Posts Tagged ‘Vangelis’

Surf The Wave’s of Melorman’s CD of the Month

August 5, 2013

MelormanHear A Podcast Review of Melorman’s Waves
The Echoes CD of the Month for August

If you thought the only electronic-based music coming out of Greece was from Yanni and Vangelis, then you haven’t been keeping up on a wave of electronic artists who are more plugged in to Boards of Canada’s textural melancholy than Yanni’s grandiose orchestrations. Melorman is one of those artists. That’s the parody-ready moniker of Antonis Haniotakis from Athens. He says the name refers to “melody” and “man.” He’s been at the electronic game for a few years now and his new CD, Waves, may be his signature work.

Like so many electronic artists, he’s a laptop jockey, conjuring up panoramic spaces and interior architecture on his computer. Unlike a lot of these artists, Melorman is more concerned with melody and mood than ear-bending sound design, though there is some of that as well. Each song on Waves builds like a spinning model of a molecule: melodies wrap around rhythms, cycling in counterpoint to other melodies, all against a shimmering borealis of sound.

The album has elements of those old avant-garde electronic recordings on CRI or Nonesuch, on tracks like “Heights” with a spare, dark, unmoored tone hanging in space, only here, it builds into a melodic and rhythmic soundscape.  Then there’s the subtle, almost meditative opening of “The Sky Out of Your Windows, with a quiet pulsing tone that builds with Doppler search lights sweeping through the slowly emerging theme. That quickly shifts into “Glow” with a music-box minimalist sequence riveted to a glitch-tossed groove, all moving towards a slo-mo melodic crescendo.

Melorman dials-in chilled electronica with a post-rock sound in his rhythms that aligns him with artists like The Album Leaf and Tycho. But there are no conventional guitars or strings with Melorman: he’s resolutely electronic. Sounds ricochet against his syncopated rhythms then drop out into free space on “From Now On.” Melodies trace each other like fireflies in synchronous trajectories on “Lights.” Some of his works approach minor opus status, such as “Walking on Water” which shifts between a slow loping groove and free floating classical legatos wafting up into cathedral rafters.

Melorman has been compared to Boards of Canada, and while this might be sacrilegious to their acolytes, I find Waves more satisfying than BoC’s self-consciously abstracted Tomorrow’s Harvest. Melorman’s Waves flows as naturally as the surf and pulls you in with the most melancholy undertow.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WavesHear an audio review of Melorman’s Waves in the Echoes Podcast.
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Vangelis at 70

March 28, 2013

10 Essential Vangelis CDs

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Celebrate the 70th birthday of Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fires tonight on Echoes.

In 2009 I posted this list of 10 Essential Vangelis CDs when we ran our Vangelis: Then & Now segment.  Tonight, Thursday, March 28, on the eve of his 70th birthday, you can hear a profile of Vangelis featuring interviews with this icon on Echoes.  So I thought it would be good to revisit that list.

___________________________

John Diliberto & Vangelis

In the 1970s and early 80s, Vangelis was synonymous with orchestral electronic music the way another Greek, Yanni, is synonymous with the New Age music. Whether it’s his film soundtracks for Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, or his epic albums Albedo 0.39 and Voices, the sound of Vangelis has shaped much of Echoes‘ sound. Vangelis is the father of symphonic synthesis, that style that merges electronics with the expansive compositions and arrangements of a classical orchestra. But while most electronic musicians who employ symphonic textures wind up sounding pseudo-classical, when Vangelis does it, he just sounds like Vangelis.  

Vangelis Papathanassiou has released over forty albums and soundtracks since his official debut, Earth in 1973. His career spans psychedelic, progressive rock, electronic, new age and symphonic music. While there is a distinct Vangelis sound, marked by sweeping orchestral strings, often bombastic dynamic shifts, and ostinato sequences, he has stretched, bent and mutated those characteristics into widely divergent compositions over the years. Albums like Beaubourg and Invisible Connections are electronic freakouts that could’ve come from the Columbia-Princeton Studios or Radio Cologne. That sound is counterbalanced by his sweeter music like the score to Chariots of Fire or his pop work with Yes singer Jon Anderson.  His star isn’t quite what it used to be.  Chariots-The PlayLast year a stage version of Chariots of Fire was produced in London and it still continues to be a successful show.  Yet, his American label, Decca, released the play soundtrack, with the original music and several new Vangelis compositions,  without any promotion at all.  That’s simply wrong.

Here’s a list of the Ten Essential Vangelis CDs .

TEN ESSENTIAL VANGELIS CDs

Albedo 0.39 1-Albedo 0.39
This is Vangelis’ space music opus. Along with its follow-up, Spiral, it’s his most sequencer driven album revealing the Zeitgeist of 1975, where Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Jean-Michel Jarre were releasing their space music journeys. Albedo contains several of Vangelis’ best known themes, including the space explosion of “Pulstar.”

Mask 2-Mask
Mask is a dramatic choral work from Vangelis. The choir is uncredited, but is likely the English Chamber Choir with lead tenor from Guy Protheroe. Referencing Carl Orff and perhaps Magma, Vangelis orchestrates dramatic choral refrains that can sound like storm troopers on the march in “Movement 1” or imploring gothic voices from the heavens on “Movement 4” with its marimba cycle and string bass groove. I bought Mask on CD before I even had a CD player.

51P7RX9EWAL._SL500_AA240_3-Heaven and Hell
Released in 1975, Heaven & Hell is a crowning achievement for Vangelis. Composed with just a couple of synthesizers, a ton of percussion and the English Chamber Choir, it’s a dynamic and heroic work. From the opening synthesizer clarion, the choir calls out to the heavens, synthesizers spin in counterpoint to tuned percussion, and timpani and cymbals crash on the shores of Vangelis’ electronic orchestra. And check out Vangelis’ uncharacteristically jazzy Fender Rhodes keyboard playing. It also includes Jon Anderson‘s imploringly serene  interlude between movements, “So Long Ago, So Clear.”

Soil Festivities 4-Soil Festivities
This is the most “ambient” of Vangelis albums and his most underrated. Inspired by life’s processes, Vangelis uses repetitive minimalist patterns, nature sounds as well as flute and violin-like keyboard voices to create a seamless, contemplative journey that eschews his penchant for both sweetness and bombast. Released in 1984, Soil Festivities isn’t a meditative piece but an evolving journey over its five movements.

China 5-China
China marked a real shift for Vangelis. Ethnic instruments had always been part of his palette, but he’d never delved as deeply as he did on this 1979 CD. He plays Chinese flutes, the koto and other instruments mixing them in with his sweeping, cinematic synths for an east-west orchestra of the imagination.

Opera Sauvage 6-Opera Sauvage
Released in 1979, Opera Sauvage is the score for a nature documentary by French filmmaker Frédéric Rossif. It contains one of Vangelis’ best known songs, the poignant “L’enfant.” It’s a simple pentatonic theme with piano chirping out the sparse melody over a two note synthesizer ostinato, yet it remains remains powerfully evocative and hymn-like. Used in the film, The Year of Living Dangerously, it stole the score from Maurice Jarre’s actual soundtrack.

Voices 7-Voices
Voices arrived in 1995 after a four-year hiatus from studio recordings. It’s an instantly recognizable set full of his trademark sequencer rhythms and orchestral synthesis. Voices reestablished Vangelis’ preeminence as a master of music drama and atmosphere as Voices teems with heroic synthesizer melodies and inventive choral arrangements. In addition to Vangelis’s instrumentals, there are three vocals, one each from Paul Young, Caroline Lavelle and an ethereal lost-in-space track from Stina Nordenstam on “Ask the Mountains.”

Music From Koreyoshi Kurahara\'s Film Antarctica 8-Antarctica
This little seen 1983 film by Koreyoshi Kurahara about a failed Japanese mission to Antarctica in 1958 features an epic score from Vangelis that picks up on the white-on-white landscapes, vast ice formations and chilled environment. The title theme is a heroic work, while other tracks like “Antarctic Echoes” are full of the quiet, sweet repose that Vangelis frequently explores. Just before his digital transition, you can hear the subtlety that Vangelis gets from his keyboards with the Chinese flute-like line on “Song of White.”

Spiral 9-Spiral
Spiral, released in 1977, is in the vein of Albedo 0.39 but only contains five long compositions ranging from the sequencer driven title track to the quietly poignant “Ballad” with its vocoder voice sounding a lament from within Vangelis’s circuitry. This is Vangelis in sequencer overdrive. I always loved the cover with the headphone jack coming out of the sky to plug directly into your head.

 10-Blade Runner
Following on the heels of his lush, romantic score to Chariots of Fire, Vangelis composed this darker, edgier soundtrack in 1982 for Ridley Scott‘s archetypal science fiction thriller. Vangelis couched his electro-symphonic score in percussive rhythms and shadowed timbres. This is the album I hear cited most often as an influence by electronic musicians.  There were several bogus cover versions of this album before the actual Vangelis soundtrack came out in 1994, twelve years after the films release.  It was reissued last year as a 3 CD set with lots of new music.

Those are my picks. I’m sure you might have others.

~John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineOlafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-250Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs likeFor Now I Am Winter.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

David Wright Live On Echoes.

October 9, 2012

Tonight on Echoes we’ve got David Wright coming into the Echoes Living Room to play live.  This veteran English synthesist has been recording space music opuses since 1989 and has released 2 dozen solo albums plus recordings with Code Indigo and Callisto.  David’s music is initially inspired by artists like Vangelis and Klaus Schulze, but he’s embraced many other aesthetics over the years. He also runs the AD Music label which records albums by Geigertek and Divine Matrix among others.  On his third Echoes performance, he’ll be playing music from his latest CD, Connected plus some spontaneous performances.  Here’s a youtube video of an earlier work

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineNow you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

You get great CDs like these and our October CD Club selection,  Hans Christian & Harry Manx’s  You Are the Music of My Silence  by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Follow the link and see what you’ve been missing.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours the states or Eno releases a new album.

Vangelis Speaks

March 24, 2012

John Diliberto & Vangelis, Greece, 2001

In early December, 2011 the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum took place in Doha, Qatar and as part of the festivities, Vangelis was invited to perform.   He gave a rare interview for Al-Jazerra English, although not as rare as the interviewer claims when he says it’s the composers first televsion interview in 20 years.  He did many TV appearances in 2001 in support of his work, Mythodea.

The interviewer for Al Jazerra English, former CNN anchor Tony Harris.  He’s on the touchy-feelie deferential side of things which allows Vangelis, who is given to pontificating, run free.  So you won’t find much anecdotal information about working on Blade Runner or Chariots of Fire, following the rise of synthesizers from the beginning or much of anything else you might want to know.  But it is an interesting interview that reveals Vangelis’ concepts of art and culture in the modern world.  “I don’t think music is beautiful today.  It’s a way to advertise other things,” he claims in the interview.

This was a massive event to inaugurate Doha’s cultural village, so I’m not sure if Vangelis was being ironic when he said ,  “You can see Blade Runner in Doha.”  I suspect that’s not the image that Qatar authorities were looking for.

You can hear a feature I did with Vangelis drawn from interviews I did in 1982 and 2001, including a segment of him performing live for me.

Here’s a list compiled a compiled a couple of years ago of Ten Essential Vangelis CDs

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news.

Vangelis-Icon of Echoes-10 Best CDs

April 28, 2010

VANGELIS: #11 of 20 ICONS OF ECHOES

10 Essential Vangelis CDs

Bookmark and Share

Celebrate the 70th birthday of Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fires tonight on Echoes.

In 2009 I posted this list of 10 Essential Vangelis CDs when we ran our Vangelis: Then & Now segment.  Tonight, Thursday, March 28 on Echoes you can hear a profile of Vangelis featuring interviews with this icon.  So I thought it would be good to revisit that list.

___________________________

John Diliberto & Vangelis

In the 1970s and early 80s, Vangelis was synonymous with orchestral electronic music the way another Greek, Yanni, is synonymous with the New Age music. Whether it’s his film soundtracks forChariots of Fire and Blade Runner, or his epic albums Albedo 0.39 and Voices, the sound of Vangelis has shaped much of Echoes‘ first 20 years. Vangelis is the father of symphonic synthesis, that style that merges electronics with the expansive compositions and arrangements of a classical orchestra. But while most electronic musicians who employ symphonic textures wind up sounding pseudo-classical, when Vangelis does it, he just sounds like Vangelis.

Vangelis Papathanassiou has released over forty albums and soundtracks since his official debut, Earth in 1973. His career spans psychedelic, progressive rock, electronic, new age and symphonic music. While there is a distinct Vangelis sound, marked by sweeping orchestral strings, often bombastic dynamic shifts, and ostinato sequences, he has stretched, bent and mutated those characteristics into widely divergent compositions over the years. Albums like Beaubourg and Invisible Connections are electronic freakouts that could’ve come from the Columbia-Princeton Studios or Radio Cologne. That sound is counterbalanced by his sweeter music like the score to Chariots of Fire or his pop work with Yes singer Jon Anderson.

Here’s a list of the Ten Essential Vangelis CDs .

TEN ESSENTIAL VANGELIS CDs

Albedo 0.39 1-Albedo 0.39
This is Vangelis’ space music opus. Along with its follow-up, Spiral, it’s his most sequencer driven album revealing the Zeitgeist of 1975, where Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Jean-Michel Jarre were releasing their space music journeys. Albedo contains several of Vangelis’ best known themes, including the space explosion of “Pulstar.”

Mask 2-Mask
Mask is a dramatic choral work from Vangelis. The choir is uncredited, but is likely the English Chamber Choir with lead tenor from Guy Protheroe. Referencing Carl Orff and perhaps Magma, Vangelis orchestrates dramatic choral refrains that can sound like storm troopers on the march in “Movement 1” or imploring gothic voices from the heavens on “Movement 4” with its marimba cycle and string bass groove. I bought Mask on CD before I even had a CD player.

51P7RX9EWAL._SL500_AA240_3-Heaven and Hell
Released in 1975, Heaven & Hell is a crowning achievement for Vangelis. Composed with just a couple of synthesizers, a ton of percussion and the English Chamber Choir, it’s a dynamic and heroic work. From the opening synthesizer clarion, the choir calls out to the heavens, synthesizers spin in counterpoint to tuned percussion, and timpani and cymbals crash on the shores of Vangelis’ electronic orchestra. And check out Vangelis’ uncharacteristically jazzy Fender Rhodes keyboard playing. It also includes Jon Anderson‘s imploringly serene  interlude between movements, “So Long Ago, So Clear.”

Soil Festivities 4-Soil Festivities
This is the most “ambient” of Vangelis albums and his most underrated. Inspired by life’s processes, Vangelis uses repetitive minimalist patterns, nature sounds as well as flute and violin-like keyboard voices to create a seamless, contemplative journey that eschews his penchant for both sweetness and bombast. Released in 1984, Soil Festivities isn’t a meditative piece but an evolving journey over its five movements.

China 5-China
China marked a real shift for Vangelis. Ethnic instruments had always been part of his palette, but he’d never delved as deeply as he did on this 1979 CD. He plays Chinese flutes, the koto and other instruments mixing them in with his sweeping, cinematic synths for an east-west orchestra of the imagination.

Opera Sauvage 6-Opera Sauvage
Released in 1979, Opera Sauvage is the score for a nature documentary by French filmmaker Frédéric Rossif. It contains one of Vangelis’ best known songs, the poignant “L’enfant.” It’s a simple pentatonic theme with piano chirping out the sparse melody over a two note synthesizer ostinato, yet it remains remains powerfully evocative and hymn-like. Used in the film, The Year of Living Dangerously, it stole the score from Maurice Jarre’s actual soundtrack.

Voices 7-Voices
Voices arrived in 1995 after a four-year hiatus from studio recordings. It’s an instantly recognizable set full of his trademark sequencer rhythms and orchestral synthesis. Voices reestablished Vangelis’ preeminence as a master of music drama and atmosphere as Voices teems with heroic synthesizer melodies and inventive choral arrangements. In addition to Vangelis’s instrumentals, there are three vocals, one each from Paul Young, Caroline Lavelle and an ethereal lost-in-space track from Stina Nordenstam on “Ask the Mountains.”

Music From Koreyoshi Kurahara\'s Film Antarctica 8-Antarctica
This little seen 1983 film by Koreyoshi Kurahara about a failed Japanese mission to Antarctica in 1958 features an epic score from Vangelis that picks up on the white-on-white landscapes, vast ice formations and chilled environment. The title theme is a heroic work, while other tracks like “Antarctic Echoes” are full of the quiet, sweet repose that Vangelis frequently explores. Just before his digital transition, you can hear the subtlety that Vangelis gets from his keyboards with the Chinese flute-like line on “Song of White.”

Spiral 9-Spiral
Spiral, released in 1977, is in the vein of Albedo 0.39 but only contains five long compositions ranging from the sequencer driven title track to the quietly poignant “Ballad” with its vocoder voice sounding a lament from within Vangelis’s circuitry. This is Vangelis in sequencer overdrive. I always loved the cover with the headphone jack coming out of the sky to plug directly into your head.

 10-Blade Runner
Following on the heels of his lush, romantic score to Chariots of Fire, Vangelis composed this darker, edgier soundtrack in 1982 for Ridley Scott‘s archetypal science fiction thriller. Vangelis couched his electro-symphonic score in percussive rhythms and shadowed timbres. This is the album I hear cited most often as an influence by electronic musicians It was reissued last year as a 3 CD set with lots of new music.

Those are my picks. I’m sure you might have others.

~John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineOlafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-250Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs likeFor Now I Am Winter.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

 

10 Best Vangelis CDs

July 21, 2009

John Diliberto & Vangelis

John Diliberto & Vangelis

In the 1970s and early 80s, Vangelis was synonymous with orchestral electronic music the way another Greek, Yanni, is synonymous with the New Age music.  Whether it’s his film soundtracks forChariots of Fire and Blade Runner, or his epic albums Albedo 0.39 and Voices, the sound of Vangelis has shaped much of Echoes‘ first 20 years.  Vangelis is the father of symphonic synthesis, that style that merges electronics with the expansive compositions and arrangements of a classical orchestra. But while most electronic musicians who employ symphonic textures wind up sounding pseudo-classical, when Vangelis does it, he just sounds like Vangelis.

Vangelis Papathanassiou has released over forty albums and soundtracks since his official debut, Earth in 1973.   His career spans psychedelic, progressive rock, electronic, new age and symphonic music.  While there is a distinct Vangelis sound, marked by sweeping orchestral strings, often bombastic dynamic shifts, and ostinato sequences, he has stretched, bent and mutated those characteristics into widely divergent compositions over the years.  Albums like Beaubourg and Invisible Connections are  electronic freakouts that could’ve come from the Columbia-Princeton Studios or Radio Cologne.  That sound is counterbalanced by his sweeter music like the score to Chariots of Fire or his pop work with Yes singer Jon Anderson.

On Wednesday, Jully 22, I’ll be airing a segment on Echoes called Vangelis Then & Now.  Due to DMCA restrictions, we can’t do the full Vangelis thing, but here’s a list of the Ten Essential Vangelis CDs I would’ve included.

TEN ESSENTIAL VANGELIS CDs

Albedo 0.39 1-Albedo 0.39
This is Vangelis’ space music opus.  Along with its follow-up, Spiral, it’s his most sequencer driven album revealing the Zeitgeist of 1975, where Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Jean-Michel Jarre were releasing their space music journeys.  Albedo contains several of Vangelis’ best known themes, including the space explosion of “Pulstar.”

Mask 2-Mask
Mask is a dramatic choral work from Vangelis.  The choir is uncredited, but is likely the English Chamber Choir with lead tenor from Guy Protheroe.  Referencing Carl Orff and perhaps Magma, Vangelis orchestrates dramatic choral refrains that can sound like storm troopers on the march in “Movement 1” or the imploring gothic voices from the heavens on “Movement 4” with its marimba cycle and string bass groove.  I bought Mask on CD before I even had a CD player.

51P7RX9EWAL._SL500_AA240_3-Heaven and Hell
Released in 1975, Heaven & Hell is a crowning achievement for Vangelis.  Composed with just a couple of synthesizers, a ton of percussion and the English Chamber Choir, it’s a dynamic and heroic work. From the opening synthesizer clarion, the choir calls out to the heavens, synthesizers spin in counterpoint to tuned percussion, and timpani and cymbals crash on the shores of Vangelis’ electronic orchestra.  And check out Vangelis’ uncharacteristically jazzy Fender Rhodes keyboard playing.  It also includes Jon Anderson‘s sweet interlude between movements, “So Long Ago, So Clear.”

Soil Festivities 4-Soil Festivities
This is the most “ambient” of Vangelis albums and his most underrated.  Inspired by life’s processes, Vangelis uses repetitive minimalist patterns, nature sounds as well as  flute and violin-like keyboard voices to create a seamless, contemplative journey that eschews his penchant for both sweetness and bombast.  Released in 1984, Soil Festivities isn’t a meditative piece but an evolving journey over its five movements.

China 5-China
China marked a real shift for Vangelis. Ethnic instruments had always been part of his palette, but he’d never delved as deeply as he did on this 1979 CD.  He plays Chinese flutes, the koto and other instruments mixing them in with his sweeping, cinematic synths for an east-west orchestra of the imagination.

Opera Sauvage 6-Opera Sauvage
Released in 1979, Opera Sauvage is the score for a nature documentary by French filmmaker Frédéric Rossif.    It contains one of Vangelis’ best known songs, the poignant “L’enfant.” It’s a simple pentatonic theme with piano chirping out the sparse melody over a two note synthesizer ostinato, yet it remains remains powerfully evocative and hymn-like.  Used in the film, The Year of Living Dangerously, it stole the score from Maurice Jarre’s actual soundtrack.

Voices 7-Voices
Voices arrived in 1995 after a four-year hiatus from studio recordings.  It’s an instantly recognizable set full of his trademark sequencer rhythms and orchestral synthesis.  Voices reestablished Vangelis’ preeminence as a master of music drama and atmosphere as Voices teems with heroic synthesizer melodies and inventive choral arrangements.  In addition to Vangelis’s instrumentals, there are three vocals, one each from Paul Young, Caroline Lavelle and an ethereal lost-in-space track from Stina Nordenstam on “Ask the Mountains.”

Music From Koreyoshi Kurahara\'s Film Antarctica 8-Antarctica
This little seen 1983 film by Koreyoshi Kurahara about a failed Japanese mission to Antarctica in 1958 features an epic score from Vangelis that picks up on the white-on-white landscapes, vast ice formations and chilled environment.  The title theme is a heroic work, while other tracks like “Antarctic Echoes” are full of the quiet, sweet repose that Vangelis frequently explores.  Just before his digital transition, you can hear the subtlety that Vangelis gets from his keyboards with the Chinese flute-like line on “Song of White.”

Spiral 9-Spiral
Spiral, released in 1977, is in the vein of  Albedo 0.39 but only contains five long compositions ranging from the sequencer driven title track to the quietly poignant “Ballad” with its vocoder voice sounding a lament from within Vangelis’s circuitry.  This is Vangelis in sequencer overdrive.  I always loved the cover with the headphone jack coming out of the sky to plug directly into your head.

Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary [3 CD] 10-Blade Runner
Following on the heels of his lush, romantic score to Chariots of Fire, Vangelis composed this darker, edgier soundtrack in 1982 for Ridley Scott‘s archetypal science fiction thriller. Vangelis couched his electro-symphonic score in percussive rhythms and shadowed timbres.  This is the album I hear cited most often as an influence by electronic musicians   It was reissued last year as a 3 CD set with lots of new music.

Those are my picks.  I’m sure you might have others.   Tune in Weds., July 22 for a Vangelis suite, Then & Now on Echoes.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Vangelis Documentary

February 24, 2009
John Diliberto & Vangelis

John Diliberto & Vangelis

News is afoot that a documentary on Greek synthesist, Vangelis, has been produced by British cultural documentarian Tony Palmer.  Knowing a little about the culture surrounding the acclaimed, Academy Award-winning composer, I’m not sure if it will be more than a puff piece, but the list of commentators is pretty impressive, including all the film directors he’s worked with like Ridley Scott.     There’s more detail on the Planet Origo site, which is a good source for all things spacey and electronic.

You might also get a kick out of this earlier Echoes Blog on the True Story of Vangelis

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

The Real Story behind Vangelis

October 15, 2008

From the Vangelis list, I came across an alternative history of the Greek composer who scored Chariots of Fire and Bladerunner.  It’s in the Uncyclopedia.   Chariots Of Fire I’m probably the last person on the planet to discover this take-off site on Wikipedia.  The Vangelis entry scores a direct hit on the enigmatic composer who is praised as a modern day Mozart by supporters and a modern day Mantovani by detractors.   I think the critical concensus on Vangelis has shifted over the years.  Parodies making him out to be practitioner of shlock and pomposity have been the norm, but I’m hearing more and more younger musicians name-checking Vangelis as an influence.    He’s been cited in recent years by artists like BT and Digitonal, the latter who said that their song, “93 Years On” from Save Your Light For Darker Days, was directly inspired by Vangelis’ Bladerunner score. 25th Anniversary [3 CD] While Vangelis can lapse into sappy melodies and bombastic arrangements, he’s also made some of the most propulsive, driving electronic music of the modern age with Albedo 0.39 and Spiral as well as some music that seems to reach out and grab you by the heart on albums like Opera Sauvage and his score to 1492: Conquest of Paradise.  The composer, who turned 65 last March, has slowed down in recent years, but his influence continues.     But enough of praise, go have a laugh at Vangelis’s Uncyclopedia entry.

John Diliberto ((( Echoes )))


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