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Twin Peaks composer and David Lynch associate Angelo Badalamenti passed away at age 85

Twin Peaks composer and David Lynch associate Angelo Badalamenti passed away at age 85

Composer Angelo Badalamenti, who worked with David Lynch on projects like “Twin Peaks,” “Wild at Heart,” and “Blue Velvet,” has passed away. He was 85. Laura Engel of Kraft-Engel Management, the composer’s agency and close friend since 2005, informed The Times on Monday that the family of Angelo Badalamenti “confirms that he passed away December 11 of natural causes surrounded by his family.” A devoted spouse, father, and grandfather, he was.

Lynch and Badalamenti have worked together for a long time; the composer once referred to them as “my second-best marriage in the world.”Working with Angelo gave me some of the happiest times I’ve ever experienced, Lynch said Chris Willman of The Times in 1990. He has a great heart, and he welcomed me into his world and into the music industry.

Even though I didn’t know anything about music when we started working together, we immediately bonded over our shared interest in sound effects and mood. Working with Angelo made me aware of how closely related sound effects and music are to one another. When Isabella Rossellini needed a vocal teacher to assist her with a song for the 1986 film “Blue Velvet,” the two got in touch. Badalamenti, who had previously worked on low-profile films as well as commercials and theater, was recommended by a producer. He remained on to collaborate on Julee Cruise’s song “Mysteries of Love.”

Badalamenti continued on to write the complete symphonic score for “Blue Velvet,” and he also made an appearance in the film as a pianist going by the name Andy Badale. Before he saw “the lovely names Rossellini and De Laurentiis, and then I decided to go by Angelo Badalamenti,” the composer revealed he adopted the pseudonym early in his cinematic career.

In 1990, Badalamenti recalled David’s instructions on the primary title theme: “It has to be like Shostakovich, be very Russian, but make it the most beautiful thing, but make it dark and a little bit scary.”Audiences who heard his music in combination with David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” got to witness a beautiful tune over an unsettling, abstract backdrop.

That’s, I suppose, the darker side of me, Badalamenti added. “I think that produces some very beautiful music. The Lowest Circle in Hell, a 15-minute piece I recently created for “Twin Peaks,” is one of the items I recently completed. And to me, the most beautiful things are just really low, gloomy, continuous things. It might seem a little weird to some people, but to me it’s transcending,” he continued. And I enjoy using those items as a bed for something perhaps a little more delectable.

With three songs sung by Cruise and a majority of Badalamenti’s works, the “Soundtrack to Twin Peaks,” which was predominantly instrumental, debuted at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 album charts and was certified as a gold record with more than 500,000 copies sold.

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The composer also defeated Kenny G, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, and Stanley Jordan to win the 1991 Grammy for best pop instrumental performance for his “Twin Peaks Theme.”Other movies with music composed by Badalamenti include “Mulholland Drive” (2006) by David Lynch, “The Wicker Man” (2006) with Nicolas Cage, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” (1987), and “Koi” (2019), a documentary on the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan.

Badalamenti was born in Brooklyn on March 22, 1937. He began taking piano lessons when he was 8 years old, and the Manhattan School of Music awarded him a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 1958 and 1959, respectively.

This article first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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