9 months ago

Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka

The Insider's Guide to Vangelis

Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou (75), known professionally as Vangelis, is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, and orchestral. Best known for his Academy Award winning score for the film ‘Chariots Of Fire’, and composing scores for the films ‘Antartica‘, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘1492: Conquest Of Paradise’ and ‘Alexander’, as well as the use of his music in the PBS documentary ‘Cosmos: A Personal Voyage’ by Carl Sagan.

The theme from the 1982 Ridley Scott film “Blade Runner” with Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer & Sean Young. Music composed, arranged & performed by Vangelis.

“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.” — Vangelis

Vangelis began his professional music career working with several popular Greek bands in the ’60s such as The Forminx and most notably Aphrodite’s Child. Throughout the 1970s Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream.

In the early ’80s, Vangelis teamed up with YES vocalist/songwriter Jon Anderson. The duo recorded a series of successful and critically acclaimed albums under the name Jon & Vangelis. In 1981 Vangelis composed the score for the Oscar-winning film ‘Chariots Of Fire’, which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score.

I’ve always had a tendency, since my early childhood, to design the world not through society, but through a cosmic truth. I believe that our existence is first cosmic, then biological and then social. Unfortunately, so much importance is placed on our social life that it hides this fact. I think that people feel social pressure and understand that these systems, currently prevent happiness.  — Vangelis

The soundtrack single “Titles” reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was most recently used as theme music at the London 2012 Olympics.

In a career spanning over 50 years, writing and composing over 50 albums, Vangelis is regarded as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time. In 2o13 Director Tony Palmer released the brilliant documentary ‘Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka.’ This to celebrate the music legend’s illustrious and fascinating career of this true genius.

The two-hour documentary includes interviews with Vangelis and many of his friends and colleagues, including Sean Connery,Henri Mancini, Roman Polanski, Hugh Hudson, Jessye Norman, Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott, Akiko Ebi, Julian Rachlin and many others. It also includes rare, historical footage, most of which has never been seen before. Another highlight includes recent footage of Vangelis improvisation music in general.

To Vangelis, music and art are sacred, basic forces of the universe, their purpose to elevate, inspire and to heal human kind. This is Vangelis’ mission, this and his desire to awaken in all of us, perhaps, that place called memory.

“Every human being, animal, plant or mineral carries the imprint of the cycle of Creation. Sound has always followed the sequences of change in this cycle, like a code carrying the function and dimension of the universe, being at the same time its generator. Let us go deep into our memory (and remember), by doing this, we will be able to decode the code of the Creation of the universe and, therefore, our own. What an extraordinary and divine key is music!” – Vangelis

Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka (2013)