Fans who search for ways to listen to Vangelis' recent Stephen Hawking Tribute music in a legal way are faced with a problem. With the original CD not available for sale directly, pirate copies are finding their way to the second hand market and are selling for very high prices. The question arises how to tell the difference between an original CD and the fake copies.
Fact is that the original is not a factory pressed CD, but a burned (duplicated, rather than replicated) CD-R in itself. The disc has a telltale faint green glow.
While by no means fail-safe, one step to detect fake copies is by checking the codes printed on the bottom of the disc. The official release handed out at the service at Westminster Abbey has a code imprinted, written backwards (it reads correctly in a mirror), which says RFD80M-79239, and the code 80 at another spot (indicating an 80 minute CD-R disc). Check the zoomed in scan next to this post.
Thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck and Don Fennimore for their assistance in clearing things up!
A new official website was just launched for the upcoming Russel Maliphant choreographed dance performance that we referred to earlier (see the April 16 update) and this reveals the title of this production: "The Thread".
The site gives further details about the concept of the production, shows photographs, and most importantly, hosts a teaser video, complete with music composed by Vangelis for this production (confirmed by official sources).
Something to look forward to!
Special thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck for the heads-up!
An article on the BBC news site about Stephen Hawking's interment shares the full length recording.
Thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck for the BBC links.
Vangelis has composed a new piece of music to honour professor Stephen Hawking, who sadly passed away on March 14 of this year.
A CD with this piece of music, titled "The Stephen Hawking Tribute" will be handed to everyone attending the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey when Hawking's ashes will be interred at this famous iconic church in London. This ceremony takes place on Friday June 15 and is attended by invited guests, as well as 1000 members of the general public, who where selected by a public ballot.
According to an official Stephen Hawking Interment web site, Vangelis' music will be beamed towards a black hole from a European Space Agency ground station in Spain, at 12:00 noon on the day of the ceremony.
The piece of music lasts 6 minutes and 21 seconds, with Vangelis performing his synthesizers, joined by Dimitris Tsakas on alto sax and engineered by Philippe Colonna. It's a beautiful gentle piece, refrained and majestic at the same time. Part of it is overlayed by words from Stephen Hawking himself, in his recognizable computer generated voice.
Vangelis writes in the CD booklet:
Here are more details on Vangelis' design for Mouna Rebeiz's piggy bank, which is donated for charity through a silent auction in London.
Vangelis' design shows two piggy banks facing a mirror, both placed on a base measuring 100cm x 180cm (approximately 39 inch x 70 inch). Reliable sources revealed to us that the fabric that covers the base is handpainted by Vangelis.
With merely a few hours to go before the auction ends, this is a unique opportunity to own a truly one of a kind creation by Vangelis.
Paris-based Lebanese visual artist Mouna Rebeiz is currently holding her exhibition 'The Trash-ic or Trash in the Face of Beauty' at the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Coinciding with her exhibition she had called upon designers and artists from around the world to transform a piggy bank into precious artworks. The piggy banks designs are part of an online auction that is currently live. All proceeds go in support of the charity 'Innocence in Danger', a world movement for the protection of children against all forms of sexual abuse.
Vangelis has responded to this charitable cause with his unique one-off design piggy bank. Vangelis collectors beware: the Vangelis piggy bank is on auction right now with less than two days before the auction ends.
Here is a video of Vangelis' acceptance speech upon receiving the golden medal and the honorary degree.
Last Friday evening a moving ceremony was held at Vangelis' hometown Volos. The University of Thessaly held a proclamation ceremony to award Vangelis with an Honorary Doctorate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with the event also commemorating the university's 30th anniversary of its foundation.
The event was jointly held at the Greek embassy in Paris via a two-way video link with Volos. In Paris, the University's dean, professor George Petrakos bestowed Vangelis with the institution's golden medal and welcomed him as Honorary Doctor/Professor Emeritus.
Mr. Petrakos said: "Vangelis is a world-renowned and influential creator, who through his contributions to the arts, particularly music, today honors Vangelis Papathanassiou with the gold medal of the senate and gives him the title of Honorary Doctor."
In Volos, a speech was given by the deputy dean of international and public relations, professor Ioanna Laliotou, stating: "Vangelis Papathanassiou, who is recognized as a founder of electronic music, at the age of 4 created music on the family piano, while at the age of six he presented his compositions. The natural gift comes from a place that he calls memory, from which we can all draw upon and remember. With more than 40 recordings in circulation, and with over 20 musical film scores, ballets, theatrical plays and numerous awards and titles to his credit", she adds: "The current gathering marks the return of Vangelis Papathanassiou to his hometown and a welcome to our university community. It marks a return not to the past but, hopefully, in our common future."
This was followed by a speech by the dean of the Department of Electrical Engineering, professor Eleftherios Tsoukalas, who recited the Honorable Recognition resolution to Mr. Papathanassiou.
In an emotionally charged climate, Vangelis thanked the University for its highest honours, speaking from Paris:
The event culminated in the celebration of the university's 30 years anniversary with the participation of hundreds of children and performers, and which included 4 orchestrations of Vangelis' music.
NASA released a new video from the Juno mission to Jupiter yesterday, with groundbreaking footage of Juno's flyover of Jupiter's North pole, shot in infrared. Vangelis composed new music for this video, released on Youtube. Follow the links below.
Greek newspaper Tachydromos is reporting the University of Thessaly, based in Volos, Greece will present Vangelis with an Honorary Doctorate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This was shared by the university's dean, professor George Petrakos with the Greek newspaper.
Sources close to Vangelis confirm that Vangelis has composed new original music for an upcoming stage production. Choreography is by Russell Maliphant. Production company is Lavris LTD. The production should premier in March 2019 at the Sadler's Wells theatre in London, with further performances expected in venues throughout Europe. More details are expected soon. Check back here for more news including upcoming official announcements.
NASA Juno's mission team held a press briefing today to reveal the latest scientific discoveries from their space probe Juno orbiting the planet Jupiter. An animation video taking the viewer over Jupiter's atmosphere was released with new music by Vangelis. Check the video below
What better way to start the weekend with a fresh new piece of Vangelis music?
Cousteau Divers Mini is a series of tiny documentaries released on the internet. Its latest episode is directed by Pierre-Yves Cousteau, son of the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who somehow managed to get Vangelis to compose all new music for his epsiode.
Note that Vangelis was not involved with the folky song at the end of the video.
Cousteau divers is an organization that unites divers from all over the world, who are concerned about the marine environment, with the aim to help study and conserve the aquatic realm. They launched this growing series of mini documentaries, all created by different people. Cousteau Divers Mini 5: Boiling Ocean is the fifth episode, and so far the only one to contain Vangelis music.
Special thanks to Kevin Polfliet for the heads-up!
The theatrical release of the new Blade Runner 2049 movie has sparked a lot of interest in the original movie and its Vangelis score in particular.
As it turns out, the new score by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer (successfully kept an unheard secret until its eventual release in cinema's and as a digital soundtrack album) turned out to pay a lot of homage to Vangelis' original, even if it didn't follow any of the Vangelis themes, with only one exception near the end. However in shape and sound, the inspiration is clear. The extensive use of CS80 synth sounds and other sonic tricks and devices employed by Vangelis in 1982 does bring back a bit of that classic Blade Runner feeling, while updating the sound at the same time. The results have been received with mostly warm reactions.
While I'm impressed with the way the connection to the original's score was made, I have to admit being turned off slightly by its over-production. Check out the appearance of (a cover version of) Tears in Rain), which really isn't so subtle at all. The other problem is that it feels like they spend so much time (re)creating these Blade Runner soundscapes they actually forgot to write some really good film music. There seems to be only one emotion being rained on the listener from start to finish, varying only its intensity, never its color or mood. It's all dark and dreary, without any ray of light coming through. None of those wonderful touches of humanity that kept popping up in Vangelis' original score, and in the end proved to be the real core of the score.
That said, this music really did serve the movie well. And what a top quality movie that was. Lots of things to think about, many new ideas in line with the original's philosophical questions, truck loads of atmosphere and a dark bleak vision of our future's inescapable shortcomings.
Blade Runner was everywhere in the media, over the last two weeks, with plenty of attention for the classic original. Here's our pick of the best links:
Sales info on Amazon and iTunes shows that the new movie's hype triggered massive new interest in the Vangelis albums (The 1994 score release and the 2007 Blade Runner Trilogy release). Spotify's play indicators for the original Vangelis Blade Runner score are also sky high. It's good to see Vangelis's music re-exposed to a fresh audience.
Thanks to Kevin Polfliet for the video link!
The Vangelis-scored film "Crépuscule Des Ombres" continues to do the rounds at film festivals. two screenings of the film are planned in the coming weeks.
The first will be at Festival Du Film Arabe Fameck on Friday October 13, in north-eastern France commune Fameck. The film's director Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina will be attending the festival.
The second screening will be in the North African state of Tunis, during the 28th edition of Carthage Film Festival. The official programme is not yet published but various press reports suggest the film will be screened on the event's first day on November 4.
Judging from past reviews of the film's score, Vangelis' music is something not to be missed. Check the reviews submitted to us from a previous screening.
We may not be big on cover versions here on Elsew.com, but this is certainly something else...
To celebrate the theatrical release of Blade Runner's sequel, "Blade Runner 2049" by Denis Villeneuve, showing on silver screens across the globe as of tomorrow, synthesizer manufacturer Novation asked Germany's veteran electronic music composer Bernd Kistenmacher to create a workshop "Blade Runner's opening titles music", using only their new analogue modeling synthesizer: the Novation Peak.
Kistenmacher did a thorough analysis of the track, created replacement sounds, and recorded his new version, using only this one synthesizer model. Very impressive work indeed. He gets many of the important nuances just right to do their work, mixing the result into a truly well made replication (yes, yes....) of the Vangelis track.
Major perk: All the sounds used in this track are available for download. If you own a Novation Peak, you can record your own version of this music, or just compose something new of your own.
We'll have to find out in the coming days, how much of Vangelis' 1982 score actually echoes in this movie. Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who was originally announced to compose the new score has left the project some months ago, with composer duo Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer taking over. Some days ago, director Denis Villeneuve explained in the media that the reason he had to let Jóhannsson go, was that he wanted the score to be more Vangelis like, or as Al Arabiya quoted him: "I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis".
Thanks to Kevin Nolan for the interview link!
On July 15, Neakriti TV in Greece has broadcast an interview with Loudovikos ton Anogeion, the singer from Crete we all know from the "El Greco" movie score. The program included the broadcast an unreleased piece of Vangelis music, improvised by Vangelis on his synthesizers, with Anogeion reading the story of a "Wind Thief", with very impressive results indeed.
Here is an official video of the moment Frédéric Mitterrand presents Vangelis his "Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres" medal.
Vangelis is nominated for a PROG magazine award. The "Delectus" box set with 13 Polydor related albums is listed in the category "Reissue Of The Year", and competes against Pink Ployd, Yes, Rush, The Alan Parsons Project and others.
The winner will be determined by popular vote, so be sure to register and vote, and do tell your friends as well!
The awards ceremony will take place on the 14th of September in London.
Another honour for Vangelis is in the works by the European Space Agency (ESA). Last year, he was presented with his own astronaut name patch by French ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy and named an "honorary member" of the European Astronaut Corps, for his contribution to advancing the public awareness of space and exploration through his music.
Unknown to Vangelis, ESA actually produced two patches, the second of which was launched into space last year with ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who took a picture of it recently during his six-month stay on the International Space Station.
The space-flown patch will be presented to Vangelis as soon as it returns from space. In the picture below, ESA corporate editor Carl Walker presents Vangelis with the photograph from Thomas showing the badge floating in the Cupola module of the Space Station.
Here's a series of photographs of Vangelis' recent appointment as commander in the Order of Arts and Letters, the highest cultural honour awarded by the French government. See our June 4 update for more details.
Vangelis is about to awarded with the highest possible honor granted by the French ministry of culture, when he will be appointed "Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres".
He is already a "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" since 1992, as well as "Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur" since 2001. Vangelis will receive the appropriate medal for his new position from former minister of culture Frédéric Mitterrand at a private ceremony in Paris, this coming week.
Special thanks to Kevin Nolan!
Official music video host Vevo has posted three official Vangelis music video clips from the Polydor archives on their YouTube channel, all complete and in great quality. The two Jon & Vangelis clips in particular are in crisp quality. Watch Anderson and Vangelis enjoy their spoof the Top of the Pops miming format, by purposefully "performing" instruments not heard in the song.
The Chariots Of Fire music video comes with an interesting anecdote. While Vangelis appears to smoke a cigarette in this video, Vangelis never actually smoked cigarettes. During preparations, the tray with a burning cigarette was placed on the piano by the director of the music video, who wanted a touch of smoke in the air, to soften his shots. During test shots he asked Vangelis to keep the cigarette burning, and the footage of Vangelis inhaling ended up in the actual video.
To clarify and correct our earlier reporting: While the separate remaster releases of neither "See You Later" nor "Private Collection" where rolled out on iTunes in the States, the tracks of these albums, including their bonus tracks, can be purchased in the US iTunes store, since all of Delectus has been available there, since a short time.
Thanks to Anthony Owsley for verification and clarification
The current issue (nr 318) of FutureMusic magazine has an article on electronic music, and Vangelis is briefly mentioned, with a rarely seen photograph included.
Earlier this month, Universal Music in the UK has released separate CD versions for twelve of the remastered albums recently released in the shape of the Delectus box set. Any of the bonus tracks however have been omitted and remain unique to the Delectus Box set release.
The one album that was not re-issued separately is the "Chariots of Fire" soundtrack, probably because it was the only album for which this master was previously available. The new releases have been provided with new art work, in line with other remasters, like the RCA albums ("Heaven & Hell", "Albedo 0.39", "Direct"), or the "Odes" and "Rapsodies" remasters.
Around the same time, the albums became available through iTunes, Amazon and Spotify on the US market, however, the two albums with bonus tracks: "Private Collection" and "See You Later" are (currently?) unavailable.
Thanks to Don Fennimore for verifying some information. Also thanks to everyone else who wrote in about these releases while our post on this was pending.
Long time Vangelis collabator (engineer and co-producer) Frederick Rousseau has released a new solo album "Edge of Silence" as digital and streaming media (iTunes, Spotify, etc.). One of its tracks is called "Mr. V" in an obvious tribute to the Greek maestro and the gently improvised melodies on soft electric piano and tender synth tones (including Yamaha CS-80 or emulation) will certainly have an appeal to anyone reading this site. Do also check out the other songs on the album. At least for me, Frederick's musical output continues to have a special appeal.
Record Store Day is coming up on Saturday April 22 (a week after tomorrow) and the first photographs of the Blade Runner picture disc release of Vangelis' score on vinyl are popping up on social media. (Click the images for the original Tweets)
Do realize that releases for Record Store Day will not be available on-line. These releases are intended to provide a boost to physical stores, who get to sell these products under the condition that they will not allow their customers to order them on-line or even pre-order / reserve them. These releases are purchased only by personally visiting a participating shop, and hoping that shop received stock and did not yet sell out.
Good luck hunting this one!
French space astronaut Jean-François Clervoy is featured on a new video for the French Agency for Space Studies (CNES). Clervoy flew on three NASA Space Shuttle missions and today works for the European Space Agency (ESA). In the video Clervoy recalls last year's successful Rosetta mission, and speaks in particular about his admiration for the music of Vangelis, and on the music last September for the Rosetta mission.
Thanks to Marcel Delorme for the heads up.
This year is the 35th anniversary of the original release of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", a limited edition picture disc on 140 gm vinyl of Vangelis' soundtrack is being released exclusively for Record Store Day, both in the UK and the US. The title will be available from independent record shops on Saturday 22nd April for Record Store Day. The title is limited to 3500.
Earlier this week, Greek TV station ERT broadcast an almost hour long special about Vasilis Bakopoulos, band member of The Forminx, the Greek pop band that a young Vangelis co-founded in the mid sixties. The special includes footage as well as photographs from those days. A present-time Vangelis appears over a Skype connection for a few minutes, starting somewhere near the 26:00 mark.
All 13 CDs in the "Delectus" box set are now available on digital sources, such as iTunes and Spotify, although the US, Canada and a few other territories seem to be excluded.
Also, the "The Times" newspaper in the UK reviewed the album, calling Vangelis "... a contemporary musician matching, for complexity and ambition, the works of the great classical composers...".
It's time to review the physical side of "Delectus", Vangelis' new 13 CD boxset. For a comprehensive review of the audio quality, please check part 1 of our review, posted last Friday.
About the appearance of this set, we can be very clear: This is one stunning product to look at, or hold in your hands.
The actual box is made from sturdy cardboard material with a classy textured surface. It's an LP sized case where the right side remains open, so that the contents can slide in and out. Among those contents are two fully printed gatefold sleeves that open up to show insets where the CDs are held, one for discs 1 to 6 and the other for discs 7 to 13. There's also a reproduction of a poster for the China album, folded three times.
But the highlight of the box for me is the breathtaking book. Did we say booklet, earlier? This is not a booklet, but a stunningly beautiful LP sized hardcover book that would grace any coffee table. The 100+ pages contain a small section for each album, with cover art and a few notes by Mark Powell. For the rest, the book is filled with many large photographs, roughly from the period in which these albums were recorded. Most of the photographs have never before been seen and were recently selected from Vangelis' private archives. They show Vangelis in a more relaxed setting and vibe than we are used to see him, and do provide a great visual context to enjoy the music by.
The result is a true gem in any Vangelis collection.
- Dennis Lodewijks
Note: We did add one point to Friday's audio review: The track "Flamants Roses" on the "Opera Sauvage" album was shortened by roughly seven seconds, because a short section of almost-silence was cut at about 3:20 into the track. The cut does actually remove two soft notes played on a glockenspiel or similar instrument.
Thanks to Joerg Orthaus for his tip about the cut in Flamants Roses.
Today marks the official release of "Delectus", Vangelis' new box set, and indeed, photographs and reports on social media show that copies are in shops and being delivered from internet pre-orders.
Our evaluation copy has yet to arrive, but we decide to go ahead anyway and share our findings of the audio in a review based on extensive evaluation of the contents of the promotional CD-Rs. A second part of our review, examining the packaging and booklet of this product will follow later, but let's just say for now, that early word on this is very very positive. This should be one beautiful box to hold in your hands!
I compared each album to the original Western European CD print.
Note that by necessity, judgements are based on careful comparison between selected parts of the albums. No such comparison can expect to bring up every noticeable detail or issue. No doubt, further listening and analysis in the future may bring up other points and changes.
To start with the important question of whether these remasters are really based on new transfers from the original audio tapes, by judging factors like slight differences in sample speed, we confirm that each of these albums was actually re-transfered from tape to the digital domain. Traditionally, this is the core part of a remastered CD, as it can improve the quality of the digitization, and should provide the purest source for any possible further mastering tweaks. "Delectus" gracefully passes this first test!
Here's my further findings, album by album:
This CD actually matches the master used by Esoteric for their recent LP re-issue of this album. Said LP came with a download code for a lossless WAV file, which allowed careful study of its master. The resulting sound quality of this remaster is actually very good, and closely resembles the original sound, with small improvements in clarity. However, many will disapprove of the use of some additional (modern) reverb, which falls outside of the scope of a remaster that is true to its original. This is rather a slightly revisioned version of the album. While elsew.com does not approve of adding modern reverb to a classic 1973 recording, I do stress that the added reverb was mixed in quite subtly, and in some parts does actually improve the sonic experience. Those loud big drums for instance really were awfully dry. However, the demand for a careful and authentic digital remaster of the original album has yet to be met.
Just like the "Earth" CD, this remaster matches the recent Esoteric LP re-issue. In the case of "l'Apocalypse Des Animaux", a large amount of reverb was added to most tracks on this album, even though the original was never very dry to begin with. With this extra layer of acoustics, the music is washed out completely, leaving a very simple verdict: Stick with the original CD release.
China's original CD master (for all known pressings) had a major problem with a cyclic (but evolving) volume modulation that affected almost all of the album, but increased in intensity near the end (i.e. "Himalaya", "Summit"), and to start with that, this remaster does completely solve that issue! This is the proper analog to digital transfer we needed for this album. Vangelis also improved on the equalization, delivering a much clearer, balanced sound; very pleasing to listen to. However, as with some of the other albums in this box, there is an issue with modern reverb being added to some of the tracks. "Chung Kuo" (the indexing remains like the CDs, which differ from the original UK vinyls) was spared, but it's quite noticeable on "The Tao Of Love", "Himalaya" and other songs. While I feel this makes the album a revised version rahter than a true remaster, I have to say that in China's case this has been done so tastefully and effective that this really pulls it off. It sound gorgeous this way. Probably the best result of all reverbed remasters Vangelis has done, so far. On the other hand, the problems in the original CDs mastering make that an authentic remaster for China is still badly needed. So close...
With its three bonus tracks, this is the album with the most new content. And while "My Love" and "Domestic Logic One" were always available on a 7" single, and a recording of "Neighbours Above" was known to fans from a leaked early test pressing of the album (the brilliant "Fertilization" remains unreleased), it is great to finally hear those tracks in proper CD quality. The rest of the album sounds quite different from the original master. Some of the tracks have new reverb added, although I don't think this was done for all tracks. "Memories of Green" seems have escaped that faith. The remastered version of this fan-favourite not only sounds more clear and brighter than the original CD. It also seems the original CD must have had some form of weird filtering applied that only stands out once you compare it to the new master. The corrected version is most welcome, this is what we need those remasters for. "Multitrack Suggestion" and "Not a Bit, All of It" however have reverb added, and the latter even has a small cut: It used to end with the word "Obviously...", which has now been omitted!
Comparing the opening track, the new master feels a bit "louder" than then the original. Thankfully, no new reverb seems to have been added to any of the tracks on this album. The opening track however has some issues with a few groups of short audio drop-outs that create a rather uneasy feel. Other tracks don't seem to be affected by this, and those are a good example of careful and authentic remastering: subtly improved digital transfer, true to the original. Note that "Life Of Antarctica" is a bit shorter than it was on the original CD, but that is because the reprise of the opening track, added to the end, is faded out more continuous, where the old CD stuck to an almost unaudible volume, creating a strangely long pause on the CD.
The tracks I compared show no sign of added reverb. The sound is very close to the original master, but a bit louder, retaining most of its dynamics. All in all a good example of proper remastering.
This too is a subtle, well done remaster. The album sounds a bit louder. I hear no sign of added reverb, some equalization polishes the music to be a bit brighter. Tastefully done!
[Note added on February 5:] The track "Flamants Roses" was shortened by roughly seven seconds, because a short bit of almost-silence was cut at about 3:20 into the track. The cut does actually remove two soft notes played on a glockenspiel or similar instrument.
This is one case where the tape transfer isn't completely new as it uses the new analog to digital transfer from the original master tapes, done for the 25th Anniversary Edition of the soundtrak album, an earlier remastered CD released in 2006. This was indeed a very good remaster, true to the original, but slightly better digitized. No obvious manipulations other than actual authentic remastering, and it makes sense that this is included in this box as it.
"Soil Festivities" sounds very good, true to the original. No reverb was added to any of the tracks I compared. Sadly however, almost a minute of ambient rain and thunder sounds has been cut of the end of "Movement 1". What is the point of "speeding up" a contemplative masterpiece like "Soil Festivities"? It makes no sense at all. For the rest, good remastering. Subtle changes. The higher tones on "Movement 3" have been softened a bit. None of the other tracks were edited.
Sounds great, no reverb or large manipulations. "Invisible Connections" was remastered in the classical sense of the word, with one very important improvement: The track indexing has been corrected. The old master must have mixed up side A and B, as they split the long track into two parts and combined the two audibly separate tracks as if they were one. The "Delectus" remaster corrects this. Two big thumbs up for this disk!
The equalization is improved, but several tracks including "I Hear You Now" have been revised with added modern reverb. Quite a lot actually, changing the character of the music. The track indexing is improved, now separating each track, liberating for instance "Bird Song" from "Each and Every Day". "Play Within A Play" sounds particularly good, it has a bit more "oomph" and sounds more natural at the same time.
It's lovely to finally hear "Song Is" in proper clean digital quality. The rest of the CD is very well remastered. There is no added reverb on any of the tracks that I checked. Equalization is changed, most notably for "He Is Sailing", reducing some of the sharper highs. "Horizon" as well, comes in a warmer sound, reducing the higher tones a bit. "Private Collection" seems to be one of the better remasters.
"I'll Find My Way Home" sounds good, with a louder sound due to the dynamic compression that really does fit its character as a pop song. No reverb was added to this track, contrary to "The Mayflower" and "State Of Independence", both were dealt quite a thick layer of delayed reverb. It makes "The Mayflower" sound more warm, despite bringing out it's brighter tones, but "State Of Independence" becomes a bit messy, loosing its tight rhythm.
Concluding, while not every album matches my taste in what remasters should deliver, this box has more than enough to offer in terms of audio quality. For albums like "Opera Sauvage", "Mask", "Invisible Connections" and "Private Collection" I now consider the "Delectus" version as the definitive master, while other albums include improvements, changes or revisions that are certainly worth listening to, and will please some better than before, depending on their tastes. Either way, "Delectus" is a "must have" for anyone who is searching for the best in the details of a recording.
We'll discuss the booklet and packaging in a separate post, when we can. [This has since been posted as part 2]
- Dennis Lodewijks
Thanks to Marc-Antoine for input on China's original CD mastering problem. Also, special thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck for his speedy help in verifying some aspects in the actual product!
February 3 is approaching fast: This Friday marks the release of the Vangelis box set "Delectus".
A full elsew.com review is still pending. We have been carefully examining the remastered recordings, based on a promo set of all the CDs, comparing each to its original CD, but this takes time. We also hope to have access to the final product (the actual box with booklet and CDs) before we publish our evaluation.
Universal releases some of the photographs from the booklet to the press:
Vangelis allowed another rare interview, this time to Germany's primary online musicians magazine, Amazona.de.
Special thanks to Bernd Kistenmacher for his early alerts, and everyone else who wrote in with these links.
Blade Runner 2 composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has put out a statement that the music from this week's trailer was not his work and that it does not shed any light on the direction that he will take with his score for the upcoming sequel.
Ah well, at least this trailer proved that it is possible to create new music that is both updated and true to Vangelis' 1982 score. Jóhannsson can try in his own way, at least he has something to be measured against.
With that, we'll leave the issue behind us...
Thanks to Marc Vanholsbeeck for the link!
While keeping in mind that trailers (and even more so: teasers) often lack any connection to the actual musical score of the upcoming movie, todays release of the first teaser for the Jóhann Jóhannsson scored "Blade Runner 2" movie caused quit a stir (in a good way), hugely paying tribute to the Vangelis score for the 1982 original movie by referencing it heavily, thematically and in sound and mood, while actually using some samples from the original Vangelis recording as well. Interesting... One might think this project could really amount to something?
Time will tell. On October 6, next year, apparently.
Special thanks to Arturo Armas Lozano, who was the first to reach us with this. Closest runner-ups were Graeme Stewart and Haro Musters, but our thanks go to everyone who took the trouble to alert us!
The Recording Academy has just announced the nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards. Vangelis' latest studio album "Rosetta" is nominated in the category "Best New Age Album". Vangelis is up against Enya, John Burke, White Sun and the duo of Peter Kater & Tina Guo.
The winner will be announced during the Grammy Awards ceremony on February 12, 2017.
Vangelis has approved an English translation of his recent interview for Greek news paper magazine VIMAgazino, conducted and originally published in Greek on September 25. This translation is first published right here on Elsew.com.
Pavlos Papadopoulos speaks with Vangelis about the relation of music to science, philosophy and even some politics.
Translations in French, German, Italian and possibly other languages will soon follow.
The next issue of UK progressive rock magazine "PROG" (issue 72, December 2016, out on December 7) shows a classic picture of Vangelis on the front cover and includes an exclusive interview, conducted in Paris, October this year.
Vangelis reportedly speeks about his career, Jon & Vangelis, Aphrodite's Child, Salvador Dali and the infamous Yes audition.
For unspecified reasons, the "Vangelis - The Tony Palmer Interviews" DVD that was announced by Palmer's DVD label has been pushed back further to January 27. We'll keep you updated of any developments.
Several online retailers are listing a DVD called "Vangelis - The Tony Palmer Interviews", set to be released this Friday, on December 2. It's not entirely clear to us whether this product will really be released, as it was listed earlier for a November release date. It was then retracted and has since re-appeared with a December 2 release date, which is how it still appears to be listed.
The product is produced by Tony Palmer, and available through Gonzo Multimedia, who also released the "Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka" documentary back in 2013 and is announced to contain 280 minutes of (uncut) interviews.
According to our sources close to Vangelis, Vangelis is not actually involved with this release and is puzzled by its possible contents. The only interview Vangelis gave to Palmer is the one shot specifically for the movie, as it appears on the DVD. It is unclear how this can total up to 280 minutes of material.
Last Friday at the third International Arab Film Festival held in Zurich, Switzerland, a screening of the Vangelis scored film "Crépuscule Des Ombres" was shown at Kino Filmpodium. The film's director Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina was an invited guest at the festival. While the film festival ended last Sunday, a second showing of the film is scheduled this Saturday, 26 November at 18:15 at the same venue. For more information check the links below.
Here is Universal's official announcement of Vangelis' upcoming deluxe box set:
Official announcements are expected tomorrow, but PROG magazine has the honour of advance announcing the upcoming release of a deluxe 13 CD box set of the entire Vertigo and Polydor back catalog of Vangelis albums, including 4 bonus tracks, previously unreleased on CD. The release is called "Delectus".
Check back here tomorrow for the official announcement. Also, expect more updates over time, leading up to this release.
Universal is working on an announcement for some good news involving Vangelis' back catalog, which is expected next week. Be sure to check back here for more details in the coming days.
The Vangelis scored eco documentary "Trashed" gets a limited theatrical release in France next week, as it is screened by selected (art house) cinema's throughout the country.
Vangelis has been presented with a bronze sculpture of himself, made by Dr. Nadey Hakim. According to sources close to Vangelis, the two men met at a dinner in London not long ago, when Mr Hakim expressed his desire to create Vangelis' bronze bust as he did before for HM The Queen Elizabeth, David Cameron and a version of Michelangelo's David. Although this came as a suprise to Vangelis, he accepted with pleasure.
Nadey S. Hakim is a well renowned British-Lebanese transplant surgeon who has performed over 2000 transplants. He has also authored several books about surgery and transplantations, and was part of the team that performed the world's first hand transplant in 1998.
US Radio organisation NPR (National Public Radio), produced an item on Vangelis' "Rosetta" album in yesterday's editions of "All Things Considered" one of their most popular and syndicated programs. The item is brief, but they managed to speak to Vangelis, getting quotes from him on recording Rosetta and on not being asked for the upcoming "Blade Runner" sequel. They also spoke to three other composers, to praise Vangelis' work: Ex Tangerine Dream member Paul Haslinger, Mr. Robot's Mac Quayle and Blade Runner 2 composer Johann Johannsson), all currently attached to hip and popular projects in the cinema or on TV.
And here are some more reader reviews on Vangelis' latest album. New submission are no longer published. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and feelings!
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of establishing the Greek state TV channel ERT, five films related to ERT will be screened during the upcoming documentary festival (Docfest), held in Greece. Each film will highlight a particular decade during its existence. The film selected for the second decade (1976-1986) showcases Irene Papas performing (or talking about?) Vangelis' "Odes". The film is directed by Giannis Diamantopoulos and will be screened on Friday October 14, at the Papadimitriou Theatre, from 18:30 to 19:18.
Rosetta's sales are going strong, reaching high positions in the European album charts. Best performance is in Flanders (Dutch language part of Belgium) where it is at 10, while Wallonia (the other Belgian half) has it at 33. France splits charts between Digital and physical where Rosetta makes 31 and 70 respectively. An overview of the large European markets:
Still open for more input by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (Max 450 words, about the album)
The Rosetta mission ended today when its spacecraft made a planned touchdown on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. As the world awaited the confirmation signal from Rosetta, a video streaming of the event was broadcast live from ESA's headquarters in Germany.
The broadcast began and ended with a short ident using a snippet from Vangelis' track "Mission Accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz)". Shortly after receiving the touchdown signal from the Rosetta spacecraft, a film was shown depicting some memorable moments from the mission, featuring music from "Origins (Arrival)" and "Perihelion". Sometime later the host of the broadcast mentioned Vangelis by name. See the video link below and cue to 01:02:19 and 01:013:35 for the relevant bits.
The album "Rosetta" enters the UK album charts at number 40 on its first week since its release.
Last Sunday the Greek magazine "VIMagazino" published a new interview with Vangelis. This interview has now been made available online on the magazine's website.
More reactions to Vangelis' new album. Still open for more input by mail at email@example.com (Max 450 words, about the album)
Here are the first reader reviews we have received. Please still feel invited to submit your review. According to Amazon.com the release date for the USA is set to September 30, so we'll extend accepting reviews until after that date. firstname.lastname@example.org (Max 450 words, about the album)
A new interview with Vangelis will be published in Sunday's edition of the Greek magazine "VIMagazino". The interview runs for several pages and will feature several photographs. "VIMagazino" is the Sunday supplement magazine for the Greek newspaper "To Vima". To our knowledge, the Sunday magazine cannot be back-ordered from the newspaper's website, and Greek fans are encouraged to get it from the newspaper kiosks this Sunday.
Some may recall a few years ago "VIMagazino" conducted an interview with Vangelis, see our post from April 13, 2008.
Yesterday Vangelis' "Rosetta" album was released; and perhaps no one was more excited to hear the album than the Rosetta spacecraft. Just a week before its planned touchdown on the comet, the Rosetta spaceraft sent these kind words on its official twitter feed:
And it's out... Decca has released the CD and the vinyl record exactly as planned and (most) digital channels have the music available. Enjoy!
Remember that you are invited to share your thoughts for publication in a mail to: email@example.com (Max 450 words, about the album)...
The official release moment for Vangelis' new album "Rosetta" is now just hours away. To celebrate this occasion, you are invited to share your thoughts and opinions on the album on this site. We will publish such reviews spread over several updates throughout the coming week.
Please limit your story to roughly 450 words and stick to the topic: The Rosetta album.
Send your input to: firstname.lastname@example.org
With less than two days to go until Vangelis' "Rosetta" album is released, an animation video is posted on VangelisVevo's channel on YouTube. The video is intended as an accompaniment to the CD and vinyl release, and it shows the timeline of ESA Rosetta's incredible mission as it rendezvoused with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The track "Rosetta" from the upcoming album is played during the animation.
After orbiting the comet and collecting a wealth of scientific data for two years, it is expected the Rosetta spacecraft will land on the comet on September 30 in a grande finale.
Universal Music runs a Vangelis page on Facebook, it announced today they have secured additional signed CDs in limited numbers, sold exclusively at their online store uDiscoverMusic. As reported in our July 29 update, some 100-limited signed "Rosetta" CDs were previously offered and were snatched up quickly. This new and limited stock gives fans and collectors alike the chance to obtain this unique item, but hurry up before they go.
Two weeks ago the "Blackpool Illuminations" kicked off in the city of Blackpool (see our earlier update from September 5). One of the projections shown on the Blackpool Tower is a space-themed 3D animation prepared with the participation of ESA and the UK Space Agency. The show is entitled "Chasing Stars" and features British ESA astronaut Tim Peake. The 3D animation is accompanied by music selections from Vangelis soon to be released album "Rosetta". Below we post some additional links relating to the event.
With less than a week before Vangelis' "Rosetta" album release, Decca has unveiled a lighthearted and fun website dedicated to the album at vangelisrosetta.com. The website features some music snippets from Vangelis' album, while giving the chance to play a shooter game featuring a little spaceship clearing a field of asteroids. On the website there are links to the recent music videos that were posted on YouTube, links to retailers where the album can be obtained, and some additional information.
For those who pre-ordered the "Rosetta" album on Apple iTunes, two additional tracks from the album are made available today, one week before they are available everywhere else. Next to the two previously available tracks "Rosetta" and "Mission Accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz)", the two new tracks are "Starstuff" and "Elegy".
In a previous update we linked to an online store BOL.com that put up extended audio previews from the "Rosetta" album. The audio previews has since been withdrawn as they were posted on BOL.com by mistake. However, another option to listen to audio excerpts is at the online store sounds-venlo.nl. Check the link below:
Thanks to Haro Musters for the bol.com info
The full 15 minute version of the EPK for Vangelis' upcoming "Rosetta" album is now available on YouTube and should be accessible to anywhere in the world, including the USA.
Last month a trailer for Vangelis' Rosetta album was released (see our August 19 update). The full 15-minute version EPK film is expected to be released this coming Friday.
Last Friday in the city of Blackpool, the annual "Blackpool Illuminations" light festival was switched on. One of the main attractions of the festival is a 3D science/educational show created with the engagement of ESA and the UK Space Agency, illustrating humanity's recent and near future endeavours in space exploration. Vangelis' music from the forthcoming "Rosetta" album is used in the film. The "Blackpool Illuminations" festival will be on show until November 6.
As we count the days to "Rosetta" album release in three weeks time, a second track from the album is now made available on iTunes and Amazon for digital purchase. The track is also available to those who pre-ordered the album as a digital release (e.g. iTunes).
Decca Records released two new teaser videos from Vangelis' upcoming album "Rosetta". The longest of the two is a 50 second excerpt from the track "Rosetta". The second teaser is from the track "Perihelion". Enjoy.
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.
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 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!.
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)".
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 is a selection of the best links to Rosetta related spaces on the web that we collected throughout the day.
Decca Records has just officially anounced "Rosetta", the new Vangelis album. Here's the record label's official press release:
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.
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.
Be sure to check back here regularly, while we keep counting down. We will follow the developments closely.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check back here for more information and details on what seems to be in the pipeline!
Read earlier news updates in the archive pages (see below and on top of this page).