Badalamenti, known for his otherworldly scores, showed his acting chops in a memorable scene in “Mulholland Drive”.

Angelo Badalamenti, the composer best known for creating the otherworldly scores for many David Lynch productions, from “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks” to “Mulholland Drive,” has died. He was 85 years old.

His family said in a statement that he died of natural causes on Sunday.

Born in Brooklyn in March 1937 to a fish market owner father with a musical background (a percussionist in Sicily), Badalamenti grew up listening to Italian opera with his family, learning to play the piano at age 8. Started classes and got bachelor and master degree. from the Manhattan School of Music. During the summers he played piano at resorts in the Catskills for the Borscht Ballet Act.

After college, she taught middle school. He produced a Christmas carol for his students that ended up on PBS and began his career primarily in entertainment, where he played Nina Simone (“Another Spring”) and Nancy Wilson (“Face It Girl, wrote the songs for “It’s Over”). He also wrote songs for films such as “Gordon’s War” and “Law and Disorder”, but his big break came in 1986 when unit manager Peter Runfow, through a series of industry contacts, asked him to play Isabella Rossellini. Asked to help sing “Blue Velvet”. For Lynch’s famous film.

“They were shooting in North Carolina, and so they took me down to meet Isabella and see what I could do. When I got there, it was just Isabella and me and a little piano. went into the room. I worked with him for two or three hours until we got a good little recorder,” he said in an interview with “David was shooting the last scene. We brought him a cassette tape. He put on earphones and immediately said, “Here’s the ticket! It’s a peach wish!” I had to ask the line producer what Peachy Cane meant.

He also ended up writing the song “Mysteries of Love” and got Jolie Cruz, who had died earlier that year, to sing it, beginning a long collaboration between the three that became part of Lynch’s seminal series “Twin Peaks.” will extend to

“David felt that the music for ‘Twin Peaks’ had to cover a lot of ground, a wide range of moods: sadness, passion, ecstasy, love, tenderness and violence. He wanted the music to be dark and abstract,” They said. “He asked me for music that would tear people’s hearts out.”

Badalamenti has also worked with other directors, including Gene Campion (“Holy Smoke!), Danny Boyle (“The Beach”), Paul Schrader (“Rest of Strangers”) and Walter Silas (“Dark Water”). He also wrote the “Flaming Arrow” torch theme and “Inside the Actors Studio” theme for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. But it’s his work with Lynch that towers above them all, including “The Street Story,” “Twin Peaks: Firewalk With Me,” “Lost Highway” and “Mulhland Drive.”

“He has this musical soul, and the lyrics are always floating in,” Lynch told People magazine in 1990. “I feel the mood of a scene in the music, and one thing helps the other, and they both just start to climb.”

Badalamenti also got to use his acting chops in a memorable scene in “Mulholland Drive,” where he plays a gangster who is very particular about his espresso.

When it came to how he arrived at his score, he said he was always in the service of the director’s vision.

“Sometimes you want the music to go with what’s happening on the screen. Other times I like the idea of ​​music playing against what’s happening – it’s often a cool way to do things, ” he told NME in 2011.

“When I compose a soundtrack, I always have one big question for a director: What do you want your audience to feel? Do you want to scare the s—t out of them? Squirm in their seat. ?Looking beautiful? And how they answer that question gives me the cue to act. I translate their words into music.

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