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.