It wasn’t the Chariots of Fire soundtrack that got me hooked on Vangelis in the early 80s. Rather, it was an odd album called Soil Festivities that spun countless times on my turntable back in the day. After that, I was buying his records when I thought “Hmm, this looks interesting.” And it was the “look” of the album that made me want to buy it (Hey, what can I say. I was a child of MTV). The theme of a Vangelis LP was usually depicted on the front cover, and for the rest of the LP you were taken on journey exploring various themes reflected in that cover art image.
For Mask, the theme was clearly ancient cultures with a strong synth undercurrent. Initially, I found this LP tough to get into because I really liked the creepy-crawly quality of Soil Festivities. Nevertheless, I dutifully spun the record, and only after giving it a good amount of time did it become a “sleeper hit” for me.
For the longest time I presumed the tune I included here had vocals sung in a real language. But after looking at the Wiki on it, it seems Vangelis made the language up (It sounds like Latin) and did so for the way the syllables of the vocal sounds complemented the music.
I’m not sure what you’re going to think of this piece, but when I listen to the song, it conjures up some kind of ancient temple ceremony where Latin is sung in an Egyptian setting. Weird, I know. But just look at the cover art, and you’ll know what I mean.
“Movement 4” (Download)