Vangelis And The Journey to Ithaka Documentary Now Available

Vangelis And The Journey to Ithaka is a new documentary on the Greek composer.

In this brief except from the film, we get a look at the custom set up that Vangelis uses and how he uses it to create improvised symphonic electronic compositions.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

vangelis-and-the-journey-to-ithakaHere’s the official description for the film:

The two-hour documentary includes interviews with Vangelis and many of his friends and colleagues, including Sean Connery, Hugh Hudson, Jessye Norman, Oliver Stone, Akiko Ebi, Julian Rachlin and many others. It also includes rare, historical footage, most of which has never been seen before. Another highlight includes recent footage of Vangelis improvising new music!

Vangelis, a composer of electronic, ambient, jazz, pop/rock and orchestral music, is best known for his Academy Award winning score for the film Chariots Of Fire, and composing scores for the films Antartica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise and Alexander, as well as the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.

Vangelis began his professional music career working with several popular Greek bands in the ’60s such as The Forminx and most notably Aphrodite’s Child. Throughout the 1970s Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream.

In the early ’80s, Vangelis teamed up with YES vocalist/songwriter Jon Anderson. The duo recorded a series of successful and critically acclaimed albums under the name Jon & Vangelis. In 1981 Vangelis composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots Of Fire, which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The soundtrack’s single ‘Titles’ reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was most recently used as theme music at the London 2012 Olympics.

In a career spanning over 50 years, writing and composing over 50 albums, Vangelis is regarded as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time. And now, the new documentary ‘Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka’ celebrates the music legend’s illustrious and fascinating career!

Vangelis And The Journey to Ithaka is available now on DVD via publisher Gonzo Multimedia.

Note: The Gonzo site is currently extremely slow/unresponsive.

37 thoughts on “Vangelis And The Journey to Ithaka Documentary Now Available

      1. Sadly very few keyboards have polyphonic aftertouch.
        But… I just got the QuNexus 25-key laptop/iPad keypad and it’s awesome!! Instant Vangelis, sort of!! 😀

        Animoog and SynthX both accept polyphonic key pressure, as does Logic’s ES2, and many (most?) other hardware and software synths can be put into multi-channel mode, enabling them to accept polyphonic channel pressure from the QuNexus!!

  1. I have just seen it and it’s a really bad documentary. Avoid it if you can. For electronic music fans or gear addicts, the video excerpt from above is the only great moment in two hours. However, if you love Vangelis’ pompous symphonic style of his latest soundtracks you will probably enjoy it.

  2. What the hack is he doing in the beginning with those flip-number-plates with alien signs on them, and what are those 2 Rackunits with Tube-Number-Displays above the keyboard?

  3. Pedals control volume level of various intruments, notes pressed by composer’s hands are the same, only volume changes.
    Percussions have no pitch
    Great use of his setup

    1. I have the same way to play my setup, i press one note on my keyboard and it plays every my synth connected by midi, with my pedals i select what synth i want to listen and mix their volume level

    2. Timpani (a mainstay of orchestral music and a favourite of Vangelis) do have pitch. They need to be carefully tuned. Do read sometime about percussion instruments and you might be surprised what some of them can do.

  4. Vangelis is a great improviser and a legend. However the terrible string releases and weird combinations of instruments in this video just sound horrible. (I sort of feel like I am insulting God here)

    His old setup with synths sounded much more interesting and were practically finished tracks. He would be better off staying with that setup.(CS-80, System-100 JP4, electric grand, Rhodes etc.)
    A Romantic church organ would be a great instrument for him too.
    This is just sketches at best that leaves a big job for the poor transcriber(bless him) to sort out. But after all it is nice to see someone who can actually play!

    1. I just listened to it again without watching the video, and I still like it!!

      Analog synths might age better than samplers, but Vangelis is still awesome.

  5. Seems to be a super high powered home organ … not unlike the Electone EL-01X by Yamaha !

  6. I don’t mine that his gone alway from his traditional analog gear. He is still a Master a work what he shows when possible is a sight to see. Because in all his very private. And this in itself is a joy. I can’t guess what it is that he is using but I suppose it holds all his presets in a master keyboard. It something I’ve been seeing in his studio for awhile now seeing it up close you can only wonder how is used. As for anyone looking for any aftertouch keyboards for a good price. You should check out CME Xkey and Keith Mcmillen Qunexus.

    1. I was just kidding with my iPad comment. To do what he is doing in real time is just incredible whether you like it or not.

    2. The wheels are turning and I see the ads already:
      iVangelis. One million sounds. Thousands of textures. One iPhone.

  7. To play that whole composition in one go? People can’t do that anymore, very few really can compose so completely without all the layering of a sequencer. It’s silly to criticize the sounds, when you hear his music against picture, there’s nothing like it. Someone with such a unique musical voice and body of work doesn’t come along that often. I will check out the documentary for sure. Love watching the process. : >

  8. Holy crap! I have no idea what’s going on here. What is he using to get those orchestral sounds? And how does he make those old typewriter thing…ies sound like the real deal. I have EWQL Silver as my modest “little” orchestral library and Garritan Personal. Perhaps I need more pedals…I don’t even have one…

    1. Chris

      The buttons with the drawings are his presets. At the beginning, Vangelis works out the shape of the composition and switches on the patches he wants to use on each keyboard.

      The sounds are layered, so all the active ones play at the same time. Then he can orchestrate using pedals to bring in various voices. That’s why he’s doing so much with his feet!

      1. Fascinating, thanks! Well I have enough trouble “coordinate” my fingers on the keys….I’ll just keep doing the ol layering after layering thing lol

  9. His orchestral sounds these days are coming (most of them) from Roland expansion board (SR JV80-02 and/or SRX06). I recognize some patches.

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