Study Guide

Blade Runner Music (Score)

Music (Score)

A Dude, Not a Band

If you happened to watch the credits (and who doesn't, right?), you might have noticed that Vangelis composed the music for the film. That sounds like a band name—but it's not. It's actually the stage name of a famous Greek composer whose full name is Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou. Like Cher and Madonna, this guy only needs one name. He tends to compose music with synthesizers and electronic instruments—but in a refreshingly not corny way.

Vangelis's most famous composition might be the immortal theme for the Oscar-winning smash Chariots of Fire. Feel free to run on a beach while you listen to this. When you've hit it that big, you can pretty much cash in and go home—but Vangelis stuck around. He composed the music for Oliver Stone's Alexander and Carl Sagan's TV Series Cosmos. But Vangelis's Blade Runner soundtrack is considered one of his greatest accomplishments.

Thesoundtrack to Blade Runner deliberately heightens the mystery of the movie. Vangelis doesn't really focus on the gloomy and decay-ridden side of the movie's world; he edges towards something like "teasingly mystical." He uses soaring synths and tinkling chimes to summon a feeling of eternal mystery, which helps give dimension to the pursuit of "more life" and true humanity that make up Roy Batty's quest.

At other times, Vangelis uses his score for more noir-ish purposes, for example when he gets into Rick Deckard's melancholy universe on "Blade Runner Blues." Take a listen—you can just feel the world of Blade Runner coming through.

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