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13 December 2022

Angelo Badalamenti, ‘Twin Peaks’ Composer, Dies at 85

Angelo Badalamenti
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Angelo Badalamenti, the Brooklyn-born composer who worked with David Lynch on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, and Mulholland Drive, has died at the age of 85, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A cause of death has not been announced.

Lynch paid a simple tribute to the composer on his daily YouTube weather report, stating “today, no music”.

Badalamenti starting learning piano at age eight. In 1958, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music, and he got his master’s degree from the institution the following year. He then worked for five years as a music teacher in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. During this period he was also an in-demand songwriter and orchestrator for many popular performers.

He began working in film with his scores for Law And Disorder and Gordon’s War. In 1986, he was hired by a young David Lynch to be Isabella Rossellini’s vocal coach for Blue Velvet. Badalamenti ended up scoring the film, writing the feature song Mysteries Of Love with Lynch, and appears onscreen in the piano bar scene.

After Blue Velvet, Badalamenti returned to work with Lynch for Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, composing the entire score including the iconic theme music.

At the 1991 Grammy Awards, Badalamenti was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television (for the Twin Peaks soundtrack); and Best Pop Instrumental Performance (for Twin Peaks Theme). He won the latter award.

Badalamenti also composed music for Lynch’s Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive, Rabbits, and Twin Peaks: The Return. He also scored mainstream films like A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Wicker Man, and A Late Quartet.

Badalamenti also worked in pop music, arranging the orchestration for Pet Shop Boys on 1987’s It Couldn’t Happen Here and 1990’s This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave and Only the Wind. Later, he produced, composed, and performed on Marianne Faithfull’s 1995 album A Secret Life and James singer Tim Booth on their 1996 album Booth & The Bad Angel. He also worked with David Bowie (A Foggy Day (In London Town)), Orbital (Beached), among many others.

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