Vangelis – La petite fille de la mer
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Vangelis is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, Missing, 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 such as The Forminx and Aphrodite’s Child, with the latter’s album 666 going on to be recognized as a psychedelic classic.
Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries, including L’Apocalypse Des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream.
In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.
In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The soundtrack’s single, the film’s “Titles” theme, also reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners’ medal presentation ceremonies.
Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 52 albums, Vangelis is one of the most important proponents of electronic music.
Vangelis was born 29 March 1943, in Agria, near Volos, Greece. Largely a self-taught musician, he reportedly began composing at the age of four. He refused to take traditional piano lessons, and throughout his career did not have substantial knowledge of reading or writing musical notation.
He studied painting—an art he still practices at the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens. When he was six, Vangelis’s 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: 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.
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