Farewell, James Horner

Yesterday one of my all-time favorite composers died in a plane crash. James Horner. He was 61. Still composing. But no longer.

I cried like a baby.

I love James Horner’s music. I loved it even before I knew who James Horner was. The music from Willow has always held a special place in my heart, and Braveheart ranks up as one of my favorite soundtracks of, well, ever. His scope is vast and impressive, and while not every one of his soundtracks caught my imagination, I was always excited to hear he was involved. And any time James Cameron was on the set, I knew James Horner wouldn’t be too far behind. Like many directors and composers, those two went together like bread and butter, starting all the way back with Aliens – which is funny considering how he apparently claimed after that movie, he’d never work with Cameron again due to the stress.

In light of this news, I’ve decided to switch up July’s theme. Initially I was going to go with Searching for Freedom – 4th of July and all – but now it will be a tribute to James Horner with all the current soundtracks I have (except Avatar, which I will leave in it's original April placement) – maybe more given that he’s got such great music that I’ve yet to acquire, from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan to The Rocketeer, and his work with Don Bluth on An American Tail and The Land Before Time. The month will open with the most recent work I have, rewinding back from there in chronological order.

I never thought when starting this blog that one of my composers would die. I know – I say “my” like I own them or something. But music is very personal to me. It’s my muse – my inspiration. So I’ve always kept it close and certain composers are closer than others. And it’s absurd to think, I suppose, that nothing can ever happen given the uncertainty of the world. But…here we are.

So here’s to you, James. I will forever miss all the notes that you didn’t get to share, and I can only hope that now you’re in a place where you hear music more beautiful than any we could ever imagine.



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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.