My world is a little bit dark... a little bit off-center.
I think of it as tragically beautiful.
That's how I would describe what I love best: tragically beautiful.
— Angelo Badalamenti
Angelo Badalamenti (March 27, 1937 — )
is a musical composer
highly regarded for his award-winning scoring work in film and television. Best known for his many collaborations with cult director David Lynch
, he is also a popular and respected recording artist, having worked with the likes of David Bowie
, Paul McCartney
, Pet Shop Boys
, Michael Jackson
, Julee Cruise
, Marianne Faithfull
front man Tim Booth
(to name a few).
Born in Brooklyn to parents of Italian descent, Badalamenti studied at the famous Eastman School of Music in Rochester and at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received Master degrees in composition, French horn and piano. Following his classical training, he worked as a Borscht Belt pianist in the 1950s, as a jingle writer and as an arranger-songwriter for many popular performers in the 1960s, including Shirley Bassey and Mel Tillis.
Badalamenti began his work in film music (under the name Andy Badale) in 1973 with his score for Gordon's War, but his big break came in 1986 when he was hired by David Lynch as Isabella Rossellini's vocal coach for the movie Blue Velvet. He ended up scoring the film, and even appears in a cameo role as piano player "Andy Badale" in the jazz bar "The Slow Club". His close working relationship with Lynch (which has been documented as "a match made in heaven") served as a springboard for his career, and his services have been called upon for numerous major motion pictures and television series in addition to scoring all of Lynch's film and television work since.
In 1990 he co-wrote and coproduced with Lynch the Brooklyn Academy of Music's theatrical production of "Industrial Symphony No. 1," which received the American Music Video Entertainment Award. The following year he won BPI's Best Album award and a Grammy award for his theme to Lynch's groundbreaking TV series "Twin Peaks". His Soundtrack from Twin Peaks album has achieved gold status in 15 countries. Badalamenti is also the recipient of eight ASCAP awards as well as the 1991 Anthony Anquith Award given by the British Film Institute for the year's best film music score, for The Comfort of Strangers. In 1995 he was nominated for a César Award for his score to the surreal French film The City of Lost Children, and received a 1999 Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score in the film The Straight Story.
Badalamenti's music is most commonly described as "haunting". His forté lies with dark, dreamy jazz-based melodies that evoke emotions of passion and paranoia. His notable television work (apart from collaborations with Lynch) include the main theme to the A&E series "Inside the Actors Studio" (as Angelo Bagdelamenti, 1994), the theme to NBC's "Profiler" (1996), Mario Puzo's "The Last Don" (1997), and "Cracker" (aka "Fitz") (1997). I spoke with Angelo on the phone briefly in 1991 through my work as a music publisher, and he struck me as a very congenial and friendly individual. He lives in New Jersey and works in a small studio in Manhattan.
A brief yet interesting interview with Angelo Badalamenti can be found on the web at:
Filmography (Updated April 2003; most television credits excluded)
Darkened Room (2002)
Mysteries of Love (2002) (video)
Cabin Fever (2002)
Auto Focus (2002)
The Adversary (2002)
Suspended Animation (2001)
Cet amour là (2001)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Julie Johnson (2001)
The Beach (2000)
Birthday Girl (2000)
Forever Mine (2000)
A Piece of Eden (2000)
Arlington Road (1999)
Holy Smoke (1999)
The Straight Story (1999)
Story of a Bad Boy (1999)
The Blood Oranges (1997)
Lost Highway (1997)
Invasion of Privacy (1996)
The City of Lost Children (1995)
Naked in New York (1994)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
The Comfort of Strangers (1990)
Wild at Heart (1990)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1989)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Law and Disorder (as Andy Badale) (1974)
Gordon's War (as Andy Badale) (1973)
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