David Hocquet recently got a chance to sit down with the legendary composer James Horner (Titanic, Glory, Braveheart, Avatar) for a conversation that would span back on his entire career.

James Horner

The following discussion was held on November 13, 2014. There was no predetermined course of discussion. The various topics were discussed more or less while James Horner took the time to sign assorted CD covers for Association members

JHFM: While with Hakon and Mari Samuelsen, we talked about French horns in your music; we remember in the finale of In Country, you had this wonderful finale where you can hear the powerful horns play this consonance and dissonance, it was quite wonderful.
JH: In that movie, I wrote this elegy, I think, at the end it was so emotional how this Bruce Willis guy breaks down, and touches the wall, which is sacred. And to be able to write for sequences like that is so great, it’s so rewarding. To write action sequences for a movie means nothing to me anymore. But there are so few movies like that.

JHFM: Like in Field of Dreams for example, you have electronics first and then the whole emotional Americana music at the end. This is when the audience is like ‘Okay, now you can feel it’.
JH: It’s all coloring. I think in that film it’s all of a certain world until Burt Lancaster’s character gives up his life, and the music palette changes for me at that point. It’s a very emotional movie, and those kinds of subtle things are so important.

JHFM: There is a very special score for us, which was what you composed for Brainstorm, and it’s interesting when you said you composed the score in America and then made this beautiful re-recording in London. It’s a very short piece to listen to, it’s half an hour, but for us, it was a concentration of wonderful, beautiful music because of contrasts of modernity, and ancient music, and emotional, lyrical, classical music: everything was in it.
JH: I can’t remember the score. I know that movie was such a strange movie to work on. I know Douglas Trumbull very well, and you know his history in cinema. The whole idea of having a machine that records experiences after somebody dies was such an interesting idea. It takes a filmmaker that just says “go for it”.

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