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He is probably most well known for his Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks or for the tracks used in the Cosmos television series.
He has been involved in many musical collaborations, most famously with Jon Anderson. Born: March 29 , in Volos, Greece.
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Artist clipping. They went on to release three more albums; The Friends of Mr Cairo , Private Collection and Page of Life released in , , and respectively. Carl Sagan 's TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage  uses several pieces composed by Vangelis during the s, including the series' opening theme, the third movement of Heaven and Hell.
In , Vangelis agreed to record the score for Chariots of Fire ; he accepted because "I liked the people I was working with. It was a very humble, low-budget film.
It gained mainstream commercial success which increased Vangelis' profile as a result. The opening instrumental title piece, " Titles ", later named "Chariots of Fire — Titles", was released as a single which reached No. In March , Vangelis won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score , but refused to attend the awards ceremony  partly due to his fear of flying.
He turned down an offer to stay in a stateroom aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 for a boat crossing. The rest I did instinctively, without thinking about anything else, other than to express my feelings with the technological means available to me at the time". The success of Chariots of Fire led to further offers for Vangelis to score films, but avoided becoming "a factory of film music".
It was the third such score by Vangelis as he'd previously scored documentaries about Georges Mathieu and Georges Braque. In , Vangelis collaborated with director Ridley Scott to score his science fiction film, Blade Runner A disagreement led to Vangelis withholding permission for his recordings to be released, so the studio hired musicians dubbed the New American Orchestra to release orchestral adaptations of the original score.
After 12 years, Vangelis' own work was released in but is considered incomplete as the film contained other Vangelis compositions that were not included.
In , Paramount Pictures released the film Conquest of Paradise , also directed by Ridley Scott , as a th anniversary commemoration of Christopher Columbus ' voyage to the New World. In the early s Vangelis began composing for ballet and theatre stage plays. Vangelis collaborated in and with Italian singer Milva achieving success, especially in Germany, with the albums Ich hab' keine Angst and Geheimnisse I have no fear and Secrets. Vangelis released Soil Festivities in It was thematically inspired by the interaction between nature and its microscopic living creatures;  Invisible Connections took inspiration from the world of elementary particles invisible to the naked eye;  Mask was inspired by the theme of the mask, an obsolete artefact which was used in ancient times for concealment or amusement;  and Direct The latter was the first album to be recorded in the post-Nemo Studios era.
It featured a special guest appearance by Jon Anderson. There were another five solo albums in the s; The City was recorded during a stay in Rome in , and reflected a day of bustling city life, from dawn until dusk;  Voices featured sensual songs filled with nocturnal orchestrations; Oceanic thematically explored the mystery of underwater worlds and sea sailing;  and two classical albums about El Greco - Foros Timis Ston Greco , which had a limited release, and El Greco , which was an expansion of the former.
He also composed the music, and designed and directed the artistic Olympic flag relay portion "Handover to Athens " , of the closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Sydney.
In Vangelis performed live, and subsequently released, the choral symphony Mythodea , which was used by NASA as the theme for the Mars Odyssey mission. This is a predominantly orchestral rather than electronic piece that was originally written in On 11 December , Vangelis was invited by Katara's Cultural Village in the state of Qatar to conceive, design, direct, and compose music for the opening of its world-class outdoor amphitheater.
The event was witnessed by a number of world leaders and dignitaries participating in the 4th Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in the city of Doha. British actor Jeremy Irons performed in the role of master of ceremonies, and the event featured a light show by German artist Gert Hof. It was filmed for a future video release by Oscar-winning British filmmaker Hugh Hudson. In , Vangelis re-tooled and added new pieces to his iconic Chariots of Fire soundtrack, for use in the same-titled stage adaptation.
The pieces were released online as videos accompanied by images and animations from the Rosetta mission. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write". In September , the works were released as part of the new studio album Rosetta. While Hawking's ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey , the music which backed Hawking's words were beamed by ESA to the nearest black hole to Earth. On 25 January , a new studio album, Nocturne: The Piano Album , was released, which includes both new and old compositions played on a grand piano, "inspired by night time, and by Vangelis' long-held passion for space".
For an artist of his stature, very little is known about Vangelis' personal life and he rarely gives official interviews to journalists. He stated in the interview that he was "never interested" in the "decadent lifestyle" of his band days, choosing not to use alcohol or other drugs.
When asked why he had not had children, Vangelis replied:. Excerpts from other interviews mention that Vangelis has been married twice before. In a interview with Dutch music magazine Oor , the author wrote that Vangelis had a wife named Veronique Skawinska, a photographer who had done some album art work for Vangelis.
It is not publicly 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 of 70 paintings was held at Almudin in Valencia , Spain in and then toured South America until the end of Vangelis considers it a style which "gave the opportunity for untalented people to make very boring music".
As a musician who has always composed and played primarily on keyboards, Vangelis relies heavily on synthesizers  and other electronic approaches to music. However, he also plays and uses many acoustic instruments including folk  and choirs:.
I don't always play synthesizers. I play acoustic instruments with the same pleasure. I'm happy when I have unlimited choice; in order to do that, you need everything from simple acoustic sounds to electronic sounds. 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 site went on to describe his music as melodic : "drawing on the melodies of folk music , especially the Greek music of his homeland". In a interview Vangelis described the CS as "The most important synthesizer in my career — and for me the best analogue synthesizer design there has ever been.
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. 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 duduks.
He explains his customary method of approach.