Mar 4, 2012

Sundaze 1210

Hello, as the digital noose is evermore tightened the UK government has expanded its plans to store and monitor Twitter, Facebook and other personal web communication data, but these are being created without official ISP involvement, according to an ISP representative body. Under the plans, police and intelligence operatives will gain access to records of who has talked to whom on social networks, on instant messaging services, and in online multi-player games. Oh and did you know they plan to privative police as well..corporate police coming to a town near you..

Music please last week there was this greek man who in 1995, had a minor planet named after him (6354 Vangelis) by the International Astronomical Union. NASA conferred their Public Service Medal to Vangelis in 2003. The award is the highest honour the space agency presents to an individual not involved with the American government. Five years later, in 2008, the board of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens voted to make Vangelis an Honorary Doctor, making him Professor Emeritus at their Faculty of Primary Education. In June , the American Hellenic Institute honoured Vangelis with an AHI Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award for his "exceptional artistic achievements" as a pioneer in electronic music and for his lifelong dedication to the promotion of Hellenism through the arts. What has this man done to be bestowed these honours...

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repeat from last week

On March 29, 1943, Vangelis was born near Volos, Greece. He apparently began composing at the age of four, and is largely a self-taught musician as he refused to take traditional piano lessons, and throughout his career did not have substantial knowledge of reading or writing musical notation. He studied painting, an art he still practices, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens. In the early 1960s he was one of the founders of pop group The Forminx (or The Formynx), which became very popular in Greece. The five-piece band played a mixture of cover versions and their own material, the latter written mostly by Vangelis but still sung in English. The Forminx released nine hit singles and a Christmas EP before disbanding in 1966 at the peak of their success. Vangelis spent the next two years mostly studio-bound, writing and producing for other Greek artists.

Around the time of the student riots in 1968, Vangelis founded progressive rock band Aphrodite's Child together with Demis Roussos, Loukas Sideras and Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter the UK, they found a home in Paris, where they recorded their first single, a hit across much of Europe called Rain and Tears. Other singles followed, including two albums, which, in total, sold over 20 million copies. The record sales led the record company to demand a third album, and Vangelis went on to conceive the double-album Aphrodite's Child - 666, based on Revelation, the last book in the Bible. Tensions between members during the recording of 666 eventually caused the split of the band in 1971, but the album was still released in 1972.

While still in Aphrodite's Child, Vangelis had already been involved in other projects. In 1970 he had composed the score for a film called Sex Power (Demis Roussos provided vocals). In 1971, some jam sessions with a group of musicians at Marquee Studios in London had resulted in two albums' worth of material, unofficially released without Vangelis' permission in 1978, titled Hypothesis (aka Visions of the Future), and The Dragon. In 1973 Vangelis' solo career began in earnest. His first "official" solo album was Earth, though it did actually feature a group of musicians including ex-Aphrodite's Child guitarist Silver Koulouris and also vocalist and songwriter Robert Fitoussi (F.R. David). Later in 1974, Vangelis was widely tipped to join another prog-rock band, Yes, following the departure of Rick Wakeman. After a couple of weeks of rehearsals Vangelis decided not to join Yes, he did, however, become friends with Yes' lead vocalist Jon Anderson, and later worked with him on several occasions, including as the duo Jon & Vangelis.

After moving to London, Vangelis signed with RCA Records, set up his own studio, Nemo Studios, and began recording a string of electronic albums, such as Heaven and Hell (1975), an album with classical overtones, occasionally branching into ethnic themes, in contrast with the progressive rock on both the previous and the following albums, Vangelis would return to classical style work ten years later, on Mask (1985). Parts of Heaven and Hell were later used as the theme to the PBS television series Cosmos by Carl Sagan. A melody from Albedo 0.39 called "Alpha" was also used in Cosmos. Another part (the song "So Long Ago, So Clear"), featured guest vocals by Jon Anderson, marking the start of the partnership. They released four albums together, Short Stories (1980), The Friends of Mr. Cairo (1981), Private Collection (1983) and Page of Life (1991).

Albedo 0.39 (1976), a concept album around space and space physics.The title refers to the average albedo value of the planet Earth as it was in 1976. "The reflecting power of a planet or other non-luminous body. A perfect reflector would have an Albedo of 100%. The Earth's Albedo is 39%, or 0.39". Spiral (1977), is a futuristic album, and Vangelis , who designed the cover aswell, makes extensive use of the synthesizer technology of the day; this album is probably the most sequencer-based of his recording career. Each piece has a unique style, and deserves individual treatment. Beaubourg (1978), it contains experimental, atonal and jazz elements, and even elements of musique concrete. The album is meant to reflect life in the Beaubourg district of Paris, when Vangelis lived there in the early '70s. China (1979), although he had never been to China, Vangelis employed Chinese instruments and compositional styles on this concept album. China was conceived during a very active period in Vangelis' recording career, during which he explored the possibilities of electro-acoustic composing. Vangelis employs his synthesizer arsenal to the fullest, generating sound effects and various Chinese-sounding patches on all tracks. Also that year he recorded an album with Greek filmdiva Irene Papas, an electronic rendition of eight Greek folk songs, issued as a record called "Odes".

In 1979, Vangelis provided the score for another animal documentary by Frédéric Rossif, Opera Sauvage. Almost as well known as L'Apocalypse des Animaux, the resulting soundtrack would bring him to the attention of some of the world's top filmmakers. In 1981, Vangelis wrote the score for the film Chariots of Fire, set at the Paris Olympics in 1924. The movie won a half-dozen awards, including an Academy award for Best Picture of the year. Vangelis won the Academy Award for Original Music Score. The opening theme of the film was released as a single in 1982, topping the American Billboard chart for one week after climbing steadily for five months. Other notable Vangelis soundtracks were Antarctica for Nankyoku Monogatari in 1983, and The Bounty in 1984. Vangelis also collaborated in 1981 and 1986 with Italian singer Milva, achieving a large success especially in Germany

In 1982, Vangelis began a collaboration with director Ridley Scott, writing the score for the science fiction film Blade Runner. Capturing the isolation and melancholy of Harrison Ford's character Rick Deckard, the Vangelis score is as much a part of the dystopian environment as the decaying buildings and ever-present rain. A disagreement led to Vangelis withholding permission for his performance of the music from Blade Runner to be released, and the studio instead hired a group of musicians dubbed "The New American Orchestra" to record the official LP released at the time. It would take 12 years before things could be worked out and Vangelis's own work be released in the United States in 1994. In 1992, Vangelis's wrote the score for 1492: Conquest of Paradise, also directed by Ridley Scott. In May 2000, Vangelis composed the music as well as designed and directed the artistic Olympic flag relay portion of the Closing Ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In 2001, Vangelis performed live and released Mythodea, a predominantly orchestral rather than electronic piece that was originally written in 1993, and used by NASA as the theme for the Mars Odyssey mission. In 2002 Vangelis created 2002 FIFA World Cup Official Anthem for the 2002 World Cup, in that work the Korean folk song, Arirang, is the main recurring theme and melody. In 2004, Vangelis released the score for Oliver Stone's Alexander.

In 2007, Vangelis released 2 albums. First was a 3CD set for the 25th Anniversary of Blade Runner, titled Blade Runner Trilogy. Second is the soundtrack for the Greek movie, El Greco, titled El Greco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

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Vangelis fancied himself a synthesizer artiste, an avant-garde pioneer in the medium of the future: electronic music. The music, which Vangelis credits himself with composing, arranging and interpreting, is divided into two wildly divergent parts. "Parte 1" is an attempt at a synthesized classical composition. It has its moments, particularly at the end when Vangelis adds synthesized choral voices. Ignacio was originally released in 1975 as "Can You Hear The Dogs Barking?" and "Entends-tu Les Chiens Aboyer? A 1977 re-release introduced the name "Ignacio", after the main character in the Mexican film "No Oyes Ladrar Los Perros?"

Vangelis - Ignacio (flac 153mb)

01 Vangelis - Ignacio and Entends - tu Les Chiens Aboyer 39:44

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Albedo: The reflecting power of a planet or other non-luminous body. A perfect reflector would have an albedo of 100%. The Earth's albedo is 39% or 0.39. The album represents some of Vangelis' most fascinating material from the early portion of his career. Using transforming tonal washes and lengthy runs of calm but effective synthesizer passages, Vangelis tackles the wonder and allure of the galaxy and its planetary bodies, making for an entertaining display of his keyboard expertise. Likened to Heaven and Hell (but with shorter passages) and to Spiral, the album that followed Albedo 0.39, the tracks are mesmerizing trips of assorted rhythms that include elements of jazz and mild rock, adding some welcomed differentiation to the nine pieces. The title track includes narrated statistics about planetary distances and such behind a forwarding voyage of tempered notes, making for one of Vangelis' most novel compositions. Along with "Albedo 0.39," the two parts of "Nucleogenesis" are among the strongest cuts that keep his cosmic theme from deviating, while the livelier "Pulstar" involves some impressive instrumental range and electronic buoyancy. Even in shortened form, his distinct pastiches are quite compelling, and the stretches of notes and rhythms don't become weary or monotonous at any point of the album. Vangelis' intention of conjuring up the vastness and immensity of space is soundly accomplished, and for the remainder of his career he employed the same type of atmospheric sketching.

Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 (flac 258mb)

1 Pulstar 5:45
2 Freefall 2:15
3 Mare Tranquillitatis 1:47
4 Main Sequence 8:11
5 Sword Of Orion 1:58
6 Alpha 5:45
7 Nucleogenesis Part 1 5:56
8 Nucleogenesis Part 2 6:12
9 Albedo 0.39 4:23

Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 (ogg 99mb)

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A great dark synthesized tone poem inspired by the Beauborg Cathedral. Vangelis had hinted at his desire to create works of this nature in some sections of Heaven and Hell, but the release of this album caught many of his fans unaware. Dark, brooding and not what most people wanted, it's one of those albums where you either like it or you don't.

Vangelis - Beauborg (flac 171mb)

1 Beaubourg, Pt. 1 18:09
2 Beaubourg, Pt. 2 21:05

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Invisible Connections is a very interesting CD from Vangelis. He shreds his symphonic biases to create a totally electronic album with lots of quirky experimental sounds and sci-fi timbres, a foray into dark ambient. The atmospheres are quite stark and playful. His sounds - even the harshest ones - are created using analogue and early digital synthesizers, which have some warmth, making it a pleasant listening experience based on timbre.. This is pure space music with icy tones and metallic textures. It borders on sheer minimalism an atmosphere that hasn't been heard since Beaubourg.. This album is no exception in regards to his diversity a rare gem which will appeal to fans of Michael Stearns, Constance Demby, and Maitreya.

Vangelis - Invisible Connections (flac 119mb)

1 Invisible Connections 18:30
2 Atom Blaster 7:42
3 Thermo Vision 13:19

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