‘Blade Runner’ soundtrack composer Vangelis dies aged 79

Greek electronic and orchestral composer Vangelis has passed away. The 79-year-old musician deceased in a French hospital, where he was being treated for an illness.

Vangelis is best known for his catalog of film scores. His soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction film, blade runneris not only one of the most popular movie soundtracks of all time, but the synth-rich score is considered a historic outing in the evolution of electronic music.

One year before blade runnerVangelis composed the score for Hugh Hudson’s sports drama, chariots of fire. Vangelis’ soundtrack won the Oscar for Best Original Score, while chariots of fire won the award for best film.

Vangelis was born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou in the Greek coastal town of Agria and grew up in Athens. He played the organ in various pop groups in the 1960s. He began composing Greek films in the early 1970s, while launching a career as a solo artist. His solo repertoire ranged from ambient and avant-garde electronic compositions to jazz, blues and classically influenced progressive rock.

Vangelis’ latest album, Juno to Jupiterwas released in September 2021. Although his film soundtrack work was on and off, he and Scott teamed up again on the 1992 film, 1492: Conquest of Paradise. He has also composed music for documentaries of marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau and his son, Pierre-Yves Cousteau.

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