Hol­ly­wood mourns ‘Titanic’ com­poser Horner

The China Post - - ARTS - BY SARA PUIG

Shell- shocked Hol­ly­wood mourned Tues­day James Horner, the Os­car-win­ning com­poser of mu­si­cal scores for a string of smash-hit movies in­clud­ing “Titanic” and “Avatar,” who died in a plane crash aged 61.

Trade mag­a­zine Va­ri­ety re­ported the highly tal­ented com­poser died Mon­day when his pri­vate air­craft went down in Santa Bar­bara, Cal­i­for­nia.

“We have lost an amaz­ing per­son with a huge heart and un­be­liev­able tal­ent. He died do­ing what he loved,” Horner’s per­sonal as­sis­tant, Sylvia Wells, said on her Face­book page.

The agency that rep­re­sented him, The Gor­faine/Schwartz Agency, said it had not yet re­ceived of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion of his death, but said it was “shocked and deeply sad­dened.”

“Bril­liant com­poser James Horner, friend & col­lab­o­ra­tor on 7 movies has trag­i­cally died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones,” wrote di­rec­tor and col­league Ron Howard on Twit­ter.

Horner won two Os­cars for “Titanic” — one for its theme song “My Heart Will Go On,” per­formed by Ce­line Dion, and another for the film’s score.

Dion said she “will al­ways re­mem­ber his kind­ness and great tal­ent that changed my ca­reer.”

The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion said a sin­gle en­gine Tucano MK1 crashed Mon­day morn­ing near Cuyama, killing the pi­lot, the only per­son on board.

The plane was reg­is­tered to Tucano Flyer, LLC, which lists Horner as a man­ag­ing mem­ber. The cause of the crash was not im­me­di­ately known.

Ex­pan­sive and Emo­tive Sound­scapes

Horner also won Os­car nom­i­na­tions for the mu­si­cal scores of sev­eral other box-of­fice hits, in­clud­ing “Apollo 13,” “Brave­heart” and “Field of Dreams.” His first nom­i­na­tion came in 1986, for the sci-fi hor­ror film “Aliens.”

His most re­cent Os­car nom­i­na­tion was for another sci-fi epic, James Cameron’s 2009 block­buster “Avatar.”

With ex­pan­sive and emo­tive sound­scapes, Horner’s scores car­ried films to their cli­max and ac­com­pa­nied top ac­tors as they de­liv­ered some of their most mov­ing per­for­mances.

Ten­der kisses in “The Amaz­ing SpiderMan,” grand bat­tles in “Troy” and mo­ments of stir­ring drama in “A Beau­ti­ful Mind” were all set up by Horner’s hand.

“When we lose a char­ac­ter, when some­body wins, when some­body loses, when some­one dis­ap­pears — at all times I’m keep­ing track, con­stantly, of what the heart is sup­posed to be feel­ing,” Horner said in a 2009 in­ter­view with the Los An­ge­les Times.

“That is my pri­mary role.”

Amer­i­can film touch­stones of the 1990s such as “Pa­triot Games,” “Search­ing for Bobby Fis­cher” and “Ju­manji” were also com­posed by Horner.

Top ac­tors and di­rec­tors in the film and tele­vi­sion world paid trib­ute to Horner online.

“In­cred­i­bly sad­dened to hear about the loss of James Horner. I grew up lov­ing his work. He leaves be­hind a spec­tac­u­lar mu­si­cal legacy,” tele­vi­sion se­ries cre­ator Seth MacFar­lane tweeted.

“There is noth­ing that shaped my movie-go­ing ex­pe­ri­ence more than the mu­si­cal ge­nius of James Horner. He will live on through the ages,” tweeted ac­tor Rob Lowe.

Ac­tor Ron Perl­man, who starred in “En­emy at the Gates,” said he was “lucky to be able to say I was in a movie that was scored by James Horner.”

“Flights of an­gels dear sweet beau­ti­ful mind,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

Other com­posers also spoke of Horner’s last­ing in­flu­ence on their ca­reers.

“James Horner, thank you for in­spir­ing a young me to pur­sue a ca­reer in film mu­sic. Thank you for your mu­sic. Rest in peace,” wrote Steve Jablon­sky, who com­posed mu­sic for the “Trans­form­ers” film se­ries.

Horner also scored pop­u­lar an­i­mated films “The Land Be­fore Time” (1988) and “An Amer­i­can Tail: Fievel Goes West” (1991).

He was nom­i­nated for an Os­car for the song “Some­where Out There” in “An Amer­i­can Tail.”


In this March 23, 1998 file photo, com­poser James Horner dis­plays Os­cars he won for Orig­i­nal Song and Orig­i­nal Dra­matic Score for “Titanic” at the 70th Academy Awards at the Shrine Au­di­to­rium in Los An­ge­les. Horner’s agent says the Os­car-win­ning “Titanic” com­poser was the pi­lot who died in a South­ern Cal­i­for­nia plane crash Mon­day, June 22.

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