Vangelis, Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner Composer, Dies at 79

As reported by the Greek media, Greek composer and electronic music pioneer Vangelis died May 17 in a hospital in France from complications from COVID-19. He was 79 years old. Vangelis won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work in 1981 TrainThe title song from which the word is a rare instrument reached #1 on Billboards Hot 100.

Vangelis is also revered for his score in 1982 Blade Runnerand his music was featured prominently in Carl Sagan’s iconic 1980 documentary film Cosmos: Personal Trip. In addition to his film work, he released more than 20 studio albums that had a profound influence on the electronic music trends of the 1970s and 80s, as well as several projects with vocal Yes Jon Anderson.

“No one believed the movie would be so successful,” he said TURN in a 1985 interview. ‘When I write a score, I don’t write it as number one – I do it because I like the people I’m working with. It’s a very modest, low-budget film.”

Vangelis was born in 1943 in Agria, Greece as Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou and was a musical prodigy from an early age. Before venturing out on his own, he was a member of the Greek prog-rock group Aphrodite’s Child, with their 1972 album 666 is often considered one of the most important works in the history of the genre.

Although best known for his mainstream filmmaking work, Vangelis has rarely focused on a single musical style, and has particularly had an impact on the world of new age music and its surroundings. “When I’m successful in a field, I don’t stay in that field, because I don’t want to be a prisoner of any label or image,” he said. TURN.

“For 33 years I have accompanied you on this long and beautiful musical path that is your work,” longtime collaborator Philippe Colonna wrote on Facebook. “An intuitive journey, full of surprises, enthusiasm and sometimes sadness or disappointment, but a creative, warm and thoughtful way of life. With you, I have learned what constitutes a richness of an experimental, intuitive, creative musical life, against the present, out of date, to push its difference even further, to draw its own path toward and against everything. “ Vangelis, Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner Composer, Dies at 79

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