Angelo Badalamenti, composer and faithful collaborator of American filmmaker David Lynch, died on Sunday. He was 85 years old. His family told US media on Monday that he “died of natural causes”.
Mr. Badalamenti composed the soundtracks of American cinema classics such as blue-velvet (1986), Mulholland Drive (2001), and Sailor and Lula (“ Wild at Heart “), recipient of the Palme d’Or Cannes film festival in 1990. He also created the music for the cult series Twin Peakswhose main theme remains very popular with moviegoers of all ages.
blue-velvet, Mulholland Drive and the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Me (“ Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me »), which followed the first two seasons of the series, are particularly emblematic of the neo-noir genre, often characterized by crime dramas with a dark atmosphere.
Mr Badalamenti is said to have met David Lynch for the very first time when he was hired as a singing teacher for Isabella Rossellini, for her role in blue-velvet, before Mr. Lynch decided to have him compose parts for the film. The musician also appears as a pianist in blue-velvet.
In addition to his longstanding collaboration with M. Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti has worked with Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet for The City of Lost Children (1995) and A long engagement Sunday (2004). In 1992 he also composed the music for the Olympic Games in Barcelona. In 2008, he notably worked with Siouxsie Sioux, of the post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees.
“What always impressed me was the symbiosis between the emotions of the image and the power of the sound, testifies Geneviève Courcy, assistant director of studies at the Collège de Rosemont, ex-professor of cinema at the Cégep, and holder a mastery of music as a subject in contemporary narrative cinema. [Son] frequent use of whirring has always had a great effect, especially in support of a nightmarish image, slightly out of step with reality”, she adds.
The film industry reacts
25 years after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Me (1992), in 2017 the long-awaited third season of the series premiered on Showtime. One of the last pieces that Mr. Badalamenti had composed for David Lynch was presented at the end of an episode of Twin Peaks. French film critic Damien Leblanc paid him this tribute on Monday evening on Twitter.
Here is one of the last pieces of music that the great Angelo Badalamenti, who has just left us, had composed for his old accomplice David Lynch. The song, named “Heartbreaking”, sounds at the end of episode 11 of Twin Peaks: The Return (aired in 2017). And it’s sublime. pic.twitter.com/2nOjXvqvE3
— Damien Leblanc (@damien_leblanc) December 12, 2022
David Lynch has not officially reacted to the composer’s death. However, for the past few years, he has been posting today’s weather forecast for Los Angeles on his YouTube channel. Today, he clarified that we would “not play music”. His admirers will see it as a subtle – and typically Lynchian – nod to the death of his friend.
Prominent US distributor of global auteur cinema, Criterion Collection, also highlighted the artist’s “sound genius” by sharing one of the pieces he made for the film. Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Me.
Goodnight to beloved composer Angelo Badalamenti. ???? We’re remembering his sonic genius with this beautiful moment from an interview on our release of TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992)—featuring a performance of “The Voice of Love” one of the film’s most memorable songs. pic.twitter.com/6Jk5VAByO5— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) December 12, 2022
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Angelo Badalamenti, illustrious composer for David Lynch, has died