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Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner composer Vangelis dies aged 79

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

According to 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 houses in London and Athens.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that the great Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou passed away late on the night of Tuesday, May 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 Fire, and went on to develop the scores for a slew of different motion pictures, together with Ridley Scott’s cult basic Blade Runner, in addition to for theatre and ballet.

“Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer with us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted.

“The world of music has lost the international (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 never studied music,” he advised Greek journal Periodiko in 1988, through which he additionally bemoaned rising “exploitation” by studios and the media.

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

“You might sell a million records while feeling like a failure. Or you might not sell anything feeling very happy,” he mentioned.

After learning portray on the Athens School of Fine Arts, Vangelis made his begin with native Greek rock bands. He left for Paris when he was 25, a part of an exodus of creative expertise following the 1967 navy coup.

In Paris, he joined fellow Greeks Demis Roussos and Lucas Sideras within the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Child, attaining cult standing and promoting thousands and 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.

But he valued his independence over report gross sales.

“Success is sweet and treacherous,” the composer advised Britain’s Observer newspaper in 2012. “Instead of being able to move forward freely and do what you really wish, you find yourself stuck and obliged to repeat yourself.”

‘Ad 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 ‘Ad 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 Space Agency.

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 high 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, because I have to try to say things that I don’t need to say,” he advised the LA Times in 2019.

“The only thing I need to do is just to make music.”

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