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

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

Vangelis has had 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 in Chariots of Fire, the iconic theme. He also collaborated with Ridley Scott on his score for the hit sci-fi film Blade Runner which received a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination.

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He has also been nominated four times for the Grammys. Once for the soundtrack of Chariots of Fire and three times in the new age album category for his solo work. Chariots of Fire’s opening instrumental titled “Title” even reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It was his success with the film that led him to score more films and enjoy the mainstream 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 Mars Odyssey mission in 2001. He would later write the 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 has 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 have always been linked in one way or another to the music that I write. ”

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

Casey is a freelance writer for IGN. You can usually find him talking about JRPGs on Twitter at @caseydavidmt.

(Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

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