Greek composer and synthesizer music pioneer Vangelis—who famously created the extraordinary soundtracks to Chariots of Fire (1981) and Blade Runner (1982)—has died at age 79.
"My music does not try to evoke emotions like joy, love, or pain from the audience. It just goes with the image, because I work in the moment," he once said of his film music.
Born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, Vangelis was largely a self-taught musician. He found success in Greek rock bands such as the Forminx and Aphrodite's Child—the latter of which sold over 2 million copies before disbanding in 1972. One of his earliest film scores, written while he was still in Aphrodite's Child, was for a French nature documentary called L'Apocalypse des animaux.
An innovator in electronic music, Vangelis is arguably best known for his work on Chariots of Fire and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. It was noted by many upon the release of the Harrison Ford–starring film that Vangelis' score was as important a component as Ford's character Rick Deckard in bringing the futuristic noir film to life. Years on, it's considered by many to be a hallmark in the chronology of electronic music.