Vangelis' electronic score for a film set in 1930s Britain seemed an odd match at first, but the title theme, with its echoing, manipulated rhythm box and melodic hook, became one of the most popular theme songs of the early '80s…
Released on 23rd September, Vangelis’ breathtaking recording is inspired by the Rosetta Mission, a pioneering project by the European Space Agency (ESA) to land a probe on a comet for the first time in history. The release of the recording marks the culmination of the 12-year mission and is accompanied by incredible footage captured by the probe.
Vangelis, whose celebrated scores include the trailblazing ‘Chariots of Fire’ and ‘Blade Runner’, reveals his musical inspiration: “Mythology, science and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write.”The project came about after ESA astronaut André Kuipers, a long-standing fan of Vangelis, reached out to the composer whilst aboard the International Space Station. After sharing stories and experiences via a video call from the ISS, Vangelis was inspired to write ‘Rosetta’.
Short Stories is the debut album by Jon and Vangelis, the collaborative effort between Jon Anderson of the prog rock band Yes and electronic music pioneer Vangelis. This was not the first time that the two had worked together: Vangelis had auditioned to be Rick Wakeman's replacement in Yes in 1974, but the role was given to Patrick Moraz. In 1975, Jon Anderson sang on "So Long Ago So Clear" from Heaven and Hell.
The CD release of Direct includes bonus material – which fits the flow of this intense and dramatic offering – not included on the cassette or vinyl releases. Like most Vangelis, this defies categorization. It has strong elements of rock & roll, symphonic synth ambience, and new age instrumental aspects. At the same time, the bold synthesizer strokes and washes fit the Berlin school of electronica. Given Vangelis' proclivity for soundtrack work, it is no surprise that this disc sounds like great film music. It is a great CD that will appeal to many different audiences. Fans of Kitaro, Deuter, and Constance Demby will like this disc.
Antarctica is the soundtrack to Koreyoshi Kurahara's film of the same name. Vangelis composed and performed all of the music. It is a very dynamic and dramatic set, but does not convey the iciness that listeners would expect. Conveying feelings of angst, isolation, and even desolation, it is actually very good music. It just does not feel like, well, the Antarctic.
Themes is one of the most entertaining and thorough of any of Vangelis' collections, with excerpts spanning such albums as Opera Sauvage, China, and the ever-popular Chariots of Fire release from 1981. Most of the selections from Themes speak for Vangelis' movie contributions, including the infamous "Chariots of Fire" track as well as the lonesome-sounding theme from Missing and the powerful openings from Mutiny on the Bounty. With this music, Vangelis has implemented some variations in rhythm and some noticeable fluctuation in his synthesizer work, making these tracks much more colorful and animated than his new age meanderings of the '70s. Also, his ability to cast visual imagery through his keyboard playing is represented by many of these excerpts, but proven best on tracks like "Antarctica," in which the white, barren wasteland is conjured up perfectly through his wispy synthesized textures, and then again on "End Titles From Bladerunner," which was previously unreleased, simulating the impersonal, android-like world in which the movie was based.