Vangelis’ new album will be called Rosetta, and it is due for release on 23 September. The release of the album by Decca Records coincides with the culmination of the space mission Rosetta – a 12-year mission to orbit and land its Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is set to complete its journey in a controlled descent to the surface of the comet on 30 September.
The story of this mission fuelled Vangelis’ long-held passion for space and inspired him to create his first new studio album in 18 years.
Vangelis’ music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration. Alongside his Academy Award-winning score for ‘Chariots of Fire’, he has written for the films including ‘Antarctica’, ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise’, ‘The Bounty’ and ‘Alexander’.
“Mythology, science and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write,” said Vangelis to The Rosetta Mission Blog.
ESA’s connection with Vangelis goes back several years to when ESA astronaut André Kuipers was on the International Space Station. André is a big fan and he had a lot of Vangelis’ music with him in space.
After sharing stories and experiences with André via video call from the ISS, Vangelis was inspired to write some music for ESA to mark the landing of Philae on the comet in 2014.
To Vangelis, music is a sacred, basic force of the Universe, its purpose to elevate, inspire and to heal humankind. Never has this been more obvious than on ‘Rosetta’, an album that perfectly blends his fascination with the Universe and his ability to compose stirring music.
“With music, you can enhance emotions and create memories: I believe that what Vangelis wanted to do was share a lasting memory of our Rosetta mission through his music,” said Carl Walker, from ESA’s Communication Department.
Vangelis has dedicated this new album to everyone who made the ESA’s ongoing Rosetta mission possible, in particular extending the track called ‘Rosetta’s Waltz’ as an expression of his appreciation to the mission team.
“Rosetta has been an amazing journey for everybody involved, both scientifically and technically, but it has also connected emotionally with so many people around the world,” said ESA’s Prof. Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor in the Directorate of Science.
“So you can imagine how proud we were when one of the world’s great composers Vangelis made some music for us at the time of landing, and how excited we are that he’s put together a whole album of original music about this astonishing adventure.”