Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

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Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby Dan » June 22nd, 2015, 10:56 pm

Legendary music composer James Horner, whose credits include An American Tail, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, The Land Before Time, Balto, along with Titanic (for which he won Oscars for Score and Song), Avatar, Aliens, Star Trek II and III, and The Amazing Spider-Man, has gone missing after a plane registered to him crashed this morning (June 22).

Horner's lawyer confirmed that they haven't heard from him since the crash, which killed the pilot.

Source: http://www.eonline.com/news/669423/titanic-composer-james-horner-missing-after-plane-registered-to-oscar-winner-crashes-killing-the-pilot?utm_source=eonline&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=imdb_topstories
Last edited by Dan on June 23rd, 2015, 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Composer James Horner missing after plane crash

Postby Randall » June 22nd, 2015, 11:33 pm

Terrible news. What a loss to his family and the film world. His death has now been confirmed.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/j ... ser-804365

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Re: Composer James Horner missing after plane crash

Postby Dan » June 23rd, 2015, 12:05 am

Very sad to hear that his death is official. He definitely composed some lovely music. The opening violin playing to An American Tail remains one of the best I've ever heard.

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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby ShyViolet » June 23rd, 2015, 4:30 am

Yes. It is.

This is so, so horrible. Enjoyed so much of his music--it all had such a gentle quality to it.
What an amazing man. :(
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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby Ben » June 23rd, 2015, 5:12 am

Well, as much as I love and collected Horner's scores, someone has to mention the elephant in the room and the fact that he recycled so much of his own material.

He went as far to say that he turned down many modern films since they didn't give him the chance to be "original", quite ironic when 50% of each score, from the mid-80s on, did reuse huge phrases and motifs. The end of Star Trek II (or rather Battle Beyond The Stars) turned up in everything, and check out Jack and Rose's delicate piano theme against the same used for Peter and Gwen in the first Amazing Spider-Man (Zimmer did the sequel). I know for fact from someone who worked with him that he would provide a bunch of CDs of his scores and got them to temp-score a film with those...he then came in later and just nipped, tucked, and tailored the music to the new project.

The Rocketeer is a great, great score, but elements had turned up before and would turn up again, just as Honey, I Shrunk The Kids shares too much with Batteries Not Included. So many times I would catch a movie a little way in and could tell if it was a Horner score even if you didn't know he'd written it, as if he'd exhausted himself of themes. The amazing thing was just how great those themes were in the first place, but it did seem that whenever he really knocked it out of the park that he would then reuse that material in his next few scores.

However, this allowed him to become very prolific and very successful: I don't know many other composers who could afford to run five private planes. And whatever one may have thought of is output at times, this is still a very untimely and shocking way to go. When they come around, the Avatar sequels will be missing a very important element that perhaps only he could have provided. Cameron hasn't (really) worked with any other composers so it'll be interesting to see who he picks...naturally I expect Giacchino will be on the list...

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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby ShyViolet » June 23rd, 2015, 8:04 am

My faves: :)

A Beautiful Mind
An American Tail
Land Before Time
Star Trek II

These are the ones that come to mind right now. I love Titanic as well but I thought it was a bit conventional compared to his other work, much as I liked it.

Also, back in like 1995 there was an awesome movie called House of Cards (nothing to do with the series) about a little autistic girl. His work is amazing there, and quite different from other things he did.
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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby EricJ » June 23rd, 2015, 4:04 pm

I was just starting to notice film scores in '82, and '83 gave us Brainstorm, The Dresser and Krull:

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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby Vernadyn » June 23rd, 2015, 11:36 pm

Horner was never one of my top-tier film composers, but he undoubtedly wrote some great music. Krull is my favorite, though I also like Star Trek II, Rocketeer, Apollo 13, Land Before Time, and the Zorros. The music that plays under the opening logos and titles of A Beautiful Mind is exquisite, even if the rest of the score doesn't come close to matching it.

Still sad to know that he's gone.

Regarding Cameron: this is probably an unpopular opinion, but I think the best score for a Cameron film is Alan Silvestri's The Abyss; the cue "Bud on the Ledge" is simply sublime. I wouldn't mind if he got the job for the Avatar sequels.

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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby Ben » June 24th, 2015, 5:01 am

Ah, yes...good call. I wouldn't be surprised if it went Silvestri's way.

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Re: Composer James Horner dies in plane crash *Updated*

Postby droosan » June 24th, 2015, 8:07 am

:(

As I think I've mentioned here before, Krull was my favorite of his film scores. And many of his other soundtracks often find their way into my listening rotation, while at work. I've never minded his tendency to re-use and re-work some of his material; if anything, his scores had a 'signature' style.

I like Horner's theatrical Star Trek theme just as much as Jerry Goldsmith's .. its nautical flair was a perfect pairing with Nicholas Meyer's re-conception of Star Trek as "Horatio Hornblower in space." I'd always thought it kind of a shame Horner's theme wasn't put to use as a main-title tune for ST: Deep Space Nine or ST: Voyager, in the way Goldsmith's theme had been adopted by ST: The Next Generation.

I agree that Horner's score for An American Tail was great .. but I think his work on An American Tail 2: Fievel Goes West exceeded it (not comparing the movies, as a whole; just the soundtracks). Nods to Aaron Copland's Rodeo are blended with themes from the first film, giving both the orchestral music and songs an infectious intensity. Even Tanya's theme-song, "Dreams to Dream," is largely an expansion of one minor passage from the track "The Marketplace", in the first film .. yet, it's every bit as wonderful as "Somewhere Out There," IMO.

His Rocketeer score, of course, is iconic .. as was Apollo 13.

Prolific as he was .. his musical 'voice' will be missed in the world of film.