Seven minutes of improvisational genius from Vangelis

A major part of my life’s soundtrack has been provided by Vangelis, and if you, like me, have found your soul resonating with his beautiful, dark, lush, deep, futuristic, exquisite, transcendent music, then you’ll surely find this video to be as gripping as I do. It presents “Rare footage of Vangelis performing an improvisation on synthesizer at his Nemo Studios. Recording of this performance took place by Spanish Television in 1982, also when Neuronium (Michel Huygen) visited Vangelis to perform together.”

(A sincere thank you to io9 for drawing attention to this video.)

If, by the way, the name “Vangelis” doesn’t ring a bell for you, please let Wikipedia fill this drastic lacuna in your world:

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassious (born 29 March 1943) is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock and orchestral music, under the artist name Vangelis. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.

Vangelis began his professional musical career working with several popular bands of the 1960s … In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, which won him the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The soundtrack’s single, “Titles”, also reached the top of the American Billboard and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners’ medal presentation ceremonies. In a career spanning over 50 years, writing and composing more than 52 albums, Vangelis is regarded as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time.

Beyond my sheer pleasure in listening to Vangelis’ work, I’m especially entranced by it because of the deep influence it has had on my own musical life as a keyboardist and composer. Several tracks on my Daemonyx album bear his imprint, as in my 10-minute mega-song “Road to Olduvai,” which also bears the mark of Tangerine Dream (although neither they nor Vangelis ever did anything remotely like the rock and power metal sections of that song). Click the player button below to listen if you like, and especially pay attention around the 3-minute mark for some quasi-Vangelis-like textures that I didn’t even realize I was creating when I recorded them:

 

And for more Vangelis goodness here at The Teeming Brain, see “Heaven of the Mind.”

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD, GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES, and HORROR LITERATURE THROUGH HISTORY.

Posted on August 16, 2012, in Arts & Entertainment and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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