Vangelis, the Greek composer of the Blade Runner soundtrack, died Tuesday at the age of 79. A child prodigy who learned the piano as an autodidact, he subsequently established himself as a pioneer of electronic music. His death was announced Thursday by Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotakis. “Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer with us”, he tweeted without further details. “It’s a shock” and “a great loss for the world of music in general, film music and for the “history of electronic music of which he was one of the pioneers”, French composer Jean-Michel Jarre told AFP on Thursday evening. During his career of more than fifty years, the artist nicknamed Vangelis found his inspiration in space exploration, nature, futuristic architecture, the New Testament and the student movement of May 1968. This genius of the keyboard always liked to multiply the experiments and had passed with ease from psychedelic rock and synth to ethnic music and to jazz. His soundtrack for Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire won an Oscar against John Williams’ music for the first Indiana Jones film in 1982. At the top of the American charts, his composition was also a hit in the United Kingdom. Kingdom and was used for the Je 2012 Olympic Games in London. Among the dozen soundtracks he has composed are those of Costa-Gavras’ film Missing, of Alexander by Oliver Stone, but also of 1492: Christopher Columbus and Blade Runner by Ridley Scott. He also wrote music for theater and ballet, as well as the FIFA World Cup anthem in 2002. Passionate about space, Vangelis had also participated in the music for the scientific documentary Cosmos, which won the Carl Prize. Sagan. He wrote music for NASA’s Mars Odyssey in 2001 and the Juno-Jupiter missions in 2011, and was inspired, in a Grammy-nominated album, by the 2016 space probe mission Rosetta. his time between Paris, London and Athens, he died in the French capital.
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