Music of the Week: March 24, 2023: Christopher Tin – Waloyo Yamoni

Christopher Tin: Live at Cadogan Hall - Waloyo Yamoni

Christopher Tin: Live at Cadogan Hall – Waloyo Yamoni

Please switch on captions for English lyrics!

Christopher Tin conducts one of his own works, here performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a union of three professional choirs. Many will know award-winning composer Christopher Tin for his film and video game music, especially the theme song of Civilization IV—Baba Yetu, which is the “Our Father” in Swahili. It won the Grammy Awards in 2011.

Less known, yet a breathtaking composition for orchestra and choir is this prayer for rain and the blessing of the people sung in the Lango language of East Africa—”We Overcome the Wind”. The track forms the grand finale of an album about the life cycle and preciousness of water containing ten songs based on ancient texts in ten different languages.

The powerful choir and the soloists give a superb performance, in particular Jimmer Bolden whose voice is full of consciousness and benevolence as he conveys this litany of asking for rain.

This week marked the vernal equinox and the return of Spring to the Northern hemisphere which is the beginning of autumn, the season of the harvest in the South. Let the peoples and generations of wisdom of Africa be blessed with a full harvest of prosperity and peace, and let all nations “overcome this wind”.

Waloyo yamoni. (Waloyo.) 
Wan wamito kot ochwe, oony akirok chutok Oami! 
In, kot, alami ichwe. Ka i chwe, beber. 

Ka monwa olelo (ber) 
Ka atino oleo (ber) 
Ka awobi owero (ber) 
Ka adwong olelo (ber) 

Eryamita ka jigi jigi. 
Eryam, alech alelech. 
Ka kot adok Burutok 
Ka yamo adok Burutok 

Alech alelech. 
Ilech. Opong. 
Ilech i dula. 
Kalwa opong dero. 

English Translation: 
We overcome this wind. (We overcome.) We desire the rain to fall, that it be poured in showers quickly. Ah! Thou rain, I adjure thee fall. If thou rainest, it is well. If our women rejoice (it is well). If the children rejoice (it is well). If the young men sing (it is well). If the aged rejoice (it is well). A drizzling confusion. Confusion, a torrent in flow. If the rain veers to the south. If the wind veers to the south. A torrent in flow. Overflowing. May it fill. An overflowing in the granary. May our grain fill the granaries.


Christopher Tin’s Homepage

Christopher Tin on Wikipedia

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