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The worlds of music and film are in mourning following the death of composer Vangelis, who died at the age of 79
The Greek musician – born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou near the city of Volos in central Greece – died on Wednesday (18.05.22) in a French hospital, his law firm confirmed. No cause of death has yet been given.
Vangelis was best known for his synth style and film soundtracks, which included 1981’s “Chariots of Fire” and 1982’s “Blade Runner”, with him winning the Academy Award for Best Original Film Score for his work on sports drama.
French electronic musician Jean-Michel Jarre paid tribute to Vangelis, praising him for his “moving melodies”.
He wrote on Instagram: “We will all forever remember your unique touch and soulful melodies.
“You and I have always shared the same passion for synthesizers and electronic music for so long.”
Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren took to Twitter to remember his musical hero.
He tweeted: “I had the privilege of meeting him in Paris last year.
“He was one of my heroes, a huge inspiration and just a beautiful person.
“I still listen to his albums a lot.”
Filmmaker Charles de Lauzirika – who acted as producer on ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’, a restoration of Sir Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic – said: “His music, not just in ‘Blade Runner’ , was otherworldly in a beautiful and haunting way that I have no words to describe.
“He created lush dream states that I still love getting lost in.”
Before he started composing Hollywood films, Vangelis was a pop artist, forming his first band in 1963, named Forminx. Once they separated in 1966, Vangelis began writing and producing for other artists and began creating scores for Greek films.
He then formed the progressive rock quartet Aphrodite’s Child with Greek singer Demis Roussos.
In the 1970s, Vangelis moved to London and signed a solo recording contract with the albums “Heaven and Hell” in 1975 and “Albedo 0.39” in 1976, later teaming up with Yes musician Jon Anderson as a that duo Jon and Vangelis.
In the 1980s he achieved his greatest success with his film scores, also creating the music for ‘Antarctica’ and ‘The Bounty’ as well as ‘Chariots of Fire’ – which told the true story of British athletes Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams who both competed in the 1924 Olympics – and ‘Blade Runner’.
Explaining his creative process when writing music for films, Vangelis said, “My music doesn’t try to evoke emotions like joy, love or pain from the audience. It just goes with the image, because I work in the moment.”
In his later years, Vangelis released his albums under the Decca label banner.
In a statement in memory of the trailblazing artist, Decca presidents Tom Lewis and Laura Monks released a statement that read, “The world has lost a genius. Vangelis has created music of an originality and tremendous power, and has provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives.
“He will be sorely missed. His music will live forever.”
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