Angelo Badalamenti, the composer and David Lynch collaborator best known for scoring “Twin Peaks,” “Wild at Heart” and “Blue Velvet,” has died. He was 85.
Badalamenti and Lynch were longtime collaborators, with the composer once calling their relationship “my second-best marriage in the world.”
The two connected when Isabella Rossellini needed a vocal coach to help her with a song for the 1986 movie “Blue Velvet.” A producer suggested Badalamenti, who until then had worked on low-profile movies as well as doing commercial and theater work. He stayed to co-write the song “Mysteries of Love” for Julee Cruise.
Badalamenti stayed on to compose the entire orchestral score for “Blue Velvet” and appeared in the movie as a piano player under the professional name Andy Badale. The musician said he used the pseudonym early in his film career, until he saw “the beautiful names Rossellini and De Laurentiis, and then I started to go by Angelo Badalamenti.”
When his music was combined with Lynch’s “Blue Velvet,” audiences got to experience a gorgeous melody atop a disturbing, abstract underlay.
The mostly instrumental “Soundtrack to Twin Peaks,” which featured primarily Badalamenti’s compositions along with three songs sung by Cruise, peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 album charts and was certified as a gold record with more than a half-million copies sold.
The composer also won the 1991 Grammy for pop instrumental performance for his “Twin Peaks Theme,” beating Kenny G, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones and Stanley Jordan.
Other films scored by Badalamenti include Lynch’s 2006 “Mulholland Drive,” Neil LaBute’s 2006 “The Wicker Man” starring Nicolas Cage, 1987’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” and the 2019 documentary “Koi,” about the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.
Badalamenti was born March 22, 1937, in Brooklyn. He started piano lessons when he was 8 and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958 and master’s in 1959 from the Manhattan School of Music.