Far out: Vangelis on the science and power of music
In a rare interview, Prog joins the notoriously reclusive Vangelis in Paris for an in-depth discussion on his five decades in music
“Every time a sound comes out of my hands, it has been and is always instinctive. There is no thinking and I don’t have any preconceived ideas or any preconceived plans or construction. I follow this flow until the music doesn’t need me any more.”
– Vangelis Papathanassiou
It’s no secret that Vangelis is a notoriously private man who has rarely given interviews throughout his career. The importance of such activity rarely bothers him, as his focus shifts to the next creative project by the time any new album is released. However, with an impressive 13-disc box set, _Delectus_, on the way – covering all of his work for the Vertigo and Polydor labels, including the Jon & Vangelis albums – and with the recent release of Rosetta, his first non-soundtrack album since 2001’s Mythodea, Prog is granted a rare audience with the great but reclusive man.
Our original meeting gets postponed due to him being engrossed in a new creative project. This does little to ease the trepidation that maybe we’ll go home empty-handed, but thankfully everything is rearranged for the following evening at his residence and studio in central Paris.
When we do meet, we’re confronted by a man of sharp intellect, possessed with warmth and a fine sense of humour. Over an initial dinner, he reminisces about the 14 years he spent in London, his love of the variety of British accents, British comedy and Ealing Studios films.