June 27, 2022

Image credit: The Times

Vangelis: Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner composer dies at 79

At the age of 79, Vangelis, the Greek composer best known for his film themes for Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, died at the age of 79.

He earned an Academy Award for his dramatic score for Chariots of Fire in 1981.

Lord Puttnam, the film’s producer, said that Vangelis had created “a new musical environment.”

Others who spoke about him included French artist Jean-Michel Jarre and Dutch trance DJ Armin van Buuren, who described him as “a tremendous inspiration.”

According to US composer Austin Wintory, Vangelis “changed an entire era of music.”

Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire theme was famously used to accompany images of competitors sprinting along the shore in St Andrews, Scotland, at the start of the film, which was set before the 1924 Olympics.

After being sung by Mr Bean at the London Olympic Games opening ceremony, it went to number one in the United States and then topped the UK’s classical singles chart in 2012.

Blade Runner, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, won Golden Globe and Bafta nominations.

“Not just in Blade Runner, but throughout his career, his music was unearthly in ways I can’t describe,” stated the film’s producer, Charles de Lauzirika.

The Bounty, Francesco, Bitter Moon, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander are among Vangelis’ other cinematic credits.

In the late 1960s, Vangelis rose to prominence as the keyboardist in the band Aphrodite’s Child, which included singer Demis Roussos.

Beyond his work in film, he became a critically acclaimed and ground-breaking electronic solo artist, releasing his most recent albums with Decca Label Group.

“The world has lost a genius,” said Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, the organization’s presidents. Vangelis made music that was both unique and powerful, and it served as the soundtrack to many of our lives.

In addition to Blade Runner, the composer’s scores for Missing and Chariots of Fire were nominated for Baftas.

According to the official Bafta account, which expressed its condolences to his family and friends, Vangelis was a “trailblazing composer.”