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Curved Air founder and film composer Francis Monkman dies at 73

Francis Monkman, rock musician and composer on 1980 film The Long Good Friday, has died at the age of 73.

The founding member of prog rock bands Curved Air and Sky was described as “a significant figure in the world of both popular and classical music” in a statement shared by his family.

He also played synthesiser on the scores for well-known movie franchises including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond and Superman.

Monkman died on Friday at his home in the English countryside, shortly after a late stage diagnosis of cancer, an online statement from Curved Air said.

He played on the band’s first three studio albums and then co-founded Sky with classical guitarist John Williams.

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He played on Sky’s platinum-selling eponymous debut album in 1979, and its follow-up, Sky 2, in 1980.

Monkman enjoyed so much success with his score for The Long Good Friday that he opted to leave Sky to focus on his career in film and television.

Later in his career he followed his passion for harpsichord and organ playing, in which he was classically trained.