Blade Runner: a brief chat with Vangelis

The notoriously reclusive Vangelis granted us a few short words to talk about his work on the classic Blade Runner soundtrack.

Vangelis' Blade Runner score: classic

To celebrate The Final Cut of Blade Runner finally seeing the light of day, legendary composer Vangelis spared us a few minutes…Many of your fans might have expected a synthetic, ‘Beauborg’-style score for Blade Runner, rather than the rich and emotional tapestry of themes that you came up with. How concerned were you with disassociating the Blade Runner score from the bombast of Star Wars and the ‘artificial’ style of many previous sci-fi themes?In order to answer your question I need a special talent that some people have to talk about their work endlessly, something I find very difficult and boring to do. So, I will just say that I did what I felt like doing at the moment I did it.

It took many years for the real Blade Runner soundtrack to be released – what were the issues you had with releasing the original score, until the final official release in the 1990s?

I do not wish to dwell on this subject; suffice to say it was not a particularly happy situation for me. But after all, I am glad that it came out when it did, even that late.

From where did you take your principal thematic and textural cues when approaching the soundtrack of Blade Runner?

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Everything came purely from the film itself — the characters, the settings, the atmosphere, the story, the whole thing.You’re known as a perfectionist, adapting your score to exactly fit dramatic cues in the editing – how does this affect the creative process when scoring?

In no other way than more hard work. “Avec des heures supplementaires” like the French say.You have doubtless been approached to score other science-fiction films since Blade Runner – is it something you feel you have ‘done’, or would the right story tempt you back into the genre?

If it were something as good as Blade Runner I would definitely not reject it.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut is now out on DVD. Also out 10th Dec is the Blade Runner – Official Soundtrack.

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