes music for film, video games, commercials and concerts. His choral song “Baba Yetu” won him the first ever Grammy® awarded to a piece of music written for a video game. How cool is that?

Here is a description of his latest album from his website:

The Drop That Contained the Sea is a collection of commissioned works on the theme of water. Each of the 10 pieces is sung in a different language, exploring a different vocal tradition: Bulgarian women’s choirs, Mongolian throat singing, and Portuguese fado, to name just a few. Each piece also deals with water in a different form, arranged in the order that water flows through the world: melting snow, mountain streams, rivers, the ocean, and so forth. And like Calling All Dawns, the end of the album flows back into the beginning, reflecting the endless nature of the water cycle.

An interesting interview with Jason Margolis for PRI’s The World noted a broad message in the album related to the environment (in addition to insights into Tin’s creative process and concepts). In “A classical music album about climate change is a surprise atop the charts,” posted on July 9, 2014, Tin notes:

“The message [of the album] is that, essentially, in the coming century water, and water management, is going to be the most important global issue to all people and across all countries,” Tin says, “Between melting Antarctic ice sheets and rising ocean levels and droughts and increased devastation from hurricanes and so forth, water is literally going to shape the way we draw our maps.”

Admittedly, the specific link to climate change in the music is tenuous, at best. However, who am I to argue with an artist who connects his work to the state of one of our most precious resources: water?

Whatever you think about the connection between Tin’s music and his message, there is a definite connection between water (quality and access) and public health. In addition the fact that our bodies need water to function, according to the World Health Organization’s website:

Safe water supplies, hygienic sanitation and good water management are fundamental to global health. Almost one tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by:

increasing access to safe drinking water;

  • improving sanitation and hygiene; and
  • improving water management to reduce risks of water-borne infectious diseases, and accidental drowning during recreation.

Annually, safer water could prevent:

  • 1.4 million child deaths from diarrhoea;
  • 500 000 deaths from malaria;
  • 860 000 child deaths from malnutrition; and
  • 280 000 deaths from drowning. 

Their site goes on to recommend measures to address these issues.

So, after you enjoy Tin’s wonderful water-inspired music, don’t forget the overall message. Even in the U.S., access to safe water can be a real challenge.

[tabby title=”U.S. Resources/Info”]

Infrastructure Task Force to Improve Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation in Indian country” (EPA.gov)

Drinking Water” (CDC.gov)
(including links for the Public, on Outbreak Response and to Drinking Water Advisories)

Detroit water shutoff protestors claim public health state of emergency” by Gus Burns on MLive on 7/15/14

California Drought (CA.gov)

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