Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner composer Vangelis dies aged 79 | Obituaries News

Vangelis, the Oscar-winning composer of the music for Chariots of Fireplace and Blade Runner, and a pioneer of digital music, has died. He was 79.

In keeping with a number of media retailers within the musician’s native Greece, Vangelis died of coronavirus in France, the place he lived part-time. He additionally had properties in London and Athens.

“It’s with nice disappointment that we announce that the good Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou handed away late on the night time of Tuesday, Might 17,” Vangelis’s lawyer was quoted as saying by the ANA information company.

Over his greater than 50-year profession, Vangelis was famend for his musical experimentation and eclectic influences. He received an Oscar in 1982 for his theme for the British movie Chariots of Fireplace, and went on to develop the scores for a slew of different films, together with Ridley Scott’s cult traditional Blade Runner, in addition to for theatre and ballet.

“Vangelis Papathanassiou is not with us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted.

“The world of music has misplaced the worldwide (artist) Vangelis.”

Born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou in central Greece, Vangelis developed an early curiosity in music and experimented with sound by banging pots and pans or fixing nails, glasses and different objects to the strings of his mother and father’ piano. He carried out his first piano live performance on the age of six.

“I’ve by no means studied music,” he informed Greek journal Periodiko in 1988, wherein he additionally bemoaned rising “exploitation” by studios and the media.

“At one time there was a craziness … now it’s a job.”

“You may promote one million data whereas feeling like a failure. Otherwise you won’t promote something feeling very blissful,” he mentioned.

After finding out portray on the Athens Faculty of Wonderful Arts, Vangelis made his begin with native Greek rock bands. He left for Paris when he was 25, a part of an exodus of inventive expertise following the 1967 navy coup.

In Paris, he joined fellow Greeks Demis Roussos and Lucas Sideras within the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Youngster, reaching cult standing and promoting hundreds of thousands of data earlier than they broke up in 1972.

Fascinated by the then-new discipline of digital synthesizers, Vangelis settled in London in 1974, the place he established Nemo Studios, the “sound laboratory” that produced most of his solo albums for greater than a decade.

However he valued his independence over report gross sales.

“Success is good and treacherous,” the composer informed Britain’s Observer newspaper in 2012. “As an alternative of having the ability to transfer ahead freely and do what you actually want, you end up caught and obliged to repeat your self.”

‘Advert astra’

Vangelis, who had a minor planet named after him in 1995, had a fascination with house from an early age.

In 1980, he contributed music to Carl Sagan’s award-winning science documentary Cosmos. He wrote music for NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey and its Juno Jupiter missions, in addition to a Grammy-nominated album impressed by the Rosetta house probe mission in 2016.

On Twitter, NASA paid tribute with the phrases ‘Advert astra’ (to the celebrities), sharing a video from the Juno mission.

In 2018, he composed a bit for the funeral of Stephen Hawking that included the late professor’s phrases and was broadcast into house by the European Area Company.

He was showered with honours, receiving the Max Steiner movie music award, France’s Legion d’Honneur, NASA’s Public Service Medal and Greece’s prime honour, the Order of the Phoenix.

Vangelis fastidiously guarded his privateness and little identified was identified of his private life.

“I don’t give interviews, as a result of I’ve to attempt to say issues that I don’t have to say,” he informed the LA Occasions in 2019.

“The one factor I have to do is simply to make music.”

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