Vangelis Speaks
April 10, 2012 10:57 PM   Subscribe

Shortly after his concert in December 2011 inaugurating Katara amphitheater in Doha, Qatar [facebook photoset, available to the public], Vangelis sat down with Al Jazeera English anchor Tony Harris to spend a half hour talking about music, philosophy, the state of the world, and his career. It was his first television interview in about 20 years.

More photos of the concert can be seen at this page, along with an account of the event. (scroll down a bit -- hardlinking to individual entries is not available for this website.)
posted by hippybear (21 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I love Vangelis' music. I really liked all of what he said. The interviewer on the other had, almost detracted from the interview with his inane questions.
posted by gen at 11:42 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

That interviewer was straight out of the Wayne Gale School of Broadcast Interviewing. He's lucky Vangelis is so laid back.
posted by Ardiril at 11:52 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've just been listening to some of his early stuff. Very cool.
posted by philip-random at 12:16 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

A good blog post on Vangelis.
posted by eye of newt at 12:43 AM on April 11, 2012

Though the main theme from Chariots of Fire was ubiquitous, the entire soundtrack album is a truly great listening experience - - much like the rest of Vangelis' work.
posted by fairmettle at 3:12 AM on April 11, 2012

Was it just.... sounds that piqued your interest?
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:12 AM on April 11, 2012

Were you... shown the piano? Did you... find the piano?

"...My formal training was nature. My teacher is nature itself. My teacher is music itself."

What does that mean, Vangelis?

"I'm talking to you, you are music. I am music. Everybody's music. It's mathematical equations."


This is my favorite exchange, I think, of all time. In particular, I plan to work "what does that mean, Vangelis?" into at least one conversation I have each day from now until the last syllable of recorded time.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:25 AM on April 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Remember, folks... the Esper Edition of the Blade Runner soundtrack is the one you need. Accept no substitutes.

I once called Prince's The Dawn "the Sistine Chapel of fan bootlegs". Correction: this is the Sistine Chapel of fan bootlegs.
posted by Trurl at 5:38 AM on April 11, 2012 [5 favorites]

I just watched Blade Runner for the first time this week. The music is great.
How do you get an official bootleg?
posted by MtDewd at 5:46 AM on April 11, 2012

I don't think I'll ever make music as wonderful as Vangelis, but I can still hope that I look as much like a Pallas Cat as he does when I reach that age.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 6:19 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks hippybear - I've wondered off and on for a while what the hell had happened to Vangelis. Will have to hit the links when I get home.
posted by Currer Belfry at 7:00 AM on April 11, 2012

Yo dawg, I heard you like Vangelis and Microneurosurgery so we got Vangelis to record an 11 hour soundtrack to a neurosurgery course, so you can listen Vangelis while you do surgery.
posted by Damienmce at 7:06 AM on April 11, 2012 [8 favorites]

MtDewd: check your MeMail.
posted by hippybear at 7:18 AM on April 11, 2012

I'm a fan and have enjoyed the BR soundtrack for many years, never heard of Esper before today. Amazing amount of patience (or editing) in that interview.
posted by fatbaq at 7:31 AM on April 11, 2012

Damienmce: wow, that's really amazing. I hope those links are still active when I have time to download over the weekend. It's so rare to have examples of Vangelis' "immediate composing" out in the wild!

(For those unaware of Vangelis' method, he composes a lot of things on the fly. I've heard that much of the Jon & Vangelis albums were single-take tracks, improvised on the spot and called finished. Vangelis has this setup which lets him make a lot of layered noise all at once, so he doesn't have to multi-track much.)

There's more about Vangelis and some quality links in the comments to be found in this previous post.
posted by hippybear at 7:49 AM on April 11, 2012

New to Vangelis here, but I listened to Earth and it was pretty good. Thanks to philip-random for pointing it out.

Also, the Esper edition seems to be on grooveshark.
posted by o0dano0o at 8:16 AM on April 11, 2012

I can't listen to Vangelis without thinking of this.
posted by malocchio at 8:33 AM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here are Matt Stone and Gene Ween talking about Vangelis owning the rights to Japanese Cowboy, from Ween's country album:

Trey: Do you want to talk about what happened on “Japanese Cowboy”?

Gene: We had to give the publishing rights of that song to Vangelis. We realized one day the whole melody sounds like “Chariots of Fire.” So, we went on tour, and we tagged “Chariots of Fire” on the end of it. We had to clear that part of it, and send it to him, and he went, like, “Wait a second, this is a fucking rip-off.” He owns the publishing for the actual studio recording of it too.

Matt: So now he owns the first version. That's actually almost worth it!

Gene: It's actually worth it for me that he gets his royalty statement every month and it says “Japanese Cowboy” on it. He's sitting in Papoupapalis, Greece somewhere with little boy servants…

Matt: He's spreading olive oil all over his fucking hot body, checking out Ween statements.

Here are the songs side by side.
posted by Huck500 at 8:50 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oops, and Trey Parker, and Dean Ween's there, too.
posted by Huck500 at 8:51 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here are Matt Stone and Gene Ween talking about...

I never know how to take all the homo-bashing from guys like this. Face value? Parody? (Doesn't read like parody.)

It sucks when people whose work you admire say loathsome things.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 AM on April 11, 2012

Thanks for posting this..
posted by danham at 3:11 PM on April 11, 2012

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