Greek composer Vangelis has played a key role in paying tribute to physicist Stephen Hawking.

The 76-year-old who passed away on 14 March, was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in a memorial service on Friday that acknowledged the influential figure’s significant role in raising awareness about black holes.

Vangelis was chosen to arrange the music on a six-minute recording titled The Stephen Hawking Tribute with an original piece of music to accompany Hawking’s synthesised voice, which is heard advocating for planetary preservation.

Composer Vangelis. Photo: NPR

Following the memorial service, the European Space Agency transmitted the recording in the direction of the nearest known black hole, 1A 0620-00 (aka V616 Monocerotis), via one of its dishes located in Spain.

The target is located 3,500 light years away from Earth, which means the recording is expected to reach its destination in approximately the year 5500.

A copy of the composition recorded on CDs was given out to guests at the funeral.

Hawking was fittingly laid to rest near the tombs of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, with a memorial stone inscribed with his influential entropy equation describing black hole dynamics.

The recording is not yet available to the public.