star trek the middle school musical

Thank You, James Horner

Yesterday, one of the great film composers, James Horner, died in a plane crash.

I am heartbroken, as are many other fans of films and film music.

Y’all know that one of my biggest influences as a writer is music–specifically movie scores. And James Horner’s work takes up a huge chunk of my music library.

As a child, I was obsessed with the music for Casper and The Land Before Time. To this day, I can’t listen to this music without tearing up. I’m a child again, and anything is possible.

When I was a young Trekkie, I’d watch and re-watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock by fast-forwarding my cruddy VHS tapes to the best parts of the movies–whenever Horner’s music was featured front and center, of course. The battle of the Mutara Nebula. Kirk and crew stealing the Enterprise.

In middle school, a budding trumpet player, I listened to his Titanic score over and over, singing along with the trumpet parts and dreaming of being a studio musician so I, too, could record Horner’s music someday.

Now, as a writer, I’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours working to his music, particularly his score for A Beautiful Mind, which is one of my go-tos. I’ll put it on repeat and let it play all day, its magic firing my imagination.

The world of film and artists has lost a talented, beautiful soul. Today (and probably for the rest of the week) I’ll be listening to James Horner scores in his honor.

Here are five of my favorite tracks, in case you want to join me:

Rest in peace among the stars, Maestro.