Mohawk Games’ second title Old World is set in the cradle of civilization, and needed a score that combined elements of traditional Arabic music with contemporary post-classical sounds. So Christopher spent many hours learning about traditional Arabic music, even taking lessons from composer colleagues of Arab descent, to ensure that every note he wrote was respectful of their musical traditions. And to add extra authenticity to the project, many of the tracks were written in collaboration with various Arabic composers and instrumentalists. The result is a colorful tapestry of sounds and harmonies from the Middle East, married to the forms and techniques of classical composition.
The main title song "I Lift My Eyes" is a setting of Psalm 121 in Arabic, and performed by the legendary Lebanese singer Abeer Nehme. Abeer recorded her solo with Christopher at his private studio in Santa Monica, then stayed long enough to shoot a music video for the song, before returning to Lebanon. Christopher's longtime collaborators the Angel City Chorale provided backing vocals, and the music video was shot by rising star director Tayo Amos.
The Old World soundtrack was an international collaborative effort, with musicians from Beirut to Budapest, Zurich to Dubai, Istanbul to Melbourne collaborating with Christopher. Joining Abeer Nehme are Meena Shamaly (oud and vocals), Layal Watfeh (vocals), Camille El Feghali (ney and qanun), Orkun Şan (kemane), Jamie Papish (percussion), the Budapest Scoring Orchestra (strings), and Christopher's regular collaborators Sandro Friedrich (winds) and Alex Williamson (additional music and arrangements, production).
Mohawk Games was founded by Christopher Tin’s former college roommate, friend, and longtime collaborator, Soren Johnson. Their previous two collaborations were Civilization IV and Offworld Trading Company--a partnership which yielded Christopher his first Grammy Award for the song ‘Baba Yetu’.
For music theory nerds out there, "Festival of Dionysus (Greece)" is a gleeful romp through the seven different modes named by the Ancient Greeks: dorian, lydian dominant, mixolydian, aeolian, locrian, phyrigian, and finally ending on ionian (otherwise known as major).
The Old World soundtrack was selected as the Best Original Score for a Video Game in 2021 by the Movie Music UK Awards.