The artist I am featuring today is one that I have loved almost my entire life. His soundtrack for Braveheart has been in our CD collection ever since I can remember, and the track “Sons of Scotland” was the very first song I fell in love with. For some time he was hands-down my favorite composer, and even with Patrick Doyle taking that spot now, he is solidly my second favorite, and probably will be for the rest of my life.
May I present to you James Horner.
About the artist: James Horner was born in California to Jewish parents, and at the age of five started playing piano. He studied music in England as a boy, and then got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from US colleges. Soon after, he took up composing for films, and wrote prolifically. He won multiple awards for his scores, and scored the two highest-grossing films of all time, as well as the bestselling film soundtrack of all time. He was killed in June of 2015, when the plane he was piloting crashed in a national forest in California. He was in the middle of writing two scores when he passed away, and upon going through his music after his death, his assistants discovered that he had written a full score for the upcoming film The Magnificent Seven using the script alone, as a surprise for the film’s director.
Why I recommend him:
James’s music connects directly to your heart and to your emotions. It is warm, stirring music that is at the same time versatile—noble and blood-pumping, or quiet and tender. He said once that he wrote his music to connect your heart to the story. He is another composer who understands the importance of storytelling through the music, not just setting a specific mood. And he is known for his use of Uilleann pipes, so that’s that.
What I use his music for:
-General playlist music
-Listening through an album start to finish
-Inspiring a specific emotion or tone in a scene
Legends of the Fall
Sons of Scotland (Braveheart)
Hymn to the Sea (Titanic)
The Ludlows (Legends of the Fall)
The Launch (Apollo 13)
Alfred, Tristan, The Colonel, The Legend (Legends of the Fall)
Rooftop Kiss (The Amazing Spider-Man)
The Legend Spreads (Braveheart)
Have you heard any of James Horner’s scores? If so, which tracks are your favorites?