Sadness has fallen upon the film scoring community, and movie fandom at large, as James Horner, the famous composer known for his memorable melodies from films such as Titanic and Avatar, has been killed in a plane crash. Horner was 61.
Horner died doing what “he loved,” said his assistant Sylvia Patrycja via Facebook. He was flying a small aircraft which then crashed 60 miles north of Santa Barbara. It was noted in an earlier report that the plane, registered under Horner’s name, had gone missing in that area, but the pilot had yet to be identified. (SOURCE)
Horner was considered by many to be one of the great American film composers, standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of John Williams, and creating some of the most beautiful pieces in the world of cinema. From his ultra popular work for Titanic (the soundtrack of which sold over 27 million copies), and his own James Cameron collaborations, Aliens (1986) and Avatar (2009), all of which led to both Oscar nominations and wins. He also composed for many classics, ranging from animated work (An American Tail) to live action (Apollo 13).
If I had to chose one piece that would perfectly showcase Horner’s strengths, it would be nearly impossible. But I believe that I can at least narrow it down to a few, with which I have an extreme nostalgic connection. See, James Horner was an incredibly popular composer during my childhood, and thus (like Alan Menken and John Williams) was part of the soundtrack of my life. So here are some of the pieces that would be part of said list:
The Mask of Zorro
And those are but a few of his many accomplishments, ones that will most likely be overlooked when there are Horner tributes come award season. But regardless of which is your favorite, Horner has left an incredible impression on the minds of movie goers for the past thirty-plus years, and his legacy will never be forgotten. Rest in musical piece.
In celebration of this incredible artist, what are your favorite James Horner pieces? Have you been a fan of his work? Comment below and tell us any memories you might have of hearing a Horner pieces in a local cinema.