He has won the Oscars twice. His melodic voice has sang his own successes for numerous great movies directed by James Cameron or Ron Howard. His name is James Horner and at June 22nd he died in a plane crush, at the age of 61.
The accident happened in North Santa Barbara and the little aircraft was James’ property so he was also the pilot. Besides Horner’s death, which was confirmed by his lawyer Jay Cooper, no further information has been revealed to the public yet.
James Horner was well known for his cinematic compositions that combined large symphonic sound with delicate melodic lines. He caught Hollywood’s attention when he signed a contract to write the music for the movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” and also renewed the sound of the cinematic series that another great composer, Jerry Goldsmith was the first to compose.
James carried on with his career in outer space, when he worked with James Cameron, for the militaristic soundtrack of the movie “Aliens”, a work that got him his first Oscar award. The honest assessment if this collaboration – despite all the difficulties that occurred concerning the production – introduced a fascinating duo to audiences all over the world.
Furthermore, Horner and Cameron explored together the world of Pandora, in the movie “Avatar”. But besides all the success that came from the movies mentioned above, the one movie that became the greatest hit and ultimately sealed their long cooperation, was the “Titanic”. That musical mixture of Irish tradition, Celtic vocals and robust orchestral form, brought 2 Oscars to James Horner: One for his original musical composition and one for the best and globally known song “My Heart Will Go On”.
Horner’s innate talent that awe inspiring cinematic and musical emotion, confronted the common passion and found its inspiration beyond the successful movies of Cameron, to the masterful “Braveheart”, the inspired “Glory” and the melodic “A Beautiful Mind”.
James himself stated during an interview in 2009 at the Los Angeles Times magazine, that his job was to make sure that in every plot twist of the movie there is something for the audience to feel with its heart. He also supported that when in the movie, a character dies, or when someone wins, he holds a trace that needs to follow the heart.
Those few last years, Horner had focused at composing classical, symphonic music and his greater pieces can still be spotted at the “Black Gold” (2011) and the “Wolf Totem” (2015). There are also a few composition that have not yet been known to the public as the movies have not been released.
To sum it up, James Horner was a great man and an exceptional composer, whose work has left history and a whole legacy that will take many years – if ever - to be forgotten.
We wish him to rest in peace. Below you can find some more movies that he composed the music for.
(1984) Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
(1986) The Name of the Rose
(1987) Project X
(1995) Apollo 13
(1998) The Mask of Zorro
(2005) The Legend of Zorro
(2008) The Spiderwick Chronicles