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

The world has lost another great. Vangelis, the celebrated electronic musician, died on Tuesday at the age of 79 according to reports from the Athens News Agency.

Vangelis enjoyed a long and storied career composing music for film and television, as well as original albums. Vangelis also composed the official anthem for the FIFA World Cup in 2002.

Vangelis is perhaps best known for his Oscar-winning score on Chariots of Fire, the iconic theme. He also collaborated with Ridley Scott on the soundtrack for the hit sci-fi film Blade Runner, which received a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination.

Blade Runner 2049 to the original: side by side comparison

He was also nominated for Grammy Awards four times. Once for the Chariots of Fire soundtrack and three times in the new age album category for his solo work. Chariots of Fire’s opening instrumental piece called “Title” even reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It was his success with the film that led him to compose more films and enjoy the commercial success that came with it. Even with his contributions to film, he still found time to create his own solo albums and contribute to Greek theater productions, ballets and nature documentaries.

His contributions to the natural world would continue when his choral symphony “Mythodea” was used by NASA for its 2001 Mars Odyssey mission. He would later write original music for the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to Comet 67P. In 2018, he composed an original score for the Stephen Hawking memorial.

Vangelis always had a fascination with space and science. He is quoted as saying, “Mythology, science, and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected in some way to the music that I write.”

While his music has been celebrated here, it is celebrated even more so in Greece, where he is considered “a pioneer of the electronic sound”. His most recent album, Juno to Jupiter, was released in September 2021. Vangelis’s inspiration for the album stayed true to his love of space exploration, as he was influenced by the Juno spacecraft. from NASA.

Casey is a freelance writer for IGN. He can usually be found talking about JRPG on Twitter at @caseydavidmt.

(Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

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