HISTORY & SURVEY OF FILM MUSIC

James Horner

(1953 - 2015)

1982      Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

1984      Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

1985      Cocoon

1986      An American Tail

1988      Willow

1989      Field of Dreams

1991      The Rocketeer

1992      Patriot Games

1995      Braveheart

1995      Apollo 13

1997      Titanic

2000      The Perfect Storm

2001      A Beautiful Mind

2004      Troy

2008      Avatar

2012      The Amazing Spider Man

James Horner began studying piano at the age of five, and trained at the Royal College of Music in London, England, before moving to California in the 1970s. After receiving a bachelor's degree in music at USC, he would go on to earn his master's degree at UCLA and teach music theory there. He later completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory at UCLA. Horner began scoring student films for the American Film Institute in the late 1970s, which paved the way for scoring assignments on a number of small-scale films. His first large, high-profile project was composing music for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), which would lead to numerous other film offers and opportunities to work with world-class performers such as the London Symphony Orchestra. Currently, with over 75 projects to his name, and work with people such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, 'James Cameron', Oliver Stone, and Ron Howard, Horner has firmly established himself as a strong voice in the world of film scoring. In addition, Horner composed a classical concert piece in the 1980s, called "Spectral Shimmers", which was world premiered by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

(from IMDB)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Horner’s dynamic scores for the second (1982) and third (1984) movies in the Star Trek movie franchise propelled him into the major leagues of film composers. They are also particular favorites among the Trek crowd: the sweeping nautical-adventure qualities and the moving orchestral setting of Alexander Courage’s TV theme for the death of Spock in II are highlights.

John Burlingame, “Sound and Vision” (2000)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) - Reliant vs. Enterprise

Field of Dreams (1989)

“Field of Dreams” is a feel-good movie about a midwestern corn farmer who builds a baseball field on his farm, which is then visited by baseball ghosts of the past.  Horner score weaves a lush pallete of sound from orchestral and synthesizer textures. 

Field of Dreams (1989) - “If you build it he will come”

Titanic (1997)

The biggest-selling orchestral score album of all time, the 73-minute original soundtrack of the Best Picture Oscar-winning 1997 film contains much of the key melodic material that moviegoers loved: the Irish-flavored material (which come observers felt signified Titanic’s Dublin origins, others the many steerage passengers who died), the wordless vocals by Norwegian artist Sissel, the synthesizer textures (which some felt were anachronistic for a film set in 1912), and, of course, the love theme “My Heart Will Go On,” sung by Celine Dion. 

(Burlingame, Sound and Vision)

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