Vangelis was a Greek composer known for his incredible film scores. His music, which has won Oscars and been nominated for Grammy awards, influenced so much of the way people view cinema and the scores that accompany them. He was, it goes without saying, a truly powerful contributor to the world of art and music.
Vangelis passed away on Tuesday, May 17th, but it’s clear that his legacy will be remembered. In looking back on the work he produced for films like Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, it’s easy to see the value he found in his music and the way it can contribute to a larger picture.
In a past interview, Vangelis spoke about making music in times of chaos, and the power of paying attention to the beauty of art and music. His wise words bring an attitude of hope, as well as a sense of peace in the world of music, art, and beauty.
In the interview, Vangelis said of the power of music: “What we need today, more than anything else, is to invest in beauty, because beauty is harmony, which comes from chaos. But we invest in chaos. And I know why we invest in chaos, because chaos is much more profitable than peace. That’s why. So, you see around you, nothing is geared for beauty. From architecture, to art, to anything. Everything is destroyed. And beauty is kind of a safety vow for people.”
He added: “And I don’t think music is beautiful today. I just think music is a way to advertise other things, because music is very powerful, as a force. And then, through music, we can advertise what we want.”
Vangelis continued to talk about other times of chaos that have resulted in music being made, both for better and sometimes, not so much. He described record companies at certain points in history as being “very hungry” which is often an apt choice. He says: “When music becomes a product, when it becomes an industry, what have I got to say? When I started with this, I had the impression that by being an accessory, which, unfortunately, I was, I would be able to do things that were different. But the more successful you become, the more of a prisoner you become. You become a product…I had to fight from the inside.”
It’s clear that he was an artist who valued the true beauty of music—who wanted to do his own thing, and accomplished that in so much of his work, even if it took a fight.
If you want to see the full interview and hear all of his words of wisdom on the topic, you can find it down below.