Angelo Badalamenti dead: Composer for ‘Twin Peaks’ theme was 85

Badalamenti, known for his otherworldly scores, performed his acting skills in a memorable scene in “Mulholland Drive”.

Angelo Badalamenti, the composer known for creating great music for many of David Lynch’s works, from “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks” to “Mulholland Drive,” has passed away. He was 85 years old.

He died of natural causes on Sunday, his family said in a statement.

Born in Brooklyn in March 1937 to a fish market owner with a musical background (a Sicilian percussionist), Badalamenti grew up with his family listening to Italian opera, starting piano lessons at the age of eight and continue to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. from the Manhattan School of Music. During the summer, he would play piano at resorts in the Catskills for Borscht Belt performances.

After graduating from college, he taught high school. He composed a Christmas carol for his students, which ended up on PBS and basically started his career in entertainment where he wrote songs. sang for Nina Simone (“Another Spring”) and Nancy Wilson (“Face It Girl, It’s Over”). He also wrote songs for films like “Gordon’s War” and “Law and Disorder” but his big break came in 1986 when, through a series of industry relationships that began with unit manager Peter Runfolo, he’s asked to help Isabella Rossellini sing “Blue Velvet” for Lynch’s iconic film.

“They were shooting down planes over North Carolina, so they took me to see Isabella and see what I could do. When I got there, we entered a small room with only me, Isabella, and a piano. I worked with her for two or three hours straight until we succeeded with a small tape recorder,” he said in an interview with “David is filming the last scene. We brought him the cassette tape. He put on his headphones and immediately said, “That’s the ticket! This is great! I had to ask the producer what the peach line means.”

He also eventually wrote the song “Mysteries of Love” and found Julee Cruise, who passed away earlier this year, to sing that song, beginning a long collaboration between the trio that will last until Lynch’s hit series “Twin Peaks”.

“David felt that the music of ‘Twin Peaks’ would have to cover many areas, many moods: sadness, passion, ecstasy, love, tenderness and violence. He wanted the music to be dark and abstract,” he said. “He asked me about music that can break people’s hearts.”

Badalamenti has also worked with other directors, including Jane Campion (“Holy Smoke!), Danny Boyle (“The Beach”) Paul Schrader (“The Comfort of Strangers”) and Walter Salles (“Dark Water”). He also wrote the torch theme “The Flaming Arrow” for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics and the theme for “Inside the Actors Studio.” But his work with Lynch goes above and beyond, including “The Straight Story,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” “Lost Highway,” and “Mulholland Drive.”

Lynch told People Magazine in 1990: “He had a musical soul and a melody that was always flying inside.

Badalamenti also got to work on his acting skills in a memorable scene in “Mulholland Drive” where he plays a gangster who is very particular about his espresso.

When talking about how he approaches his score, he says he’s always served the director’s vision.

“Sometimes you want the music to go with what’s happening on the screen. Other times I like the idea of ​​the music going against what’s happening – it’s usually a better way to do things, ” he told NME in 2011.

“I always have a big question for directors when I’m composing soundtracks: what do you want your audience to feel? Do you want to scare them? squirming in their seats? Feeling beautiful? And the way they answered that question gave me the hint to move on. I translate their words into music.” Angelo Badalamenti dead: Composer for ‘Twin Peaks’ theme was 85

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