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Grammy-winning 'Civ IV' composer returns for 'Civilization VI' theme

The Civilization series uniquely captures the epic scope of world history in a single game, so it follows that there should be an appropriately grand musical theme to accompany the action. For Civilization VI, Firaxis is sticking with what worked and bringing back Christopher Tin, who composed the theme for Civ IV, to write a theme for the new game, called Sogno di Volare (The Dream of Flight).

“I wanted to write a piece that captured the essence of exploration,” said Tin in a release from the publisher, “both the physical exploration of seeking new lands, but also the mental exploration of expanding the frontiers of science and philosophy.”

Sogno di Volare will premiere at a one-night concert on July 19 at London’s Cadogan Hall. A night entirely devoted to Tin’s music, the evening will feature the performances of “The Royal Philharmonic and 200 voices from Los Angeles’s Angel City Chorale, Bath’s Lucis, and York’s Prima Vocal Ensemble.” Tickets are available now here.

Related: Hands on: ‘Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Tin’s theme for Civ IV, Baba Yetu, a vocal arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili, earned a Grammy in 2011 for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). This was the first time music composed for a video game won (or was even nominated for) a Grammy. The game’s original recording featured vocalist Ron Ragin and Stanford acapella group Talisman, but Tin re-recorded it for his debut album with Ragin and South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir. The song has been widely arranged and performed, giving it rare cache as a video-game theme that has found a substantial independent life.

Civ IV designer Soren Johnson commissioned Tin to compose the theme in 2005 because they were college roommates at Stanford. The two have collaborated more recently when Tin composed the music for Johnson’s independently developed economics-themed real-time strategy game, Offworld Trading Company.

Civilization VI marks the 25th anniversary of the beloved PC strategy franchise, and will arrive on October 21.

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