The Consulting Writer

aka The Frazzled Mom

Film Score’s Tremendous Loss: James Horner

I know I’ve covered composers in past posts, but due to recent news, I wanted to re-post about James Horner.

As I’m sure most of you’ve heard, James Horner was involved in a single-engine plane crash and, according to news reports, is “feared dead”, though a message posted by his assistant seems to make it clear: “A great tragedy has struck my family today, and I will not be around for a while. I would like some privacy and time to heal. We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road. Love Sylvia.”

I can’t comment on the validity of the article or the message (only wishing it weren’t true), but I can say this, James Horner was one of my first loves when it came to film scores.

I’d been introduced to the genre while in High School. It started with Danny Elfman’s Batman score. It was like my eyes (and heart) were suddenly opened to such amazing melodies.

Of course, I immediately searched for more and discovered John Williams and James Horner. It was Horner’s score for Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn that truly won me over and I’ve followed his music ever since. What I love about Horner is his ability to change, adapt and grow as a composer. I could recognize his influence on the movie’s score, but it wasn’t exactly the same movie after movie. There was always something different, exciting, and lovely. The french horns, brass and percussion. Serious candy for a music lover like me. 🙂

In a previous post, I’d mentioned how the sense of smell was so important in relation to memories. For me, hearing is also of vital importance. Music is one of my top loves, even above writing. I love playing the piano, flute and trumpet. I love singing or whistling to soundtracks, classical music or songs on the radio. When it comes to film scores, I’ve listened to some so many times I can remember the scene of the movie in my mind.

Some might view film scores as simply “fluff” or background noise for movies. Please don’t let that stop you from discovering such amazing works of art. The rise and fall of the melody, the jarring sounds of discord for effect to heart-melting harmony to illicit emotion, film scores helped me cheer for Captain Kirk, fall in love with the Rocketeer, sit on the edge of my seat watching the Apollo 13 crew or tear up as Hector’s body is dragged about by Achilles.

In celebration of James Horner, here are some selections of his pieces that I really enjoy.

Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn Surprise Attack

Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn – Amazing Grace

Aliens – Ripley’s Rescue

*batteries not included

The Rocketeer

Swing Kids (great music where I fell for Robert Sean Leonard)

There are so many I can’t even cover them all. Here’s a list (taken from the Wikipedia page) of his scores through the decades. What an amazing career!

List of scores




Year Title
1980 Humanoids from the Deep
Battle Beyond the Stars
1981 The Hand
Deadly Blessing
The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
48 Hrs.
1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Dresser
Gorky Park
Uncommon Valor
1984 The Stone Boy
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
1985 Heaven Help Us
The Journey of Natty Gann
1986 Off Beat
Where the River Runs Black
The Name of the Rose
An American Tail
1987 P.K. and the Kid[46]
Project X
*batteries not included
1988 Willow
Red Heat
The Land Before Time
Cocoon: The Return
1989 Field of Dreams
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
In Country


Year Title
1990 I Love You to Death
Another 48 Hrs.
1991 Once Around
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
Class Action
The Rocketeer
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
1992 Thunderheart
Unlawful Entry
Patriot Games
1993 Swing Kids
A Far Off Place
Jack the Bear
Once Upon a Forest
House of Cards
Hocus Pocus
Searching for Bobby Fischer
The Man Without a Face
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story
The Pelican Brief
1994 Clear and Present Danger
The Pagemaster
Legends of the Fall
1995 Braveheart
Apollo 13
1996 The Spitfire Grill
1997 The Devil’s Own
1998 Deep Impact
The Mask of Zorro
Mighty Joe Young
1999 Bicentennial Man


Year Title
2000 The Perfect Storm
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
2001 Enemy at the Gates
A Beautiful Mind
2002 Windtalkers
The Four Feathers
2003 Beyond Borders
The Missing
House of Sand and Fog
2004 Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius
The Forgotten
2005 The Chumscrubber
The Legend of Zorro
The New World
2006 All the King’s Men
2007 The Life Before Her Eyes
2008 The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
2009 Avatar


Year Title
2010 The Karate Kid
2011 Day of the Falcon
2012 Cristiada
The Amazing Spider-Man
2015 Wolf Totem
One Day in Auschwitz[48]
Living in the Age of Airplanes[12][49][50]
The 33


But seriously…please someone tell me this isn’t true.   😦


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This entry was posted on June 23, 2015 by in Daily Ramblings, Music and tagged , .
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