Vangelis – Rosetta

Nostalgia Strikes

Once in a while, an artist’s name will just pop into my head out of nowhere. Typically, this is followed with immediate thoughts of nostalgia, leading to frantically searching Spotify for that one song I played on repeat on my DiscMan what seems like ages ago.

This time is different, but not too different.

Why would I possibly think of Jon & Vangelis’ The Friends of Mr. Cairo – the totally epic 80’s synth album (which probably in at least some way influenced my own compositions) today?

In this case I was actually trying to track down the soundtrack for The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa – but that’s a whole other story. Google autocomplete did the rest.

In this case, something even greater happened – I found that not only is Friends of Mr. Cairo available on Spotify – but it’s even a remastered version which sounds better than ever.

Fun fact: Vangelis scored the 1980’s film Blade Runner.

Ok, so what does any of this have to do with Vangelis’ Rosetta?

Much as this often happens with Wikipedia, I’m just one of those people who has to click through and go down the rabbit hole.

And so, as I’m currently working on my own space-inspired electronic music EP, I found that Vangelis – at 73 years old, mind you – released an epic space-themed ambient album – Rosetta – which is also available on Spotify.

This particular album features 13 ethereal, fantasy-driven, somewhat uplifting and yet somewhat melancholy tracks.

Some highlights…

Origins is a heavy, driving force of ambient pads, rising and falling, backed by various fx creating a unique aural experience.

Exo Genesis is a bouncy, light congregation of ambient pads and rolling piano arpeggios, supplemented with string stabs and pads. The result is a moody mix of emotions which is tightly woven and in sync.

Celestial Whispers may be my favorite track on Rosetta. A very light flowing melody of bells over changing pad themes. It’s brilliant in its simple elegance.

Elegy is a moving creature, very elegant and powerful. Actually wound up sending chills down my entire body playing this the first time.


Admittedly, since I hadn’t read anything about the album or heard any pieces of it before – and because it was labeled as a New Age composition on Wikipedia, I frankly had no idea what to expect.

What I wound up with, however, was a powerful experience in sound design, composition, melody and real emotion captured in sound.

I’m sure some may brand me a heretic but I’d personally label this album as a sort of contemporary classical album. At it’s core, there feels to be some influence of Bach and Holst in this epic piece of space music.

I think I might wait for an extra dark night, pour a glass of wine and enjoy this again on my balcony – watching the stars and dreaming with my eyes open.

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