JAMES HORNER INTERVIEWED BY TOMMY PEARSON
For this particular episode of "Saturday Night at the Movies" for Classic FM, Tommy Pearson indulged in a conversation with James Horner in the summer of 2012, at his home in Los Angeles.
Contained within the two hour running time is a well thought out, in depth and intelligent conversation between two people… one, a passionate music lover, the other, a true genius of the modern art of music composition and its magical ability to break and heal our hearts and souls. In this quiet conversation, James Horner gives us insights into how he began his film scoring career, from the time of Roger Corman, to the times of Titanic, to the present time where his composing has slowed down and the classical arena has come calling like a long lost friend.
“What working for Roger did for me, was it helped my procedural skills. How to produce music for literally nothing and how to write the best music for the films that they were.”
“My peers at the time, people who were most respected at that time, and who I looked up to, were John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein. I would often be at their recording sessions listening to everything.”
“In all the films I work on, there’s always that “What is the heart of the film?”, and I try and nail that.”
“Apollo 13 is really good example of something that is a tricky puzzle. You’re a composer, and you’re brought a story to score… to tell a story and you’ve got to make the audience forget they know the end. It’s historical and they already know it’s going to end a certain way. You have to be able to suspend that knowledge in the intense storytelling.”
“Mel is brilliant. He was so easy, so full of experience. He knew how much space I needed. I’ve always been partial to Celtic music and the music of that world. It was a natural world for me to work in… that musically, the colour of language, the instruments. The melodies I chose. The instruments I chose. An uilleann pipe as opposed to a big Scottish bagpipe. These are subtleties lost to a lot of people. It’s all about colours and that’s what makes it emotional.”
"I asked James (Cameron) for an interview… something I almost never do. James had also been thinking of me. He told me it had to be as emotional as possible… no violins! … … I did use violins!"
James reflects to Cameron:
"You're in the best possible position because the whole world thinks it'll be a complete disaster… but we know it's beautiful… brilliant. It's too good a movie."
“There was one I would have really loved to have done. It was right after Titanic, Peter Jackson asked me to do the trilogy. The Lord of the Rings. He was unknown at the time. What was on the horizon was very different. I could not be in New Zealand for a year. I just had a responsibility here, my daughter had just gone through surgery… so I turned it down. Those things happen for a reason and I don’t regret it. I just see it as an interesting footnote.”