What Else I’ve Been Listening To Lately

I go through a fair share of film music in any given week. Classic scores by the great composers. New works from the modern masters. And some unexpected gems. I’ll listen to scores from my favorite films, and scores from films I haven’t seen.

Of course, one of the things I love about this blog is that I get to go on about all this wonderful music. And maybe some reader out there will stumble upon a post and get turned on to film music too. At least I can hope for that.

With that in mind, it seemed a good idea to share some of the favorites I’ve been listening to lately.

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James Horner On Key

I’ve been listening to a lot of James Horner in the last couple of weeks. And I know I’m not the only one. The great film composers – the Herrmanns and Goldsmiths and Williamses and Bernsteins and Barrys – have that gift, that talent for finding the heart of a scene. And so they have that gift for finding your heart too.

That was James Horner. As Matt Zoller Seitz (one of the more thoughtful critics writing today – and his conversation with SI Rosenbaum pays far better tribute to Horner than I could) said, “The films [he] scored were often sentimental, but his music was always emotional, and he understood the difference.” And I think that’s why his death hit so hard for so many fans, like me.

I knew I’d have to write something. And I thought long and hard about how I would pay tribute to the man. Would I draw on the themes and motifs he carried with him throughout his career? Would I choose a favorite score or cue and focus on that? Could I even choose one?

It turns out that I could.

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An Open Letter To My Niece

Dear Penny,

It was great hanging out with you all this Christmas – I hope you had fun too.

One of the best parts of the holiday (even better than getting to introduce you to Doctor Who) was seeing the look on your face when you opened your present.  When you’re trying to find a gift for someone, you always hope you know them well enough to make sure it’s something they’ll really like, but you never really know until you see their reaction.  And knowing some of the conversations we’ve had about film music in the past, I was hoping this one would go over well.  I’m glad it did. 🙂
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