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JAMES HORNER FILM MUSIC | October 17, 2017 |

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JAMES HORNER'S 62ND BIRTHDAY: ALL IS THERE

JAMES HORNER’S 62ND BIRTHDAY: ALL IS THERE

In this second page you can find tributes written by our readers.
 
I thought I would never write this text. In all these years that I have been a James Horner admirer and unconditional fan, I never imagined that would be one day when he would no longer be with us. For us, mere mortals, our idols are timeless grand figures who will live forever. But in this Monday, June 22, Horner was taken from us abruptly and brutally. The man whose music rocked the soundtrack of my life and of millions of fans spread around the world would not present us with any upcoming work. However, who said he wouldn't live forever?
The text below is not intended to be a simple recapitulation of Horner’s brilliant career. All news portals that reported the news (and there were many – I may have underestimated the scope and power of his music!) have already done it. And the people who come to this site daily know who the man was, and what are his tracks that touched their heart the most. No, my purpose in writing these words is to make a humble tribute to one of my heroes, a farewell to the man who have moved me so often.
It was in my adolescence that I heard about Horner for the first time. I was enrolled in the second year of high school and there they would screen the film The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas for the history class. I saw Horner's name in the opening credits and decided I would pay attention to the soundtrack. Unfortunately, I must say the impact wasn't positive: all that terrible and cruel final scene accompanied by Horner's sinister and elegiac music left me disturbed and angry as only a teenager can get (little did I know the production's intention was precisely this, to shock). At that time I wasn't a complete novice in film music: I knew a few composers (especially, of course, Zimmer and Williams), and still impressed with the soundtrack of that guy, I performed a little research about him on the internet and learnt Horner had already a long and fruitful career at the time.
A few days (weeks?) later I was at home, watching a cable channel, when I noticed that it was showing a rerun of A Beautiful Mind. Aware of whom the composer was, I have decided to watch the feature, to get familiar with his music. The result, again, was unforgettable. It was in the scene where Nash and Alicia were in a conversation under a starry sky, outside of a luxurious party, that I could listen for the first time the wonderful love theme of the composer for the film. The pure and innocent beauty of Horner's music confered a particularly touching dimension to the relationship between the characters played by Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, which immediately won me over (on the album, for those who want to search for it, is the one just in the beginning of First Drop-off, First Kiss). And his performance at the end of the film, in Nash's speech on receiving the Nobel (track 14 on the disc), is able to thrill me as much today as when I watched it for the first time.
Luckily, at that time, cable TV channels used to reprise films many many times, (just as they do today, I believe), and soon I was watching a ​​film with Horner's music one after another. Apollo 13 was followed by The Perfect Storm, Troy, A Beautiful Mind again and, especially, Legends of the Fall. Broadcasted in one night at the AXN Channel (and with a commercial break for every 10 minutes of film), the power of Horner's music managed to enchant me again. After that year I was already a big fan of this Californian when I went to watch Avatar – and left the theater convinced that he would win a new Oscar statue (he would eventually be defeated by Michael Giacchino and his Up).
Over time I came to discover more and more about this great composer, and not only his most emotional works of the 1990s onwards captivated me. Soon, when I started to listen soundtrack albums regularly, I also went seeking for his pieces made for science fictions in the 1980s, which had catapulted him to stardom. I wanted to know more, to know more of the life and work of James Horner, one of the main reasons of me loving Film Music so much. And fate works in strange ways: one of my first reviews posted here in my blog was precisely about a piece of this composer, the long-awaited (and sadly still underestimated today) soundtrack of The Amazing Spider-Man.
Sadly, fate may also be cruel: Horner had aviation as a hobby and he loved flying. His main passion after music was the freedom to travel the sky and through the clouds. And it was a plane crash that took his life, shocking and horroring millions of people worldwide.
On that fateful night, which memory will be on me forever, I remember I was involved in a silly argument about whether the recent animated movie Inside Out should or not have a continuation in the social media. In my headphones, it wasn’t Horner (I don't believe in such a great coincidence), but Georges Delerue, whose score for L'Africain was on its way of becoming one of my favorites of the great French composer. When the score reached its apex quality, I see the news on my Facebook: a plane belonging to James Horner had fallen and all its occupants were dead. "No," I thought. "It cant' be. Please don't. Not him". A few hours later the confirmation came: Horner was in the plane.
I was so shaken that I avoided news sites and social networks for a while. In every mentioning of the composer's death, every time the news was replicated, I realized the truth, even if I continued refusing to believe it. But tragedy had happened and the remaining thing to do was to face the facts.
In this time of grief and loss, though, our only consolation is the knowledge that James lives on through his great work. His immortal scores will still be listened to and loved several years after we all have left this world, and he will continue to be remembered as a titan of Film Music. Of his grand and heroic Main Title for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; the power of Futile Escape in Aliens, the complexity of Krull to the fantasy of Willow and the adventure of The Rocketeer; the atmospheric melodies in Field of Dreams, the drama of Glory. We also can't forget the wonderful The Ludlows, from Legends of the Fall, and For the Love of a Princess, from Braveheart; his control of the public's emotions in Apollo 13 and the homage to Rosza’s El Cid in the adventures of Zorro; the touching and unfortunately little remembered The Bicentennial Man, The Perfect Storm, Iris, The Four Feathers, Beyond Borders, The Missing. There’s also the innocent adventure on The Land Before Time, Jumanji, Balto, Casper and The Spiderwick Chronicles, the magnificent “contemplation of nature” on The Spitfire Grill and The New World (one of my personal favorites); the Russian elegy in Enemy at the Gates and the melancholy of House of Sand and Fog; the grandeur of Avatar and the minimalism of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (which I heard again years after the fateful session at school and found it's a great score). More recently, we were gifted with the glorious closures of The Amazing Spider-Man (Promises – Spider-Man End Titles) and Wolf Totem (Return to the Wild), all are works that reveal a master. Finally, the score which gave fame, money and two Oscars to the composer, eighteen years and endless blockbusters later still stands as the second highest sell in film history (surpassed only by Avatar, which, you see, is also by Horner and Cameron): Titanic, until now the best-selling soundtrack album of history. Although unfortunately best remembered by the mellow My Heart Will Go On, the version with lyrics of the film's love theme, Horner's music is the perfect and memorable accompaniment to this Cameron's story of love and tragedy. A few months ago the composer conducted live orchestra, accompanying the film shown on a screen at the Royal Albert Hall in London – and I will regret for eternity my failing in attending this concert.
Perhaps the most painful of it all was the fact that, after two years away from cinema, Horner was, finally, returning to it, to the delight of his fans. Wolf Totem had already charmed us all, in the beginning of the year, and Southpaw and The 33 were eagerly awaited, as well as the Avatar sequences – the first franchise in which Horner could work from the beginning to the end, and further develop the music of Pandora's universe. And, suddenly, he wasn't there anymore – he was torn from us by a devastating tragedy. It's like a dream that suddenly becomes the cruelest nightmares.
Cinema and Music have lost one of their greatest geniuses. Horner's wife, daughters and friends lost a great companion. Film music fans around the world have become orphans of one of their most inspiring composers. And I have lost an idol, a hero who made my life better with his music.
Go in peace, James. And may your family, friends, co-workers and Film Music fans find comfort in this difficult moment.
 
Tiago Rangel.
English Version: Luciana Tanure
 
On May 13th, 2015 at about 23:30, I stepped out of Stavanger Concert Hall, elated. Not so much because of the prospect of having to spend the rest of the night in a rental car until my flight home at 6 am and also not merely because I just had attended a great and memorable concert. It was because of what had happened at the after show reception, which I was able to attend through JB´s kindness and the Samuelson´s generosity. There, I had talked again with James Horner, my musical hero. He had been as kind as ever, generously answering all of my silly questions. There even had been some laughs all around, as Sylvia had recognized me as “The Abbey Road Guy”, stating: “He´s everywhere!”. All in all, it had been a pleasant encounter and before making my way out of the hall, I thanked him for his music and all it had given to me and to us all.
Standing out there in the night, I thought back to the time almost 25 years ago, when I discovered his music through Star Trek II. I remembered vividly how I would record the music with my tape recorder, putting it in front of the TV while the movie was playing. I had no CD Player or even money to buy a single CD, but it didn´t matter. I listened in awe as the camera would move up to Spock´s coffin, the music soaring with sadness, but also hope. After that came Star Trek III, The Rocketeer and Patriot Games, but it was in 1995, in a movie theatre playing Apollo 13, that I completely and utterly fell for his music. For whatever reason, his music reaches my inner core, my very soul. For most of my life, it has been my companion. There are so many moments, feelings, situations in life associated with my CDs, the music, that it transcends from being a mere collection to being a part of my life, of me. Autumn, being in love with a woman is The Land Before Time. Trying to calm myself before my final high school exam with For The Love Of A Princess. The hopelessness of my love being rejected is Drawing Straws. Soothing my firstborn with Listen To The Wind, quietly humming along.
In recent years, with my visit to Abbey Road, Liverpool, Collage and Titanic Live things had taken an exiting turn. So many fantastic experiences had been added to an already fulfilling part of our lives. And it was incredibly satisfying to see how James was embraced by the audience with the love, admiration and respect he deserved. To me, he seemed genuinely happy.
The possibilities seemed endless. But as it turns out, life has decided otherwise.
From those days in my room with the tape deck to that moment in Stavanger has been an amazing journey. So farewell, James, and thank you. I will keep your music and the memories with me for the rest of my life.
 
Karim
 
It was a terrible shock and made me feel sad when I learned about Maestro Horner’s death. After I heard I spent the whole next day listening to his music. When I read his obituary in the New York Times I began to realize what a brilliant man he really was. According to that story he wasn’t only a greatly accomplished film composer he was also a music scholar and that he had a doctorate. Maestro Horner’s death became sadder for me and became a more terrible loss for me when I realized that. Maestro Horner was always there among my favorite film composers and then he was gone. It was almost like I was taking him for granted. Did anyone realize that he was the third person involved with “A Beautiful Mind” (movie or book) to be killed in a short period of time? John and Alicia Nash (the subjects of “A Beautiful Mind”) were killed in a car crash not too long before Maestro Horner died in his plane crash. At any rate, the first piece of Maestro Horner’s music I thought about was “Remember” from “Troy.” That song really devastated me in light of Maestro Horner’s passing. I realized at that point that I really wanted to remember him. I started listening closely to his music. It began to inspire me and my writing. As I began to write to Maestro Horner’s music so much emotion was pulled out of me because of how his music touched my heart and soul. Having that depth of feeling to draw on made my writing so much better. Since that was the case I kept on listening to Maestro Horner’s music and to any interviews I could find on You Tube. I began looking back that I had crossed paths, for lack of a better way to put it, many times in the past. I had loved “Somewhere Out There” and “Reach for the Light.” I loved “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Field of Dreams”, and “Swing Kids.” Of course I loved “Titanic.” And then there was “Deep Impact.” I thought about “A Beautiful Mind” and “Troy.” Out of all this came my first story idea to make my already existing characters Sam Hart and Jessica Spencer film composers to honor Maestro Horner and the increasing more important place he has in my life. The story is about how one person can make a difference for another even from a long distance away. That is really becoming my experience with loving Maestro Horner and his music. This experience of wanting to honor Master Horner’s memory through my story has made me a better writer, a writer of more depth and substance to say the least. My only regret in this is that it came about because of his death. Still, though, I feel very blessed that it did happen.
Happy Birthday, Maestro Horner. You are one with the angels now.
Love,
 
Roselle Zubey
 
I'm very new to world of James Horner, but I do have a lot that I would like to say.
In 2011, I saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (BITSP). Before that, I'd never even heard of James Horner. I'd heard some of his music of course – I had a fondness for the Willow tunes, and there were movies that I saw without really noticing the music. And then BITSP came along, and WOW, what a movie! An incredibly powerful, very honest story, and it moved me deeply. When I went back to watch the bonus features, I paused at the dvd menu – Boys Playing Airplanes caught my ear. I thought to myself, this is actually really good music. At this point, I was already a fan of film scores: John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Desplat…you know. So after seeing BITSP, I went online and bought the score. Thinking myself something of an expert on soundtracks (yeah right), and not having heard of Horner before (how??), I was thinking of him as probably some young, inexperienced composer who happened to write a great score. (Ha, I was so dumb!)
Anyway, BITSP quickly became my favorite soundtrack. So gentle, so powerful, so true to the characters and the story. I let that music into my heart, and it became a part of me, if you know what I mean.
Then, Titanic. I hadn't seen the film, but I came across the CD at Goodwill, saw Horner's name on it, and couldn't resist. "So he's got a talent for tragedy," my Mom remarked. I smiled, knowing what she meant: he wasn't the kinda guy to score mindless action flicks. He thrived on strong characters, thought-provoking plots, emotionally resonant stories…. Even then, I understood this.
Titanic blew my mind: so beautiful, with elements I'd never really heard before: the incredible melodies, the way he used the soloist as a sort of character…and those synths! But so different from BITSP. I could hardly believe it was from the same person.
A month later, For Greater Glory came out. Being part of a Catholic family, some of us went to see it. I knew next to nothing about it, and had literally no idea that Horner scored it.
Opening poem and titles. I don't remember what I was thinking then, but I was probably getting ready to judge the film: the acting, the script, and of course the music. At times, I liked to hate on movies, and (mostly because of the poor reputation of faith-based films) this seemed like a prime candidate.
Cut to President Calles. Four quick, simple notes hit me like a train. I knew exactly where they were from. Had I heard right?
There they were again! I whispered to my brother Jerry, “This is from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas!” He shrugged, not really that interested. I went back to the film, marveling at the mysterious motif.
Cut to Goro and Tula, taking their two daughters to church. They turn back, and begin an argument. Again, the music hit me like a train. It was the octave motif! I lean toward Jerry, way excited now. “This is, too!” Again, shrug. My mind was awhirl… what could it mean? Did the composer do it on purpose? Did he even realize, or was it all a big coincidence? Could it possibly be Horner? (Silly me, I didn't really think so until I saw his name in the end credits.)
After hearing the octave motif, I didn't judge the film. How could I? I was a part of it now. That music, which had already grabbed my heart, was inviting me to enter another story, meet new characters, and take a journey with them, just as I did with Bruno. How could I refuse?
[Here I will say that this film was a Godsend. It inspired me exactly when I needed it, and helped me do the right thing in a kinda tough time to come. I have Mr. Horner’s music to thank.]
If I was a fan of Horner's music before, now I was a disciple. There was something truly unique about this composer, and I had to get to the bottom of it. I listened to more music, watched more movies: Bobby Fischer, Jumanji, Land Before Time…. The more I listened, the more I came to realize something: James Horner isn't just a composer. He's a storyteller. This is, I think, the key. These themes of his, these motifs, as silly as they sometimes seem, mean something. Maybe not something too specific, maybe not always crystal clear, and maybe not the same thing to everyone, but something. That's why they sink in, someplace deeper than just your ears.
And now, over a month ago, I learned James Horner died in a plane crash. It was the last thing I expected to hear. Sometimes I still don't believe it. How could a person whose music was so full of life, just suddenly die? I guess I hadn't realized until that night how much I loved him, how much I owed him. And this is so weird – I didn't even know him.
That's why it seems wrong writing this. Who cares what I felt, what about his family? His friends? The people who actually met him, let him play a part in their lives, and theirs in his? I can't imagine what you are going through. The Franglen family, Simon Rhodes, Tony Hinnigan, Sissel, Jean-Baptiste Martin, Ron Howard, Ian Underwood, Mari and Hakon, Harold Zwart, Dean Wright, Celine Dion, his family, and all the others – I am so so sorry for your loss. I'm praying for all of you, and him.
 
John Andrews
 
When i was six years old, i've been a lot into the Beatles and stuff like that (i still am). I was not very interested in classical or film music. But i've loved the film "Amadeus" since i've first seen it, especially the music. That had to be around the same time. And for some reason, the only two other movies i've watched in my childhood, where i've really noticed the music were "The Land Before Time" and "An American Tail". James Horner's music immediately spoke to me.
I've listened mostly to rock music the following years, but guys like Mozart and James Horner kept fascinating me. And then I've watched "Braveheart". The film has changed my whole perception of the art that movies are. And listen to the music! Even now, after I've seen that movie beyond 20 times and don't know how often i've listened to the score, the music hasn't lost any of it's magic. And that's what it is – Magic! Sometimes i sit there, listening, wondering "is this even music anymore?" It seems far greater than music sometimes. And music IS my life! I've been playing in a rock/metal band for many years now and you know – Rock music can have some pretty intense moments as well. Not Beethoven-like intensity, but enough to feel the power of music and watch all your hair standing up. Yet I've always wondered – How can I write something, not necessarily a song, more like a concept album or something, that makes you feel like you've just survived "Braveheart" or "Titanic"? You know the feeling, when even after three days, you wake up and those bittersweet melodies are still in your head, still tearing out your heart. Rock music alone can't do that. So i got into orchestration and began listening mostly to classical music, whatever it takes to understand how "intensity" works. And whatever I'm doing musically – it's mostly Horner, whose "paintings" (as he called them) push me to do something you can't ignore. Well, at least it's the ambition.
But that's just his impact on my musical activity.
It's been noticed very often – The lack of passion in film music nowadays. As Horner said, it's just about adrenaline these days. Themes are "old-fashioned" and all we hear are atmospheric chord changes and lots of programmed rhythm stuff. Hard to believe a guy like James Horner had to deal with this trend. No Wonder he didn't do a lot of films the last years…
And how excited I got, when it seemed like he's going to write tons of music again! Not only "Wolf Totem", "Southpaw" and so on, but most importantly INDEPENDENT musical pieces like "Pas de deux". I was so hoping for him to do "Hacksaw Ridge" (Mel Gibson's next film). With Randall Wallace as the writer, it could've been the next "Braveheart".
And then… I didn't want to believe he died. I checked Google every few hours, waiting for the haux to be exposed. Did that for about a week. Of course then I've found out that the next movie he'd have done was "Hacksaw Ridge"…
I've listened to nothing but his work since he died and what can i say? His bittersweet melodies tore out my heart a bit more than usual.
From what i've seen in interviews, the man was just like his music – passionate, honest – sometimes BRUTALLY honest and always from the heart.
To quote a title from "The Perfect Storm": "There's no goodbye, only love"
 
Matt Carviero
 
I have always felt, from my childhood and my early days until the man I am now that music was, has been, is, and will be the oxygen of my life, and certainly, for me one of the greatest providers of that oxygen, of that joy, of that exhilaration and fulfillment when listening to his magic, if not the greatest, is James Horner.
A wizard, a talent beyond words, a supplier of musical glory and artistic wonderment that has gifted my entire life with his pure heart became notes of unforgettable, indelible and touching enchantment. A master of emotion, a legend reaching our hearts and our very souls through the majestic power of his inmortal melodies and the bravado of his symphonic magnificent orchestrations.
Thank You so much James Horner, for creating the soundtrack of my life, for giving me joy though dark times, for making me smile when I wanted to cry, and cry when I needed to feel your magic through me, but those never were tears of sadness but of gratitude, discovering that your mastercraft understood perfectly my feelings and softly whispered to my very soul with tenderness and caring. Thank you for your eternal themes, the thrilling strength of your action motifs, the profound quality of your emotional developments, the wizardry of your thematic renditions and the stunning quality of your heartfelt leit-motifs.
We will miss you so much around the whole world, dear Jamie, we will miss to expect with our eyes sparkling in joy waiting for your new score to arrive, but we will feel comfort always in your eternal legacy.
When we find refuge in your music, we find every time, The Place Where Dreams Come True, and through your heart and soul made music, we quietly discover, and realize, that There is No Goodbye, Only Love, the Love you gifted us with your art, the most precious present, through which, We See YOU Forever.
#ThankYouJamesHorner
Happy Birthday at Heavens, Maestro
 
Asier G. Senarriaga
 
Dear James,
Today, I did my best to say “good-bye” to you.
Once I was able to process through your death, I started to sift through ideas of how I might possibly be able to do this. Some ideas were fleeting, but one stuck in my mind, and as the hours ticked on, it felt more and more like what I should do. It has nothing to do with any of your films, but more about me happening to be in one of my favorite places and having the opportunity to do this in the most dignified and intimate way possible.
We are hosting out-of-town friends this week and had already planned to take a trip to Door County today. While my husband took my son and our two friends to see the lighthouse on Cana Island, I went down to the rocks on the northern shores of Lake Michigan. In my pocket, I had a sharpie and my iPod. Once I got down to the shore, I took out the sharpie, found a rock, and wrote a little note on it to you. On one side, I wrote the words I wanted so badly to be able to tell you face-to-face someday: “thank you.” The words I wrote on the other side are for you and you alone, and I will not be sharing them here. Once I was done writing, I put my earbuds in my ears and turned on my iPod.
When I was first conceiving of all this, I didn’t know what music I would choose to accompany this whole thing. How can I pick just one? After thinking about it most of the day yesterday off and on, I settled on one that, looking back now, was absolutely perfect. The music I chose to listen to as I said “good-bye” to you was “The Portrait” from the Back to Titanic CD. I chose it because it is JUST you… no other musicians to interpret what you were thinking and feeling at that moment… just you… your fingers pressing down the keys on your piano. Nothing is more intimate than that. I sat on the rocks, I held the rock on which I had written my note to you as tight as I could, I listened to you play your piano for me, and I sobbed and sobbed.
When the last sounds of your piano and finished echoing in my ears and I could hear nothing but the waves crashing on the shore, I pressed your rock to my lips and gave it a small kiss good-bye. Then, I threw it as far as I could in the clear, cool water. “Good-bye, James.”
I take solace in knowing that while I have said “good-bye” to you today, I have not, and will never, say “good-bye” to your music. You have taught me SO MUCH through your music about the art of composition, and what you gave the world will forever be the soundtrack of my life. You and your music will always be a part of the fabric of my life, a part of my soul, as is the case for so many others. Through your music, you will live forever – immortal. I also take solace in knowing that you died doing what brought you so much joy – flying. (I have always said that your music makes me feel so often like I am flying.) My heart goes out to those who were lucky enough to call you “friend,” for those in your inner circle, and most of all for your daughters, who lost their father on Monday. As much as my heart has been breaking these past few days, I cannot even imagine what they have been through.
I’ll close, now, but let me say, just one more time… thank you. Thank you for everything.
Godspeed,

Julie
 
Dear Sir James Horner,
Your fantastic musical art pieces have never or will ever cease to amaze us. From the moment I first heard the opening music of the 1995 film “Balto” as a small child, I knew this will be something that will never fade away as I grow into adulthood. Listening to film soundtracks on historical events “Balto” and “Titanic” had strengthen my love for history even more. If it wasn't for the song 'My Heart Will Go On', I wouldn't have had the courage to sing this lovely piece at my college's winter talent show two years ago. Many fans including mine's heart shattered and grieved of the tragic news of your passing on June 22. Although you are no longer with us in the material world, I know you will always be in our hearts and your majestic music works in memorable films will continue to be heard by all. From the core of my heart, I want to say thank you for bringing such beautiful works in music and song and I will think of you as a guardian angel gazing upon the world's countless admirers and more to come with great joy.
Sincerely, one of your biggest admirers,
 
Monica

 

My love affair with his music began before I even knew what love properly was… before I knew anything of proper worth and consequence. Something within me was drawn to this sound. A sound that created entire worlds in my mind I've sometimes battled to comprehend, a sound that aided in my imagination working in the magical way I believe it does today. Imagine hearing the sun rising in the morning, hearing the warm psithurisms with the trees on a mountain side, sailing. Imagine being on a tiny boat in the sky with floating pianos endlessly playing the mysteries of time. Imagine flying through a storm, full of watery violence, as if you were fighting Neptune himself. Imagine. Imagine dancing on a golden cloud with the person you love, in and out of heaven… a pas de deux for all space and time. Imagine. His music and my soul are in a perpetual dance. An adequation, forever.
Happy birthday, maestro, and thank you.
Endlessly, thank you.
 
Byron Brassel

 

James, wherever you are I want to wish you a very happy birthday. You may not be with us on a physical level, but for me you are always present in each and every note you had written. Thank you very much for your wonderful music which always inspired me and it is continuing to do so. Words are not enough to express my gratitude, your music just made my life more beautiful and joyful and for that I’m forever indebted to you.
 
Ravi Shankar CH
 

On June 22, 2015, a family lost a husband and a father, and the world lost a unique musical storyteller.
You might cry when you’re happy, rejoice when you’re sad, raise your hands to the sky, or shiver as a note touches an emotion you didn’t even know existed. James Horner did all this for me and more. There is no other composer who has had such an all-encompassing grip on my imagination. My life. His early work filled my young heart with adventures I thought I couldn’t possibly achieve as I supped on a diet of Star Trek II, An American Tail, Cocoon and The Rocketeer. As I matured so his music, the likes of Braveheart, The Man Without A Face and The Spitfire Grill grew wiser, quieter, as though it were the voice of a soul that had not only seen the rewards of adventure, but its follies too. The fact he was writing this music for films was almost inconsequential, I might never return to the films, but I would always return to his music for them.
Beyond the world of film scoring his flight demonstration music for The Horsemen is an elegiac emancipation of gravity, his double concerto for Mari and Hakon Samuelsen, Pas De Deux, a poignant proposition that there is, indeed, a place more breathtaking than we could possibly imagine just over the Hollywood rainbow.
I had the privilege to speak with James Horner for an all-too-brief encounter only two short months before his death and so the news of his passing cuts far deeper than it might have otherwise. That, and his welcoming and gentle nature make me miss him and the continued work he would have undoubtedly given us all, so very much more.
I am so desperately sad that his gift, which had propelled me through some of my most impressionable years and comforted me through some of my darkest, will not grow old with me. But I am so thankful that every heart on the planet will forever have the opportunity to discover the joy that James Horner leaves behind.
My warmest, most heartfelt wishes to his friends and family.
 
Daniel Champion
 
James – I miss your presence in this world. I had the privilege to have met you and watched you work on a few occasions. And they were wonderful, master class experiences. And your artistry taught me so much and has filed my musical experience greatly. I wish I could have told you that – but I carry your music in my heart and it's clearly had an effect on me like my composition teachers and others I've known and worked with: John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and John Barry and many others. I'm so thankful to have lived in the period in which you worked. I heard/watched you appear on the film music scene and was completely taken by your music from the first notes I ever heard. And I was a devoted fan instantly – but also a composer who truly worshipped how you spotted and created music for the cinema.
I will carry your music in my heart and all the memories I have of the Titanic and Casper sessions throughout my life. Your music brings this world grace, beauty and will continue to teach those of us who come after you. You are truly one of the greatest composers to have graced Hollywood and I thank the universe for letting us partake in your talent for 61 years. I'm angry that I won't get another 20 years new notes/cratfsmanship but at least I know what it was like to buy a new score by you and put on that CD or vinyl and listen to your latest work. So many others will never have that experience. And I can't even count how many times the hair went up on my neck hearing a new wondrous melody from your pen.
Thank you, Maestro. You are sorely missed but forever a part of my heart and my work.
 
Dan Redfeld

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  1. On this very special day, I would like to say how magical it has been to spend the day listening and reading so many wonderful writings and music from James’s family of friends from all over the world. His own family must be so touched by the work people have provided for this wonderful date, how sad it truly is that James cannot witness the love he has been shown. I feel so sad and yet so happy at the same time to be a part of it in my own little way. I can only add to the tremendous amount of writings today that Remember Me from Troy is very significant…Remember, I will still be here, if you will only Remember Me. I have placed a prayer of remembrance for today in James’s honour, on my visit to london, in a church quite near to the Royal Albert Hall, as that evening on the 27th April gave so much pleasure to so many people, and I signed it from “your friends from all over the world”. We will always Remember You.Pamela.

  2. Zoe Potter

    On that horrible June 22nd I sat at home still on summer break and I just listened to his music. My head is still wrapping around the concept. My heart has already begun the slow process of healing. I am a young musician and it was my dream to work with him on a score or at least perform in the orchestra he had conducted. On August 14th, which is just a few months away again, I also celebrated my birthday. It was a true honor to share a birthday and a true love of films and film music.
    When he died he was really truly doing what he loved to do with life. His passion wasn’t just the music, it was up in the clouds, which was where his heart was. This is my tribute to him now after his half birthday.

    James, though I never got the honor to actually meet you I just want to say thank you. Thank you not only for the music but for the memories you helped create for people like me and so many others. When I was 9 I had this fascination with Titanic and the movie was on one night and my mother was out for a show so I decided to watch it. Then I cared little about the music and more about the ship and the acting between Kate and Leo. I watched it again many days later and payed closer attention to the score and thought ‘Who made the music for this amazing movie? I just have to know.’ And I did have to know. When I found out it was you I just had to become a musician and that’s what I did. In 5th grade a couple years later I tried for the violin and I loved it. I had been playing it no less than 3 years when I heard you had left us. My life had changed the second day I saw Titanic. I don’t own it but I own Avatar which I truly love. For fans around the world August 14th is a day to celebrate you, for me, it is more of a sad day because I don’t get to share it with the wonderful man who created such amazing music. Thank you for everything James. I hope you are at peace where you really belonged. Zoe

  3. Zoe Potter

    Will there be another topic like this for his birthday this year.

    • Jean-Baptiste Martin

      No sorry Zoe …

  4. Pamela Read

    One year has past by so fast, and James would now be 63. I have been away on holiday and had a detour on the way to spend a day in Liverpool. I found the Philharmonic Hall, where Mari and Hakon played and had my photo taken by the Titanic plaque as James had done. Then nearer his day, a visit to Cobh to the Titanic Memorial Gwrden where I lit a candle in honour of his birthday. God Bless yiu James. Pamela.

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