Spare an Obol for Charon as you Shed Tears in the Rain: RIP, Vangelis

The ferryman guided a special soul across the river earlier this week. Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, known to professionally as Vangelis, died this past Tuesday at the age of 79.

“… close our eyes and remember those few young men with hope in our hearts and wings on our heels.”

You can read remembrances, appreciations, and obituaries from:

Many a cinephile will know Vangelis immediately, but for many of us, we came of age and found our love for both film and film music right when Vangelis gifted us with what are arguably his two most iconic film scores: Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner. He released an impressive number of studio albums and did other work (his theme for the original Cosmos is a personal favorite), but for many of us, our connection will remain his film scores.

Many friends are thinking of his scoring for Rutger Hauer’s “Tears in the Rain” monologue near the end of the film, which is exceptional. But I find myself coming back to the expansive opening sequence where the music completely transports you into another Los Angeles:

I can’t think of a score of his that didn’t move me: not a single one did not make the film it supported exponentially better. His music was “just right” in so many film genres and periods, it’s timeless in a way that doesn’t make sense. But you listen and you watch and you know.

Thank you for contributing to so many moments of pure cinema. R.I.P.

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