Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Tribute: James Horner (1953 - 2015)
The press has reported today the tragic death of James Horner (1953 - 2015) in a plane crash.
It is no exaggeration to state that I grew up listening to the soundtracks of this great composer and conductor.
Throughout the early 1980s and mid-1980s, Horner's scores for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Aliens (1986) were in constant rotation on my father's stereo in our family den.
That was the location where, on my Atari 800, I wrote short stories and fan fiction and the like.
Horner's compositions including "Stealing the Enterprise" (from Search for Spock) and "Futile Escape" (from Aliens) were downright rousing. I remember that whenever those works came on, I would want to jump up out of my chair and run around the room, preferably with a phaser or pulse rifle in hand.
So I absolutely associate Mr. Horner's work with my youth, and more than that, many of my "own" adventures (like a series of short stories I penned in a series called "Omega World.") The music of James Horner was not just rousing, it was big and emotional, and could bring any scene to life.
I first read of James Horner in regards to low-budget films such as Humanoids from the Deep (1980) and Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), but after seeing Wrath of Khan, it was truly love at first listen. His scores for Krull (1983), Brainstorm (1983) and Cocoon (1985) were equally memorable.
The rest of the world reports Mr. Horner, of course, as the composer of the scores to Titanic (1997) or Avatar (2009), but for me, I associate him forever with heroes like Willow (1987), or The Rocketeer (1991).
When I think of Ripley's heroism, or Spock's death and rebirth, my mind goes immediately to those immortal Horner scores.
It is such a sad day, losing James Horner. He composed the soundtrack of my youth, and I wish I could thank him in person for all the joy, energy, and creativity his music has brought into my life.