03 Oct 2013, Vienna, Austria --- epa03893900 US composer, conductor and orchestrator of orchestral and film music, James Horner poses during an interview with the Austria Press Agency (APA) in Vienna, Austria, 03 October 2013. Horner will receive the 'Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award' donated by the city of Vienna on 04 October. EPA/GEORG HOCHMUTH --- Image by © GEORG HOCHMUTH/epa/Corbis

When I heard about his tragic death my mouth just dropped open and I froze. I was like a statue just standing there trying to re-adjust my mind to believe it was the truth. And until today that’s pretty much how I have been hence why I have not yet posted. I’ve been reading all the Facebook and other online tributes, and there are so many of them. Even though I am a film music reviewer this is not going to be a re-appraisal of his superb body of work. It’s going to be about the way his music makes me feel because at the end of the day that’s what soundtracks scores are all about.

My great love of soundtracks was sealed many years ago when I became obsessive about the late John Barry. His music did the same as Horner’s, it reached right down to my soul. Barry may have been my most favourite composer but Horner was always there, side by side and it’s no wonder that I grew up with both of them. Their music makes me stop whatever I am doing and I just listen, it stills me. It’s what I call ‘important music’, you cannot ignore it or what it is making you feel. In slow pieces Horners music is very still, you feel as if he has not only written each note but that he has lived that note, lived the emotion it conjures and it conjures the feelings so instantly. He is the composer that I put ‘repeat’ on certain tracks more than anyone else.

How did he do it, not once but all the time? And it’s always so subtle, a chord change can bring you to tears. A measured stream of piano notes can just cut you to the quick. It’s not only his talent, it’s his gift which he shared with us all. Horner spoke gently and he has a gentle, light touch on his music. Goose bumps and closed eyes always occur when those shifts of music go right through me almost as if I am trying to get closer to it. God, I am going miss the excitement of a new Horner score.

He was only 61 years old and my heart goes out to his family. What music we will never hear I wonder? I am sure he had projects going on in the background, it’s all lost now except for our own personal collections which will always be there. And which I am going to reach into right now.

Favourite cue: The Drive Home from Field of Dreams[1989]

Favourite score: Sneakers [1992]

imagesI’ll miss you.


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