Infobox musical artist
Name = Vangelis

Img_capt = Vangelis at the premiere of El Greco
Img_size = 200
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Born = Birth date and age|1943|3|29
Origin = Volos, Greece
Instrument = Piano, synthesizer, keyboards, Korg PS-3300, Hammond organ, bass guitar, drums, percussion
Genre = Instrumental music, electronic music, film score, progressive rock, classical, new age
Occupation = Composer, musician, record producer, arranger
Years_active = 1961-present
Associated_acts = Aphrodite's Child, Jon & Vangelis, Milva, Irene Papas, Demis Roussos
Label = RCA Records, Atlantic Records, Sony Music, Warner Bros. Records, Polydor, Charly Records Ltd. [ [ Discography site] Retrieved 16th September 2008]

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (Born March 29, 1943 in Volos, Greece) (Greek: Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου IPA2|evˈaɲɟelos oðiˈseas papaθanaˈsiu), is a world renowned, Greek composer of electronic, new age, and classical music, under the artist name Vangelis (a diminutive of Evangelos; pronEng|vænˈgɛlɨs in English [ [ Keyboard Interview "Vangelis Papathanassiou" by Bob Doerschuk, Keyboard Magazine August, 1982] ] ). He is best known for his Academy Award winning score for the film "Chariots of Fire", and scores for the films "Blade Runner" and "".

Vangelis is generally regarded by music critics to be one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time.cite newspaper |author=Peter Culshaw |title=My Greek odyssey with Alexander |publisher=The Telegraph |date=6 January 2005 |url= |accessdate=2008-10-12] [ [ All Music Guide bio.] Retrieved 6th October 2008] [ Tranglos review] Retrieved 6th October 2008]


Formative years

On March 29, 1943, Vangelis was born near Volos, Greece. He purportedly began composing at the age of four, and is largely a self-taught musician. He refused to take traditional piano lessons, and throughout his career did not have substantial knowledge of reading or writing musical notation. [ Musician Guide biog] Retrieved 20th August 2008] He studied painting, an art he still practices, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens. [ [ Clipper Ships website] Retrieved 20th August 2008] When he was six, Vangelis' parents enrolled him at a specialist music school in Athens. Vangelis said in an interview with "Life", when asked about his lack of ability to read music: cquote|When the teachers asked me to play something, I would pretend that I was reading it and play from memory. I didn't fool them, but I didn't care.

Work in bands

In the early 1960s he was one of the founders of pop group The Forminx (or The Formynx), which became popular in Greece. Based in Thessaloniki in the north of the country, the five-piece band played a mixture of cover versions and their own material, the latter written mostly by Vangelis but still sung in English. The Forminx released nine hit singles and a Christmas EP before disbanding in 1966 at the peak of their success. A film being made about them at the time was never finished. Vangelis spent the next two years mostly studio-bound, writing and producing for other Greek artists. [ Blue Point] Retrieved 11th October 2008]

Around the time of the student riots in 1968, Vangelis founded progressive rock band Aphrodite's Child together with Demis Roussos, Loukas Sideras and Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter the UK, they found a home in Paris where they recorded their first single, a hit across much of Europe called "Rain and Tears". Other singles followed, including two albums, which, in total, sold over 20 million copies. The record sales led the record company to request a third album, and Vangelis went on to conceive the double-album "666", based on "Revelation", the last book in the Bible. Tensions between members during the recording of "666" eventually caused the split of the band in 1971, but the album was still released in 1972. Despite the split, Vangelis has since produced several albums and singles for Demis Roussos, who, in turn, contributed vocals to the "Blade Runner" soundtrack. [ [ Prog Archives bio of AC] Retrieved 21st August 2008]

Early solo works

While still in Aphrodite's Child, Vangelis had already been involved in other projects. In 1970 he had composed the score for a film called "Sex Power" (Demis Roussos provided vocals). In 1971, some jam sessions with a group of musicians at Marquee Studios in London had resulted in two albums' worth of material, unofficially released without Vangelis' permission in 1978, titled "Hypothesis" (aka "Visions of the Future"), and "The Dragon". Vangelis succeeded in taking legal action to have them withdrawn. A more successful project was his scoring of wildlife films made by French filmmaker Frédéric Rossif. The first was "L'Apocalypse des Animaux", released in 1973. In 1972, the student riots of 1968 provided the inspiration for an album titled "Fais que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long que la Nuit" (Make your dream last longer than the night), comprising musical passages mixed with news snippets and protest songs - some lyrics were based on graffiti daubed on walls during the riots. [ [ Album review] Retrieved 20th August 2008]

olo career

In 1973 Vangelis' solo career began in earnest. His first "official" solo album was "Earth", though it did actually feature a group of musicians including ex-Aphrodite's Child guitarist Silver Koulouris and also vocalist and songwriter Robert Fitoussi (better known as F.R. David of "Words Don't Come Easy" fame). [ [ Groove NL reviews] Retrieved 2nd September 2008] This line-up, later briefly going out under the name "Odyssey", released a single in 1974 titled "Who", but that was Vangelis' last involvement with them. Later in 1974, Vangelis was widely tipped to join another prog-rock band, Yes, following the departure of Rick Wakeman. After a couple of weeks of rehearsals Vangelis decided not to join Yes and, instead, they went on to hire Swiss keyboard player Patrick Moraz, who later joined the Moody Blues. Vangelis did, however, become friends with Yes' lead vocalist Jon Anderson, and later worked with him on several occasions, including as the duo Jon & Vangelis. [ [ FAQ Yes] Retrieved 2nd September 2008] After moving to London, Vangelis signed with RCA Records, set up his own studio, Nemo Studios, [ [ Nemo Studios] Retrieved 2nd September 2008] and began recording a string of electronic albums, such as "Heaven and Hell" (1975), "Albedo 0.39" (1976), "Spiral" (1977), "Beaubourg" (1978), and "China" (1979). Parts of "Heaven and Hell" were later used as the theme to the PBS television series "" by Carl Sagan. A melody from "Albedo 0.39" called "Alpha" was also used in "Cosmos". Another part (the song "So Long Ago, So Clear"), featured guest vocals by Jon Anderson, marking the start of the partnership. Vangelis also contributed as a producer and keyboard player to the album "Phos", by the Greek rock band Socrates Drank the Conium (later known simply as "Socrates"). [ [ Sound on Sound article] Retrieved 2nd September 2008] [ [ MD Socrates album review] Retrieved 11th October 2008]

In 1979, Vangelis provided the score for another animal documentary by Frédéric Rossif, "Opera Sauvage". Almost as well known as "L'Apocalypse des Animaux", the resulting soundtrack would bring him to the attention of some of the world's top filmmakers. The music itself would be re-used in other films (most notably the track "L'Enfant" in The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) by Peter Weir) and television commercials (the track "Hymne", used in Barilla pasta commercials in Italy and Ernest & Julio Gallo wine ads in the US). [ [ All Music review of Opera.] Retrieved 2nd September 2008]

Film work

"Chariots of Fire"

In 1981, Vangelis wrote the score for the film "Chariots of Fire", set at the Paris Olympics in 1924. The choice of music was unorthodox as most period films featured traditional orchestral scores; Vangelis' music was modern and synthesizer-heavy. The movie won a half-dozen awards, including an Academy award for Best Picture of the year. Vangelis won the Academy Award for Original Music Score. The opening theme of the film was released as a single in 1982, topping the American Billboard chart for one week after climbing steadily for five months. [ [ AMG review of Chariots of Fire] Retrieved 25th September 2008]

Greek musician Stavros Logarides claimed Vangelis had copied the melody of "Titles" from one of his compositions called "City of Violets". Once a member of a 1970s band called Poll and actually a friend of Vangelis at the time, Logarides sued Vangelis for plagiarism in 1987. When the case came to court, Vangelis set up synthesizers in the courtroom and played for the judge and all others present, though less for entertainment purposes and more so he could demonstrate his compositional process. [ [ New York Times news article] Retrieved 20th August 2008] The judge ruled that "Titles" was a Vangelis original, being a strong, vibrant piece of music, whereas "City of Violets" was fairly sombre and somewhat mournful by comparison, and any similarities in the melody were minor.

Other notable Vangelis soundtracks were "Antarctica" for Nankyoku Monogatari in 1983, and "The Bounty" in 1984. Vangelis also collaborated in 1981 and 1986 with Italian singer Milva, achieving a large success especially in Germany with the albums "Ich Hab' Keine Angst" and "Geheimnisse" ("I am fearless" and "Secrets"). The Italian language Nana Mouskouri Album alsofeatured her singing his composition "Ti Amero". Collaboration numberswith lyricist Mikalis Bourboulis sung by Maria Farantouri included thetracks "Odi A", "San Elektra", and "Tora Xero". [ Intuitive Music - Vangelis biog.] Retrieved 25th September 2008]

"Blade Runner"

In 1982, Vangelis began a collaboration with director Ridley Scott, writing the score for the science fiction film "Blade Runner". [ [ Star Pulse Vangelis biography] Retrieved 20th August 2008] Capturing the isolation and melancholy of Harrison Ford's character Rick Deckard, the Vangelis score is as much a part of the dystopian environment as the decaying buildings and ever-present rain.

A disagreement led to Vangelis withholding permission for his performance of the music from "Blade Runner" to be released, and the studio instead hired a group of musicians dubbed "The New American Orchestra" to record the official LP released at the time. It would take 12 years before things could be worked out and Vangelis's own work be released in the United States in 1994. Yet this soundtrack was still incomplete, as the film contained some non-Vangelis tracks as well. Over the years a series of bootleg recordings of "Blade Runner soundtrack" from unknown sources have been released, mostly targeted to collectors as "private releases", that contain most of the music cues (including the Ladd Company logo theme). [ [ review] Retrieved 25th September 2008] A 3 disc boxset has been released in late 2007 containing the 1994 album, a second disc containing some more of the missing music cues and a third disc of new Vangelis material inspired by Blade Runner. The 2007 release is still missing some incidental music, most notably the background music from the Taffey Lewis bar scene featuring vocals by Demis Roussos. [ [ BR Tri. Product page] Retrieved 20th August 2008]

"1492: Conquest of Paradise"

In 1992, Paramount Pictures released the film "", also directed by Ridley Scott, as a 500th anniversary commemoration of Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World. Vangelis's score was nominated as "Best Original Score - Motion Picture" at the 1993 Golden Globe awards, but was not nominated for an Academy Award. [ [ Film tracks review] Retrieved 25th September 2008]

Other works

In 1983 Vangelis wrote the music for Michael Cacoyannis' staging of the Greek tragedy "Elektra" which was performed featuring Irene Papas at the open-air amphitheater at Epidavros in Greece. [ [ Vangelis fan site] Retrieved 25th 2008] The same year Vangelis composed his first score for a ballet by Wayne Eagling. It was originally performed by Lesley Colier and Wayne Eagling himself at an Amnesty International gala in Drury Lane, but in 1984 the Royal Ballet School presented it again at the Sadler's Wells theater. In 1985 and 1986, Vangelis wrote music for two more ballets: "Frankenstein - Modern Prometheus" and "The Beauty and the Beast". In 1992, Vangelis wrote the music for the Euripides play, "Medea", that featured Irene Papas. [ [ Elsewhere website] Retrieved 25th September 2008] In the 90's, Vangelis scored a number of undersea documentaries for French ecologist and filmmaker, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. [ [ Proggnosis Web-site] Retrieved 25th September 2008] During 1980, six years after Vangelis decided against joining Yes, he and Jon Anderson, the lead singer of Yes, released their first album together, "Short Stories", under the band name of Jon & Vangelis. They would eventually go on to release three more afterwards; "The Friends of Mr. Cairo", "Private Collection" and "Page of Life" released in 1981, 1983, and 1991 respectively. [ [ Conolly discography of J&V] Retrieved 25th September 2008]

The Olympic Games

In May 2000, Vangelis composed the music as well as designed and directed the artistic Olympic flag relay portion of the Closing Ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. [ [ Sony BMG V. biog] Retrieved 26th September 2008] The performance prompted many, including Vangelis himself, to think that he would play an influential role in the artistic development of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. [ [ Telegraph 2005 interview with V. Page 2.] Retrieved 26th September 2008] The Athens Olympic Committee (ATHOC) had other plans, however, and the job was given to someone else. For the first time ever, a DJ, Tiesto, composed and mixed an entire trance music soundtrack for the Olympics. [ [ In The Mix website] Retrieved 26th September 2008] STATUS magazine author Nikos Mouratidis interviewed Vangelis in June 2002 and concluded the following:

While no official recording of Vangelis' composition for the 2000 Sydney Games exists, the music can be heard accompanying the presentation of the emblem of the 2004 Athens Games. [cite video
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Vangelis performed live and released "Mythodea", a predominantly orchestral rather than electronic piece that was originally written in 1993, and used by NASA as the theme for the Mars Odyssey mission in 2001. [ [ Tracksounds Review] Retrieved 26th September 2008] A year later, in 2002, Vangelis created the "2002 FIFA World Cup Official Anthem" for the 2002 World Cup. [ [ Prog archives single] Retrieved 26th September 2008]

In 2004, Vangelis released the score for Oliver Stone's "Alexander", continuing his involvement with projects related to Greece. [ [ Synthtopia Review of Alex. S.T.] Retrieved 26th September 2008] Vangelis released 2 albums in 2007; the first was a 3 CD set for the 25th Anniversary of Blade Runner, titled Blade Runner Trilogy and second was the soundtrack for the Greek movie, El Greco, titled El Greco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. [ [ Synthopia Triology Preview] Retrieved 26th September 2008] [ [ Elsewhere albums page] Retrieved 26th September 2008]

Personal life

Little is known about Vangelis' personal life and he rarely gives official interviews to journalists. Although, in a 2005 interview with "The Telegraph", Vangelis talked openly about various parts of his life. He stated, in the interview, that he was "never interested" in the "decadent lifestyle" of the era that his band days were in, choosing not to take drugs or drink alcohol. Vangelis also revealed that he had never been married, and, instead, was involved in his third long-term relationship at the time. When asked why he had not had children, Vangelis replied:cquote|...Because of the amount of travelling I do and the nonsense of the music business. I couldn't take care of a child in the way I think it should be taken care of. It is not known where Vangelis generally resides; he has stated that he "travels around", rather than settling down in one specific place or country for long periods of time. As a hobby, Vangelis enjoys painting; his first art exhibition toured South America in 2005.

Musical style and compositional process

As a musician, Vangelis relies heavily on synthesizers and other electronic approaches to music. "Synthtopia", an electronic music review website, stated that Vangelis' music could be referred to as "symphonic electronica" because of his use of synthesizers in an orchestral fashion. The afforementioned review site went on to describe his music as melodic: "drawing on the melodies of folk music, especially the Greek music of his homeland." [ [ Synthtopia Review of Vangelis] Retrieved 6th October 2008] Vangelis' music and compositions have also been described as "...a distinctive sound with simple, repetitive yet memorable tunes against evocative rhythms and chord progressions." [ [ Mfiles biog.] Retrieved 6th October 2008]

In an interview with "Soundtrack", a music and film website, Vangelis talked about his compositional processes. For films, Vangelis stated that he would begin composing a score for a feature as soon as he sees a rough cut of the footage. [ [ Soundtrack Interview] Retrieved 6th October 2008] In addition to working with synthesizers and other electronically based instruments, Vangelis also works with and is a conductor to orchestras. For example, in the Oliver Stone film "Alexander", Vangelis conducted an orchestra that consisted of various classical instruments including; sitars, percussion, finger cymbals, harps, and Duduk's. [ [ MFTM review of Alexander] Retrieved 6th October 2008]

Vangelis uses a technique of recording all tracks simultaneously on tape, using a device specially manufactured for him called a Direct box.

Honours and legacy

France made Vangelis a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1992. [ [ Alexander the Great website] Retrieved 25th September 2008] In 1995, Vangelis had a minor planet named after him ("6534 Vangelis") by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. [ [ Harvard web-site with info about the planet] Retrieved 25th September 2008] NASA conferred their Public Service Medal to Vangelis in 2003. The award is the highest honour the space agency presents to an individual not involved with the American government. [ [ Sonic State bio of Vangelis] Retrieved 25th September 2008] Five years later, in 2008, the board of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens voted to make Vangelis an Horonary Doctor, making him Professor Emeritus at their Faculty of Primary Education. [ [ Elsew web-site] Retrieved 20th August 2008]


tudio albums

* (1972) "Fais que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long que la Nuit" (lit. Make your dream last longer than the night)
* (1973) "Earth"
* (1975) "Heaven and Hell"
* (1976) "Albedo 0.39"
* (1977) "Spiral"
* (1978) "Beaubourg"
* (1979) "China"
* (1980) "See You Later"
* (1984) "Soil Festivities"
* (1985) "Mask"
* (1985) "Invisible Connections"
* (1988) "Direct"
* (1990) "The City"
* (1995) "Voices"
* (1996) "Oceanic"
* (1998) "El Greco"
* (2001) "


See also

* Aphrodite's Child
* Jon & Vangelis
* Electronic music
* 20th century classical music

External links

* [ Vangelis] at Pandora (music service) (Music Genome Project)
* [ Vangelis History]
* [ Interview with Vangelis]

ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Papathanassiou, Evangelos Odysseas
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Composer, Record producer, Arranger
DATE OF BIRTH= 29 March 1943
PLACE OF BIRTH= Volos, Greece

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  • Vangelis — Evangelos Odyssey Papathanassiou, más conocido como Vangelis (pronunciado vanguélis en español) es un famoso compositor griego de música new age y electrónica, nacido el 29 de marzo de 1943. Sus obras más conocidas son: Carros de Fuego (ganadora… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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