On the day Grammy nominations were scheduled to be announced, Austin Wintory didn’t get much work done. As the composer for Journey, Wintory had an inkling that he might be nominated in Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and he was distracted all day, constantly refreshing the Grammy page, scanning for his name. By evening the list still wasn’t posted and he gave up on trying to focus. He got in his car, determined to go home, make dinner and then check the page again.
“The instant I got in my car, my email started blinking. Of all people, it was from my friend Christopher Tin, emailing me to say ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ – in all caps.”
Tin won the first Grammy for a piece of video game music, Civilization 4‘s “Baba Yetu,” in 2011. He and Wintory had been friends for years. When Wintory saw that email, he quickly called Tin and the subsequent conversation went something like this:
“What are you – are you on the website?” Wintory asked Tin. “What’s going on?”
“Yeah, I’m looking right at it! There you are!” Tin replied. And then, after a second, the situation dawned on him. “Wait a minute – you didn’t know this already?”
“No! I’m in my car right now.”
“Oh, this is perfect.”
Just then Wintory’s phone began buzzing, beeping and possibly sobbing under the barrage of emails, texts and calls from friends and well-wishers. Two weeks later, Wintory agrees with Tin’s assessment of events.
“As fate had it, I heard from Chris himself,” he says. “I had no foresight, I had absolutely no plan, and yet in hindsight, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”