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All the latest news updates on Vangelis, from the most recent to older topics.
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Written by Dennis, posted: August 19, 2016

EPK trailer on Youtube, everywhere except the USA

The trailer (short edition) of the EPK for Vangelis' Rosetta album, which we referred to yesterday is now also available on Youtube. This makes it available to considerably more territories. Only the USA has yet to be added, but this should happen soon, so check back later at this very same same link, if it doesn't work for you just yet.

Vangelis appears in the Rosetta EPK

Written by Dennis, posted: August 18, 2016

Vangelis in trailer for Rosetta EPK video

The BBC's Sky at Night magazine's web site has the honor to show an advance trailer for an upcoming promotional video for Vangelis' eagerly awaited "Rosetta album". Vangelis appears in the video, which can be seen following the link below:

Unfortunately, the VEVO video on this site appears to be restricted to certain territories. Other options will follow soon.

iTunes US has previews for all thirteen Rosetta tracks

iTunes users in the US already have access to preview clips of all album tracks. It's possible that other territories have the same privilige, although this does not seem to be the case with iTunes in the UK. Be sure to check the status of your local iTunes store.

Thanks to Joaquín Durand and Stefan Aleo for their US iTunes tips!.

Written by Sufian,14:05 CET on August 15, 2016

Third Rosetta Teaser video

A third teaser video for Vangelis' upcoming "Rosetta" album was just released by Decca on their official YouTube channel. It contains a music snippet of about a minute titled "Origins (Arrival)".

Link to the video on YouTube:
  • www.youtube.com/embed/IA0m8mScC3E
  • Written by Dennis, posted: August 5, 2016

    Rosetta Teaser video contains first new music

    A new teaser video for Vangelis' upcoming "Rosetta" album - released by Decca on their official facebook page for Vangelis - contains over half a minute from "Infinitude", effectively the first unknown music that we can hear since the album was announced. Certainly something that whets our appetites.

    Here's a link to the Facebook video:
  • www.facebook.com/VangelisOfficial/...4769050/
  • Written by Dennis, 22:40 CET on July 29, 2016

    Rosetta links

    Here is a selection of the best links to Rosetta related spaces on the web that we collected throughout the day.

  • ESA's main Rosetta blog has its own entry about the upcoming Vangelis release: blogs.esa.int/r...rosetta-mission
  • UdiscoverMusic is Universal's online music magazine, which has its own story on the upcoming album:
    www.udiscovermusic.com/vangelis...87464
  • FactMag brings their story on the announcement: www.factmag.com/2016...landing-mission
  • Retail links:
  • Official store: po.st/RosettaEwOSeC
  • iTunes: po.st/RosettaEwOSiT
  • Amazon: po.st/RosettaEwOSAmz
  • Google: po.st/RosettaEwOSGP
  • "Mission Accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz)", the single track that has already been released is also available for download in lossless CD quality, see here: www.qobuz.com/de.../0060255710199
  • Written by Dennis, posted: 10:01 (UK time) on July 29, 2016

    Vangelis' upcoming "Rosetta" album officially announced

    Decca Records has just officially anounced "Rosetta", the new Vangelis album. Here's the record label's official press release:

    "A peerless pioneer... capable of producing enduring masterpieces" – BBC

    VANGELIS

    Iconic composer presents 'Rosetta'

    New music inspired by space mission

    Vangelis - Rosetta

    RELEASED 23rd SEPTEMBER on DECCA RECORDS

    VIDEO TEASER TRAILER HERE

    DECCA today announces a brand new album entitled 'Rosetta' by legendary composer and pioneer of electronic music, Vangelis, inspired by his long-held passion for space.

    Released on 23rd September, Vangelis' breathtaking recording is inspired by the Rosetta Mission, a pioneering project by the European Space Agency (ESA) to land a probe on a comet for the first time in history. The release of the recording marks the culmination of the 12-year mission and is accompanied by incredible footage captured by the probe.

    Vangelis, whose celebrated scores include the trailblazing 'Chariots of Fire' and 'Blade Runner', reveals his musical inspiration: "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."

    The project came about after ESA astronaut André Kuipers, a long-standing fan of Vangelis, reached out to the composer whilst aboard the International Space Station. After sharing stories and experiences via a video call from the ISS, Vangelis was inspired to write 'Rosetta'. The music is dedicated to everyone who made ESA's ongoing Rosetta Mission possible, in particular extending the track 'Rosetta Waltz' as an expression of his appreciation to the mission team.

    Carl Walker from ESA says of the project:
    "When we put the mission footage images together with the music, we thought it captured how people would feel if they were to see the comet for real in close-up. With music, you can enhance emotions and create memories: I believe that what Vangelis wanted to do was share a lasting memory of our Rosetta mission through his music."

    Vangelis' music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration. Alongside his Academy Award-winning score for 'Chariots of Fire', he has written the choral symphony 'Mythodea' for NASA's 2001 Mission to Mars, as well as films including 'Antarctica', '1492: Conquest of Paradise' and 'Alexander'. His music has also been used in the documentary series 'Cosmos', by Carl Sagan.

    To Vangelis, music is a sacred, basic force of the universe, its purpose to elevate, inspire and to heal humankind. Never has this been more obvious than on 'Rosetta', which perfectly blends his fascination with the universe and his masterly ability to compose stirring music that fuels the senses. As ESA's Carl Walker says: "It is music that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck."

    facebook.com/VangelisOfficial . esa.int

    Tracklisting:

    01 - Origins (Arrival)
    02 - Starstuff
    03 - Infinitude
    04 - Exo genesis
    05 - Celestial whispers
    06 - Albedo 0.06
    07 - Sunlight
    08 - Rosetta
    09 - Philae's descent
    10 - Mission accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz)
    11 - Perihelion
    12 - Elegy
    13 - Return to the void

    Most of us are familiar with three of the tracks on this album, as they were originally published by ESA in a series of Youtube videos, released in November 2014, on the day that ESA's Philae lander touched down on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Vangelis has since expanded those tracks into a full album that tells the story of the Rosetta probe from start to finish, as its release now roughly coincides with the end of this fascinating galactic mission.

    Rosetta is a space probe, designed and built by the European Space Agency (ESA), launched on March 2 2004 and after two succesfull asteroid fly-bys it finally reached its destination on August 6 2014 by entering an orbit around the comet it had been chasing. From there ESA released and succesfully landed its accompanying lander module Philae, which landed on November 12, triggering the release of the ESA video's with the initial three Vangelis tracks. The Rosetta probe has since continued to study the comet and will do so until September 30, when a slow crash landing is planned, which will enable the craft to gather even more detailed scientific information.

    Some of the mission's most prolific scientific successes include the discovery that the comet's nucleus has a magnetic field of its own, and that this comet contains some basic ingredients crucial to the origins of life, adding merit to theories that passing or crashing comets may just have played an important role in our very own origination.

    Check out the following link to ESA's official Rosetta mission web site:
  • sci.esa.int/rosetta
  • Some links to Decca related resources on the web Vangelis album:
  • Sign up for Decca's Vangelis news mailinglist here: zaphod.uk.vvhp.net/vvreg/11612-459406.html
  • Universal has been maintainging an official (coorporate) Facebook page about Vangelis, which will also post Rosetta related updates: www.facebook.com/VangelisOfficial
  • [Editted: 22:40 CET] Decca sold one hunderd signed copies of the CD release here store.udiscovermusic.com/...000000 but sold them out in a matter of hours.
  • The Elsewhere Vangelis site celebrates this upcoming release with a countdown to the release day (and the very moment the online digital release should become available) at the top of this page, as well as a temporarily adjusted site design.

    The album will be available as CD, vinyl double LP and digital download, as well as streaming. Pre-ordering is available as of this moment, and in some cases (including iTunes) will give instant access to one track, the one named "Mission Accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz)". The same track has become available (in some territories) in Spotify (and probably some other streaming platforms as well):
  • open.spotify.com/track/4Iwkad0iVQXbPgkDWM8cu5
  • Be sure to check back here regularly, while we keep counting down. We will follow the developments closely.

    Vangelis' new Rosetta album.
    Written by Dennis, July 28, 2016

    Official teaser for "Rosetta"

    The Elsewhere Vangelis site is proud to present the internet premiere of Decca's first teaser video for Vangelis' upcoming new "Rosetta" album.

    Also, be sure to check back here tomorrow...

    Link to the video on YouTube:
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3FN168Yiu8
  • Written by Dennis, posted: July 22, 2016

    El Greco Anniversary Edition box set's international re-release

    El Greco Anniversary box set.

    The special "Anniversary Edition" box set of the El Greco score (and movie), originally released in Greece in November 2014 to celebrate 400 years passing since the old master's death, will now be re-released throughout Europe, popping up for pre-order in Germany, France, the UK, etc. The local release date seems set for July 29.

    The box contains the Vangelis score on CD, the Vangelis score on vinyl (slightly different artwork compared to the separate vinyl release, also from 2014), the movie on DVD (a reissue compared to the 2008 Greek DVD, this one includes English subtitles, according to the packaging), and a Taschen art book on El Greco's paintings. All stunningly packed in deluxe and sturdy designer box set packaging. This is a beautiful release, now finally easily available outside of Greece.

    Note that most of these stores incorrectly associate the release with Vangelis' 1998 album. Be sure that this is Vangelis' unrelated 2007 original score for the Greek / Spanish movie.

    Other collectors news: Cobalt in Greece has re-released both Odes and Rapsodies by Vangelis and Irene Papas on CD, this time in special packaging sized like a 7" single. Also Universal in the UK is releasing remastered vinyl editions of both Earth and l'Apocalypse des Animaux in August or September. Earth could be the same Vangelis supervised remaster as its digital release (which had added reverb), but for l'Apocalypse no remaster has yet been available.

    Written by Dennis, posted: July 15, 2016

    Track list for "Rosetta"

    Presumed artwork for the Rosetta album

    Some of the on-line shops reveal the track list for Vangelis' upcoming new studio album.

       1. Origins (Arrival)                   4:23
       2. Star Stuff                          5:14
       3. Infinitude                          4:30
       4. Exo Genesis                         3:33
       5. Celestial Whispers                  2:31
       6. Albedo 0.06                         4:45
       7. Sunlight                            4:22
       8. Rosetta                             5:02
       9. Philae's Descent                    3:05
      10. Mission accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz) 2:13
      11. Perihelion                          6:35
      12. Elegy                               3:07
      13. Return To The Void                  4:20		
            

    The vinyl record contains the first 7 tracks on disc 1 and the last 6 on disc 2.

    Decca's official album announcement is still pending.

    Special thanks to Fernando Hoya for sharing his findings! Also thanks to Kristian Janssens for the additional source.

    Written by Dennis, posted: 8:29 CET, July 5, 2016

    NASA's Juno video uses Vangelis' "Titans"

    While NASA's Juno mission has entered into an orbit around Jupiter, NASA has released a time-lapse video of Jupiter and its moons during Juno's approach. The video is set to Vangelis' "Titans" from the Alexander score (2004). No new music in this occasion, but the significance is huge and the video is bound to go viral.

    The footage was just presented to the media by Scott Bolton at this morning's mission briefing. Wind to 18:30 for the introduction:
  • www.ustream.tv/recorded/89231351
  • Written by Sufian, posted: 11:48 CET, June 18, 2016

    UK release of Vangelis "Rosetta" album

    Presumed artwork for the Rosetta album

    As we eagerly await an official announcement on Vangelis' new music release "Rosetta", Amazon UK has now listings of the album on double-disc vinyl and CD. Both editions are available now for pre-order.

    Please note this release is published by the UK record label "Decca Records", the same record company that published Vangelis' previous album "Chariots of Fire - The Play" in 2012.

    We wish to stress again information may be subject to change until an official announcement comes through.

    Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get notified when new details are posted here.

    Written by Dennis, posted: June 11, 2016

    Vangelis - "Rosetta"

    Currently issued artwork for the Rosetta album

    We were waiting for an official announcement on Vangelis' new project, but it seems that a number of record shops in Germany have been issued with an early listing, unveiling a brand new new Vangelis album named "Rosetta".

    Keep in mind that all information may be subject to change, but the date currently listed for release is September 23.

    A vinyl edition is also issued, for instance here:
  • www.mediamarkt.de/...vangelis-rosetta-klassik-vinyl...html
  • Check back here for more information and details on what seems to be in the pipeline!

    Written by Dennis, posted: May 14, 2016

    No Vangelis score for "Cézanne et moi"

    Two two lead characters.

    Unfortunately, Vangelis is no longer attached as composer to Danièle Thompson's upcoming new movie "Cézanne et moi".

    Sources close to Vangelis confirm that Vangelis will not be involved with this movie. Due to Vangelis' involvement in projects with ESA and NASA his time schedule proved incompatible with the film's production schedule.

    It seems that the score is now slated to be composed by French composer Éric Neveux.

    Written by Sufian, posted: Junuary 17, 2016

    Interview with Nikos Mouratidis

    Nikos Mouratidis with Vangelis

    Greek music website MusicHeaven.gr conducted an interview with music journalist Nikos Mouratidis. In the interview Nikos reflects on his career in the music business and his work as an A&R with a number of artists including Vangelis.

    Link to the interview (in Greek)
  • http://www.musicheaven.gr/&file=article&id=4476
  • Nikos interviewed Vangelis on several occasions for the Greek press, see our earlier updates from 11 June 2014, 14 February 2003, and 5 June 2002.

    Written by Dennis, posted: December 8, 2015

    Vangelis' unreleased "Amore" score on vinyl

    Amore LP

    Vangelis collector Roland Weissflog was the first to report a release that comes as a big surprise to anyone: On Friday, November 20 a small French record label named Monster Melodies has released a soundtrack recording of Vangelis' original score for Henry Chapier's obscure 1973 movie "Amore" on vinyl.

    Amore was Vangelis' second collaboration with movie director Henry Chapier, after recording a score for art house obscurity "Sex Power", a year earlier. While an LP was released for the Sex Power score, in very limited quantities, nothing was released of the music for Amore. Nor did anyone since its original release find a way to watch the movie, until some years ago French media archival organization INA finally released the movie online as well as on DVD.

    So, now suddenly we can buy a full soundtrack album, on good old vinyl, which obviously raises a lot of questions. It seems unlikely that Vangelis would sign of on such a release and indeed, sources close to Vangelis confirm that Vangelis has nothing to do with this release, nor does he support it. The recordings obviously do come from the archived masters and the album seems to suggest that all rights have been taken care of. We have no doubt that some rights were arranged with third parties, but whether that gives anyone the right to produce a "Vangelis" album without his consent is very questionable. It is in this day and age not entirely uncommon for small labels to produce a record on their own merrit, hoping to stay under the radar and get away with things. Think for instance of the recent Dutch Sex Power reprint on vinyl, which later had to be retracted in several countries. Either way, the label's official position seems to be that this is a fully legal release, but the fact that Monster Melodies did not add this record to their official web site, nor to its public online ordering catalog may be a tell tale sign indeed. The exact situation around the new "Amore" release remains unclear at this point, but it seems questionable at best.

    Putting all that aside for now, this does provide for more than half an hour of unreleased Vangelis music for our listening pleasure. Reactions to the quality are mixed, but considering that this is a 1973 score, released on vinyl after being archived for so many years, we were not too dissapointed. There is some distortion in the louder parts and the entire score is mixed in mono (as the movie asked for a mono soundtrack), but all in all, it's very listenable. Any shortcomings are easily set aside because of the beautiful music that makes up this album. There is plenty of space for (variations on) its haunting main theme, intercut with some really pleasant tracks in Vangelis' well known high quality delicacy. Like almost any Vangelis soundtrack release, this contains both more (and longer) pieces than the movie does, as much as some great parts heard in the movie are missing on the record.

    Amore LP
    To obtain this record, you may be able to find it in the odd online web shop, but to order directly from the source you need to contact them by email. The price is €30 per record, plus some hefty shipping charges.
  • rareandmint@aol.fr
  • Thanks to Roland Weissflog for finding and sharing info on this release.

    Written by Dennis, posted: August 30, 2015

    Vangelis collaborates with rapper GZA

    The snapshot that started the media craze...

    Over the past two days, the media have increasingly picked up on word that Vangelis will be collaborating with GZA, a rap star from New York with considerable success as a solo artist, after rising to fame being a founding member of the famous Wu-Tang Clan rap collective.

    It all started with a photograph being posted on Facebook by GZA, not naming Vangelis, but mentioning working with a "very rare collaborator". The snapshot clearly shows the rap artist in a studio with Vangelis playing keyboards inside of his synthesizer setup, surrounded by synthesizers and the controlers of his legendary custom built music performance system.

    Internet music news sites had identified Vangelis within hours, and the news started spreading, from music gear fan sites to underground music news blogs, eventually reaching the main stream media including Danish news papers and the primary source of on-line news in the Netherlands. The ball, it seems is still rolling. Chances are, you've read about this long before you ended up reading this post on the Elsewhere Vangelis site. We do feel we have reputation to maintain, so we wanted to be more sure of the validity of this news. And indeed, it does check out. Sources close to Vangelis confirm these media reports.

    And while jaws are dropping left and right over Vangelis' exploration of such an unexpected corner of the world of music, it seems that Vangelis himself may just be the one person who is not surprised, as he shares the following official statement about his latest collaboration:

    There are not any paths and corners hidden in music. Although you may think that I am entering into another field, music is one, with endless fields full of different mathematical equations, therefore sounds and expressions...

    GZA is cancelling his European tour for "circumstances beyond [his] control" and will now be working on this new material, for an album called "Dark Matter", reportedly inspired by astronomy and quantum physics and destined for a release in Spring 2016.

    None of the news articles answer any of the obvious questions about the extend and nature of their collaboration, simply because no such thing has been announced at this point. Work is in progress, and time will tell.

    Written by Dennis, posted: August 25, 2015

    Vangelis scores "Cézanne et moi"!

    The movie's official Twitter logo

    Vangelis has agreed to compose the score for Danièle Thompson's new movie "Cézanne et moi". Principal photography kicked off yesterday for Thompson's first period movie, focussing on the friendship between painter Paul Cézanne and author Emile Zola. French movie stars Guillaume Gallienne and Guillaume Canet star as the two artists.

    Vangelis' involvement was announced with the following statement: "The Greek composer Vangelis agreed to compose the music for the upcoming film by Danièle Thompson, "Les Inséparables" on one condition: That she would read her script to him from start to finish. And that's what she did..."

    Thompson: "It's very difficult to choose the music for a film, you have to have confidence in the sensitivity of a musician who will understand what you do not explain it to be shown. This is a very strange dialogue that we have with the musicians. I was lucky, I had the biggest: Michel Legrand, Nicolas Piovani, Eric Serra and this will be my next film Vangelis, all really great people."

    Thanks to Kevin Chartron for the initial tip.

    Written by Dennis, posted: July 27, 2015, corrected August 25

    Vangelis audio interview on Sinfini music site

    Sinfini Music site logo

    Here's a rare occasion to hear Vangelis in an interview. Vangelis was interviewed by Norman Lebrecht for Sinfini music, and the result was just posted on the classical music web site. The recording took place in a London hotel suite. [Corrected afterwards: Information Elsewhere on the web points to this interview having been conducted several years back.]

    Written by Sufian, posted: June 16, 2015

    Interview with "Chariots of Fire" film producer

    This week on BBC Radio 3 "Chariots of Fire" film producer David Puttnam is a daily guest on the "Essential Classics" programme. On today's episode he talked about his approach to working with film composers, and in particular he talked about working with Vangelis. On the show David Puttnam also shared some of his favorite classical compositions to be played on the programme, among his picks, Vangelis' "Eric's Theme" arranged by his son Sacha Puttnam and performed by The London Telefilmonic Orchestra. See our update from last year on Sacha's cover album that included 4 rearrangements of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" score.

    David Puttnam on BBC Radio 3, forward to the 1:03:00 mark:
  • www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05ykxtz
  • UK vinyl pressing of "Blade Runner"

    HMV photo of red vinyl Blade Runner

    Last week the UK vinyl pressing of Vangelis' "Blade Runner" was released. Two editions are available, a regular black vinyl edition and an upcoming 500 limited edition red vinyl offered only at participating HMV shops and some record stores starting next Saturday June 20. This exclusive vinyl edition can only be purchased in person at the store and cannot be reserved or purchased online.

    Written by Sufian, posted: May 3, 2015

    Vangelis' "Blade Runner" to be issued on vinyl in the UK

    After the successful US release of Vangelis' Blade Runner score on limited edition vinyl by Audio Fidelity in 2013, now UK's Warner Music will make the soundtrack available in the UK through its label Rhino Records. Availability of the LP is scheduled for early June. Many UK online record stores are accepting pre-orders.

    Record stores taking orders for UK vinyl:
  • Rough Trade: www.roughtrade.com/albums/93401
  • Banquet Records: www.banquetrecords.com/AFZLP154
  • What Records: www.whatrecords.co.uk/items/65904.htm
  • Amazon.co.uk: www.amazon.co.uk/music/dp/B00VN7OHDA
  • Written by Dennis, posted: March 27, 2015

    Bounty Blu-Ray's isolated score is mono

    Bounty Blu-Ray.

    Twilight Time's Blu-ray edition of the Vangelis scored "The Bounty" (1984) movie (see our February 7 update) was released with a slight delay, but it's the content that matters. Sadly, this is where the disappointment really starts. At least, for anyone who got excited about the promise of an isolated score track of Vangelis' wonderful warm score. For reasons beyond our comprehension, Twilight Time has delivered this with an isolated score in Mono. The sound also feels weirdly processed and unusually thin.

    They probably didn't manage to find access to proper recordings of the music, but that doesn't negate the fact that the whole point of an isolated score is to enjoy the music undisturbed in good quality. You don't expect the music to loose all of its wonderful warm spacial stereo sound when switching to this track. We did all stop listening to mono music somewhere before the '70s, and with good reason. This is not an isolated score, but a degraded one. None of the announcements made any mention of this.

    They did manage to include the full end title music (contrary to most DVD releases of this movie), which continues running a minute or so after the titles have left the screen, but what's the point if the quality is sub-par?

    Thanks to Paul MacLean for his early reports on the mono issue, sorry we couldn't get this out earlier...

    Written by Dennis, posted: March 11, 2015

    Effie Agrafioti and George Kontrafouris perform Vangelis composition

    Classical pianist Effie Agrafioti and jazz pianist George Kontrafouris are performing concerts together. Vangelis has composed a piece especially for Agrafioti, which according to the program listings will be performed on these occasions.

    Effie Agrafioti and George Kontrafouris.

    The concerts will take place at Megaron Moussikis in Thessaloniki on May 8 and at Megaron Moussikis in Athens on May 20.

    Written by Dennis and guests, posted: February 26, 2015

    Reports on Vangelis' new original score for "Crépuscule Des Ombres"

    Algerian movie poster.

    Yesterday marked the first occasion in Western Europe to view a public screening of the latest Vangelis scored movie: The French Algerian co-production of "Crépuscule Des Ombres" at the Film Festival in the Belgian city of Mons.

    Here follow the first two reports we received on this event:

    Great variety of Vangelis music

    Yesterday I was in the lucky position to attend the screening of Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina's new movie. Although not completely sold out, Lakhdar-Hamina faced a well filled audience when he introduced his work.

    The music.... "Crépuscule Des Ombres" contains plenty of Vangelis music, all of it new. Some of it reminds a bit of Vangelis' improvisational style we've heard from the "El Greco" score (2007) and "Chariots of Fire - The Play" (2012). For other scenes it feels like Vangelis went further back in time, to earlier films like "1492: Conquest of Paradise", "Francesco", or "The Bounty".

    After a short title sequence played on harp and strings, there is no music for the first 10 or 15 minutes, but once the music starts it never leaves the film unattended. Much of the score feels improvisational and in the background, while there are passages when the music comes to the foreground, at moments where the drama requires this. One memorable piece of music that comes back several times throughout the film is iconic-ally Vangelis: it features a throbbing bass line and a captivating riff that only Vangelis can create. During the movie's end credits Vangelis takes this theme and builds it into a full blown version. It is a truly satisfying moment to hear a Vangelis track like this in its entirety, full of vigor and so distinctly Vangelis.

    The mixing of the score is fantastic and it to be commended, the mix feels detailed and wide, probably the best sounding production I've heard since the El Greco score or even Oliver Stone's Alexander.

    I know this is stating the obvious, but cliches are often true: This Vangelis score really needs a release!

    - A fan from Belgium

    Review of the OST of "Le Crépuscule des Ombres", presented at the "Festival du film d'amour de Mons" (Belgium, 25 February 2015)

    In his introductory speech Algerian director Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina – a very young man of 85 ! - emphasized the fact that a film is a total art production, benefiting from various talents and artistic disciplines from poetry to photography. What I can say is that Vangelis really gave the best of his art to this daring film. Without the music, the film is already very powerful, makes you think deeply about the oppression of man against man – in this case in context of the independence Algerian war - and benefits from exceptional photography (of the Algerian desert in particular). It is also a philosophical tale about tolerance and violence, freedom and faith. But with the music, it takes yet another level of significance and becomes truly humanistic and universal, beyond the Algerian context.

    Just let me say that this is IMO one of the very best of all the soundtracks that Vangelis has composed in his whole career. It is also one of his most diverse works with echoes from his 1980s electronic sound, elegantly mixed with oriental/Arabic style – the sound of the lute is recurring here - and his now trademark symphonic way of playing the synths. The music is not omnipresent, but when there is music, it always plays a prominent role in the story and is very often mixed in the foreground. In this respect the soundtrack of Le Crépuscule differs from other recent Vangelis works for movies, such as El Greco or the score in Trashed. There is not one single "hit" theme (although the end theme is not easy to put out of your mind once you have heard it: see infra), but a huge variety of inspired pieces.

    Here follow my main impressions after having attended the Belgian premiere of the film at the "Festival du film d'amour de Mons" on the 25th of February 2015.

    First it is noticeable that there are no opening titles. You are directly projected in the Algerian desert of the early 1940s. Then after a few minutes a typical modal melody on the harp comes (think the harp themes in Alexander or El Greco OST), underlying the kind atmosphere in which the hero (Khaled) grew up, before the violence he will know in his adult life. Variation on this harp theme and/or different harp melodies comes back a few times during the movie.

    Vangelis also uses some glissandi effects (like he did in 1492) to punctuate some of the action.

    Harp music aside, I would distinguish between four main types of music Vangelis has composed for Le Crépuscule:
    1) Symphonic music. In his now traditional semi-symphonic style, Vangelis has written i.a. a very moving and lyrical theme (for a flash-back sequence where one of the French protagonists remembers his past violent actions in Indochine), a percussion-based martial piece (think Mythodea or opening title for Trashed), as well as some orchestral staccato sequences for moments of great tension (an attack against an Algerian village e.g.). The moving final scene of the movie is also written in a sumptuous symphonic style (see infra).
    2) Melancholic pieces for solo instruments, including a beautiful theme on the clarinet, but also some "solo" pieces for flute and duduk.
    3) Arabic/oriental music: a nice improvised piece for lute particularly caught my attention. The sounds of the lute comes back a few times in different musical contexts and particularly in a rythmic recurring sequence, through a very simple but effective (as usual with Vangelis) melody. The lute obviously connotes the Arabic cultural background of Algeria.
    4) Electronic synthesizer music. I was very surprised to suddenly hear the famous bass sequence we all know from the Bounty (opening title), but then the piece evolves in a different direction while maintaining the synth bass. I would not have thought that Vangelis would come back to this kind of sonic palette in 2015 but he does here, and it works. The bass sound is used in other pieces during the movie, but following the harmonic progression (and not in a « basso continuo » way). The end titles of the movie are of an electronic kind too (see infra).

    Finally I have to underline the importance of the music during the last minutes of the movie. Firstly, the last scene – and a terribly moving one, although I do not want to spoil its power in this review – is devoid of any dialogue: it is only picture and music. And what a music. After a liturgical introduction – including choir - Vangelis progressively constructs an impressive and very dark orchestral tutti. When the orchestra is at its most powerful, he then adds a tragic melody on the church organ leading the movie to its end. And then follows the end credits with the end theme. Here you can find the quasi-industrial percussive sequence which was already in the trailer for the movie, underlying the lute minimalist motiv we already heard a few times during the film (with some developments though). Heavily reverberated percussions (think opening sequence in Blade Runner) are added on the top of it, as well as Arabic chanting, orchestral melodies, but also some synthesizer soloing. A very original and haunting piece, not in his most usual style, and a very effective way to conclude the score. A score which definitively deserves a proper release.

    - Marc Vanholsbeeck

    Special thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck and a fan from Belgium, for sharing their thoughts!

    Written by Dennis, posted: February 19, 2015

    Interview with Dr. Tegos

    Dr. Tegos, the microsurgeon who created the famous VHS box set.

    Several years after www.VangelisCollector's Don Fennimore found a way to purchase the then considered mythical Vangelis scored Microsurgery video tapes, a number of popular blogs have brought new publicity for the 1998 medical educational releases' 10+ hours of unreleased Vangelis music.

    This inspired Greek online magazine "Greka Magazine" to go out and conduct an interview with Dr. Tegos himself, to find out more about the backgrounds of this inimitable release. The interview has only been published in the Greek language, but there is always Google Translate, which works out pretty well in this case, especially when English is the target language.

    The interview article:
  • grekamag.gr/46579
  • Written by Sufian, posted: February 7, 2015

    Screening of "Crépuscule Des Ombres" in Belgium

    Algerian poster of Crepuscules des ombres

    Vangelis' scored movie "Crépuscule Des Ombres" will be screened in Belgium on February 25 at the Mons International Film Festival (FIFA). Tickets will go on sale on February 13.

    "Crépuscule Des Ombres" at FIFA.
  • fifa-mons.be/en/films/le-crepuscule-des-ombres
  • Tickets (ordering starts February 13):
  • fifa-mons.be/en/acheter-des-tickets
  • The nation-wide release of the film in its native country Algeria is planned for 2015 though an exact date remains unknown. For more information on "Crépuscule Des Ombres" check our updates from November 11 and May 10.

    Blu-Ray releases of "Antarctica" and "The Bounty"

    This week Vangelis' scored film "Antarctica" (1983) was released on Blu-Ray and DVD for the first time in France. The film is presented in its original Japanese audio track with French subtitles.

    French release of "Antarctica":
  • amazon.fr/Antarctica-Version-int.../dp/B00QMTYFWC "Antarctica" Blu-Ray
  • amazon.fr/Antarctica-Version-int.../dp/B00QMTYFOU "Antarctica" DVD
  • Another film getting the Blu-Ray treatment is "The Bounty" (1984). US-based company Twilight Time plans to release the film on March 10. Twilight Time is renowned for making releases of restored films and including the isolated scores, however note most of their releases are issued in limited quantities.

    Twilight Time web-page at ScreenArchives.com:
  • screenarchives.com "The Bounty" Blu-Ray
  • Thanks to Michael McMahan for the heads-up on "The Bounty" release!!

    Written by Dennis, posted: January 26, 2015

    Demis Roussos passed away

    After it was announced today that Greek singer Demis Roussos passed away in the night from Saturday to Sunday, Vangelis has released the following statement to the press:

    Demis my friend,

    I have just arrived in London and I've been told that you decide to take the long voyage.
    I'm shocked because I can't believe that this happened so soon.

    Nature gave you this magic voice of yours which made millions of people around the world very happy.

    As for me, I keep those special memories that we share together those early days and I wish you to be happy whenever you are.

    Goodbye my friend goodbye

    Love
    Vangelis

    Demis Roussos and Vangelis where both founding members of Aphrodite's Child and collaborated on many other occasions, mostly in the early stages of their careers.

    Written by Sufian, posted: December 22, 2014

    Rosetta mission article on sounds and music

    comet

    A fun article appeared on ESA's official blog enumerating the sounds of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as well as the musical compositions created for the Rosetta space mission.

    Read earlier news updates in the archive pages (see below and on top of this page).

    elsew.com / news: < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
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