Vangelis, composer of the soundtrack of “Carrozas de fuego” and “Blade Runner”, died

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Vangelis, composer of the soundtrack of “Carrozas de fuego” and “Blade Runner”, died

Greek composer Vangelis performs during a concert at the Temple of Zeus in Athens on June 28, 2001 /File Photo

Vangelis, the Greek composer whose exciting electronic theme song for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire was one of the best-known scores of the 1980s, has died at the age of 79.reported Thursday Athens News Agency.

Citing a statement from his lawyers’ office, ANA said Vangelis died late Tuesday, without giving further details on the cause of death.

Born as Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou in 1943, the young Vangelis developed an early interest in music and experimented with sounds produced by banging pots and pans or pinning nails, glasses and other objects to the strings of his parents’ piano.

Greek electronic music composer Vangelis surrounded by equipment at a venue on Jan. 28, 1976 (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Greek electronic music composer Vangelis surrounded by equipment at a venue on Jan. 28, 1976 (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

He absorbed the tones of Greek folk songs and Orthodox Christian choral music, but had no formal musical training, which he later said helped save his sense of creativity.

After starting to be part of local rock groups, Vangelis left for Paris at the age of 25, joining an exodus of young artists following the 1967 coup that installed a military junta in Greece..

Finding his way far from home, he was drawn to the then-new field of electronic synthesizers.that allowed him to create the lush melodic colors that became his signature sound.

Despite his success in the European “prog rock” scene of the early 1970s, he was uncomfortable with the expectations of a commercial artist and largely withdrew into the recording studio he created for himself. in London.

There he wrote the score for “Carrozas de fuego”, the story of the triumph of a group of British athletes at the 1924 Olympics.

Its synth beat and melody made the opening slow-motion sequence of a group of athletes running down the beach a model for cinema to portray the sport thereafter.

Vangelis once said that the score, which won him an Academy Award and topped the charts for weeks, was in part a tribute to his father, who had been a keen amateur runner.. However, he was also somewhat contemptuous of the enormous popularity he enjoyed.

Vangelis performs on stage at Aan de Maas, Rotterdam, Netherlands, June 18, 1991. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
Vangelis performs on stage at Aan de Maas, Rotterdam, Netherlands, June 18, 1991. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

“It’s just another piece of music,” he told an interviewer.

The success of “Chariots of Fire” overshadowed his other scores, but he composed the music for several major films such as “Missing”, directed by his compatriot Costa-Gavras, and Ridley Scott’s futuristic thriller “Blade Runner”.

He was a prolific composer over many decades, with work ranging from commercial music and movie scores to elaborate symphonic-style compositions and “Jon y Vangelis,” his duet with Jon Anderson, lead singer of the prog rock group Yes. .

However, he remained wary of commercial success and once told an interviewer that he never saw music as mere entertainment.

(With information from Reuters)

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