Music of the Week: June 3, 2022: Vangelis – Chariots of Fire

Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire

Vangelis – Chariots Of Fire

In honor of Greek composer of electronic and ambient music, Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou—better known as Vangelis—we have selected this classic piece of film music from the Oscar-winning score for Chariots of Fire.

As early as four years of age, Vangelis began to compose music and experiment with sounds but never fully learned to read or write music, playing mostly from memory and creating music in a self-taught manner.

In his early years, Vangelis was a member of pop bands in Greece and later began to write music for Greek film productions. For a time, he worked with progressive rock singer Jon Anderson, releasing several albums as Jon & Vangelis (for example “I’ll find my way home”).

His albums were based on themes relating to philosophy, scripture, Chinese culture, and even astronomy and the universe, with some of his music being used in Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos. Apparently, as a child Vangelis had heard sounds resembling those that Carl Sagan later sent him from recordings of satellites in outer space.

In 1981, Vangelis wrote the score for the movie Chariots of Fire, which brought him a breakthrough to mainstream success and which was used at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

Additional famous scores that he composed were for the movies Missing, Blade Runner, and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, among others.

Inspired by all matters of space, Vangelis produced a series of music projects in collaboration with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) in the two decades from 2001 to 2021, also composing the score for the Stephen Hawking memorial in 2018.

Vangelis Papathanassiou died on May 17, 2022 of heart failure, allegedly while being treated for Covid-19 in a Paris hospital. Sadly, we may assume what led to these complications.


Vangelis on Wikipedia

Vangelis creating his music live while a film is rolling

About Vangelis