Aliens, Titanic, A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart, Avatar…. The list goes endless. The background score for these movies have been their spine and the spine was provided by one person, the celebrated musician James Horner. It’s a sad day for music lovers (June 22, 2015) amidst the report of his death in a plane crash near California. Musical scores may never be the same again.
Already an accomplished concert hall composer, Horner got his movie break in 1979. However, his taste to fame came in 1982 with Star Trek II while his share of glory came with Titanic. The year 1997 was historic for Horner. Titanic smashed all records for an orchestral film track till then and won two academy awards: one for best original dramatic score and the other for best original song ‘My heart will go on’. It will not be an exaggeration to say he shaped the career of the singer Celine Dion. Besides, Titanic also brought accolades to him in the form of 3 Grammy and 2 Golden Globe awards for the same. His relationship with Titanic director James Cameroon flourished once again post ten years of Aliens with Titanic and the duo went on to make the marvelous Avatar.
Horner composed for over 100 movies, collaborating with famed directors like Ron Howard and Mel Gibson and many others. Among other awards he received include Satellite awards, Saturn awards and a dozen of Grammy. Impressive!
Horner has had his share of controversies with allegations of getting ‘inspired’ from his previous compositions as well as other works, and suitably modified to suit his tracks. To quote a review from ‘Filmtrack’, Horner was “skilled in the adaptation of existing music into films with just enough variation to avoid legal troubles”.
However, none can deny the talent Horner was and we all pay homage to him. Music has suffered a great loss from his untimely death. He was one ‘Beautiful Mind’ for whom My Heart Will Go On, and on.