Interviews with Vangelis don’t come along too frequently. In fact, in the 12 years Prog Magazine has been going we’ve conducted one with the great man. So we were particularly excited when our friends at Space Rocks snared an audience with him for their recent Uplink conversation, and you can watch the whole interview below.
In it Vangelis discusses the impact space has had on his music over the years – his 1975 album, Heaven & Hell, was used as the theme for Carl Sagan’s iconic TV series Cosmos, and 2016’s Rosetta album was dedicated to the European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe mission.
He also discusses the impact synaesthesia has had on his music with Space Rocks hosts Alexander Milas and ESA’s Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration Mark McCaughrean.
“Is there a crossover with synaesthesia? Oh yes, yes,” says Vangelis. “When I was a child, I did that purposefully. I would smell something and then think, ‘what sound is this? Or I would hear something and think ‘what is the food?’ Also, humans all have their own sound. When I see someone, I know their sound. I can’t explain it. It’s an extremely old idea, but it’s very new too, because we never talk about it. We have never found the way to decode those things.
“When we talk about the human brain’s capacity to understand things, we have the capacity to understand more than we think we understand because it’s also a question of memory. Not the memory of things that happened this week and what we had for lunch, but the memory that brings us to that position; everything is memory.: our bones, our flesh; everything comes from thousands and thousands of years and because of that memory, we are here.”
Space Rocks is a celebration of music and culture and the great beyond. their connections with prog and Prog Magazine run deep. Lonely Robot, the now defunct Arcane Roots and Charlotte Hatherley headlined the organisations inaugural live event at Indigo at the O2 in 2018 while last year the event featured Anathema, Amplifier and Voyager. And Steven Wilson, Marillion’s Steve Rothery and Prog Editor Jerry Ewing have been previous guests of Space Rocks’ Uplink.