The electronic orchestra came to Royce Hall with a sound and fury Friday night via the gifted hands of Greek composer-keyboardist Vangelis. Making his American debut, Vangelis--best known for his score for "Chariots of Fire"--used a battery of digital sampling and synthesizer keyboards to create an astonishing kaleidoscope of aural textures.
His illusory orchestra bristled with complex textures and rhythms. But unlike many contemporary keyboardists who have become virtual one-man ensembles, Vangelis almost completely disdained the finger-multiplying assistance of sequencers, arpeggiators and effects devices.
Relying on a relatively small number of sound samples and synthesizer patches, he manipulated an enormous number of timbres via real-time keyboard control--a remarkable technical achievement, and one which clearly identified Vangelis as one of the true progenitors of the electronic music revolution of the '80s.