‘Blade Runner’ composer Vangelis dies at 79

Immortalized for his work on the blade runner and chariots of fire soundtracks, Vangelis was a visionary who brought synthesizer music to the masses.

Greek composer Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, better known as Vangelis, has died aged 79.

He has been praised for his work on two iconic soundtracks, blade runner and Chariots of Fire: two works that brought the sounds of the synthesizer to the attention of the cinephile public.

Vangelis established himself as a musician in the 1960s, playing organ in a band called Forminx. This group was a product of its time, playing energetic pop music that was popularized by the British invasion.

After this stint on the pop scene, Vangelis began working as a producer, soundtrack composer, and eventually became a presence in the prog-rock phenomenon that swept the world in the late 60s and 70s.

He rose to fame in 1981 with the unforgettable theme of Chariots of fire. This set him apart from other composers of the time in his use of cutting-edge contemporary synthesizer sounds.

His legacy was cemented a year later with the score of the dystopian classic, Blade runner. The haunting, slow, siren-like passages were created with the Yamaha CS-80, a revolutionary analog synthesizer.

Beyond film work, he has contributed music to global events such as the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as the official music of from NASA Mars Odyssey mission in 2001.

Vale Vangelis: a truly innovative composer who leaves an unparalleled legacy of electronic music.

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