Legendary composer Angelo Badalamenti has died aged 85
Across his storied career, the Italian-American composer worked with the likes of David Lynch, David Bowie, Nina Simone and the Pet Shop Boys
Angelo Badalamenti, the legendary composer who scored music for multiple David Lynch film projects, including Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, has died aged 85.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, he died on Sunday (December 11) at his home in New Jersey in the USA.
On top of his famously eerie and atmospheric scores, he also worked with a number of the world’s leading musicians across multiple genres in his storied career — including David Bowie, Nina Simone, Dame Shirley Bassey, Liza Minelli, Roberta Flack, Pet Shop Boys and LL Cool J.
He won a the Best Pop Instrumental Performance Grammy in 1991 for his iconic 'Twin Peaks Theme', which also went gold in 25 countries. According to a Guardian report, Badalamenti wrote the majority of the music for the show without having seen any of it.
He said in 2018: “[David] sat next to me at the keyboard and said, ‘I haven’t shot anything, but it’s like you are in a dark woods with an owl in the background and a cloud over the moon and sycamore trees are blowing very gently.
“I played the sounds he inspired,” he continued.
The pair first began their history of collaboration when Badalamenti was first brought in as a voice coach for Isabella Rossellini, who played Dorothy Vallens in 1986 film Blue Velvet. Lynch asked Badalamenti to write a tune for the score, which Lynch enjoyed so much that he trusted the composer with the film’s entire score.
Lynch paid tribute to Badalamenti on his daily YouTube Weather Report, where he said: “Today, no music.”
On top of his collaborations with Lynch, Badalamenti also created scores for a number of other filmmakers including Paul Schrader, Danny Boyle, Jane Campion, Eli Roth and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter