Death of Angelo Badalamenti: The composer of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet dies at the age of 85

Angelo Badalamenti, the composer best known for composing the score for him twin peaksdied at the age of 85.

He died of natural causes on Sunday (December 11), his family said in a statement.

As well as his work on twin peaksBadalamenti composed a number of scores for other David Lynch films including blue velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001).

He made guest appearances in both films, playing coffee-loving gangster Luigi Castigliane Mulholland Driveand played piano with Isabella Rossellini in blue velvet.

The Brooklyn-born composer worked with musicians such as Nina Simone, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Marianne Faithfull, Liza Minnelli, Pet Shop Boys and LL Cool J.

As a child, Badalamenti grew up with his family listening to Italian operas. He began taking piano lessons at the age of eight and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

His big break came in 1986 when he was asked to help Isabella Rossellini sing “Blue Velvet” for Lynch’s cult film.

“They were shooting in North Carolina, so they flew me down to meet Isabella and see what I can do. When I got there we went into a small room with just Isabella and me and a piano. I worked with her for two or three hours at a time until we got a good impression of a small recorder,” Badalamenti recalled in an interview with

(Park Circus/Studio Canal)

He also wrote the song “Mysteries of Love” and found the late Julee Cruise to sing it. This began a long collaboration between the trio that would extend into Lynch’s seminal series twin peaks.

“David felt that the music of twin peaks would have to cover a lot of ground, a wide range of moods: sadness, passion, ecstasy, love, tenderness and violence. He wanted the music to be dark and abstract,” Badalamenti said. “He asked me for music that rips people’s hearts out.”

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Badalamenti has previously worked with other directors including Jane Campion, Danny Boyle, Paul Schrader and Walter Salles.

Lenny von Dohlen in “Twin Peaks”


“He’s got this musical soul, and melodies are always buzzing around inside him,” Lynch said of Badalamenti in a 1990 interview People Magazine. “I feel the mood of a scene in the music and one thing helps the other and they both just start climbing.”

Discussing his work with directors, Badalamenti said he always starts collaborations with “a big question.”

“I always have one big question for a director when I’m composing a soundtrack: how do you want your audience to feel? Do you want to scare her to death? Squirming in her seat? Do you feel beautiful?” he said in an interview.

“And how they answer that question gives me clues to work on. I translate their words into music.”

Additional reporting by PA Death of Angelo Badalamenti: The composer of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet dies at the age of 85


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