Angelo Badalamenti, the famous composer who created music for iconic Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and The Beach, died at the age of 85 on Sunday.

The maestro's death was reported by his niece Frances Badalamenti. Angelo died of natural causes surrounded by his family at his home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey.

Angelo Badalamenti in 2009. Source:

The composer received a classical education. He collaborated with such stars as Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Bassey, Patti Austin, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithfull, Liza Minnelli, Pet Shop Boys, Anthrax, Dolores O'Riordan, Tim Booth, and LL Cool J.

He also created music for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

When Lynch needed a vocal coach for actress Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet (1986), he was filming in North Carolina, he turned to Badalamenti, who had earned a reputation for working with singers.

Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet. Source:

"I met with Isabella, and in a couple of hours with a piano and a little cassette recorder, we got some decent vocals [in Bobby Winton's song Blue Velvet]," the composer recalled in a 2015 interview for Spirit & Flesh magazine. According to him, Lynch was very pleased.

Then Lynch asked Badalamenti to write another tune. Lynch asked him to "let it float like the tides of the ocean, make it collect space and time, timeless and endless." This tune became the song Mysteries of Love, performed by Julee Cruise.

David Lynch, Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalamenti in 1989. Source: Getty

Badalamenti went on to collaborate with the director on Twin Peaks.

"I would sit with Angelo and talk to him about the scene, and he would start playing these words on the piano. Sometimes we would even get together and compose something on the piano and then it would lead to an idea for a scene or a character," Lynch recalled.

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Badalamenti said he often came to Lynch's set and played live music during filming so the actors "could get a feel for the mood."

The composer has worked with other first-rate directors, including Jean-Pierre Jeunet on The City of Lost Children (1995) and A Very Long Engagement (2004); Danny Boyle for The Beach (2000); and Fedor Bondarchuk on Stalingrad (2014).

In his interview, Badalamenti described how he and Lynch came up with the Laura Palmer theme.

"David came into my little office across from Carnegie Hall and said: 'I have an idea for a show.' He sat down next to me at the piano and said, 'I haven't shot anything, but it's like you're in the dark woods with an owl in the background and a cloud over the moon and the wind is quietly blowing.' I started pressing the keys for the opening chord, and he continued, 'A beautiful troubled girl comes out of the woods and walks toward the camera.' I played back these sounds. 'And she comes closer, and it reaches a climax, and....' I played the sounds as he continued the story. 'And from that point on, we let her go back into the dark woods," the composer recalled.

"David was as stunned as I was. The hair on his arms was up and there were tears in his eyes, 'I see Twin Peaks. I get it,' Lynch said."

In 1990 Badalamenti won a Grammy for his Twin Peaks theme and three Emmy nominations for his work on the series. The soundtrack album for the series went gold in 25 countries.


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