James Horner's Quotes

#Quote
1 [from an interview in 1983] I like dramatic scores. I'm not a disco person, and I'm not a rock and roll person. I guess I'd call myself more of a classical composer, and my scores tend to have more of a classical sound. Whether one calls those sounds avant garde or not doesn't matter, they're on the classical side of music rather than on the popular side. I haven't written any jazz scores, there's a possibility I may include some symphonic jazz and modern serious music, which I have an interest in, but I'm not into writing a pop score. This is where the Goldsmith [Jerry Goldsmith] analogy comes in because I find that the pictures that I'm trying to get and the pictures he gets are the same kinds of films. I'm not in his league by any means, but I enjoy doing those kinds of films -- action, dramatic, that type of thing. I also like to do very tender stories that also have dramatic underscoring.
2 [from an interview in 1983] I look at the film and try to assimilate what the producer and director want. Very often they don't know exactly what they want or they know, but don't know how to express it, so it comes out wrong. I try and find out what the director or producer feels, and I try to get them to express it to me in non-musical terms, so that there's no misunderstanding. Then, based on what they want, I do it in my own language, in terms of putting into the score what I want it to have, certain ideas I'll get while actually writing. You can't talk out the whole score ahead of time, a lot of it just happens while you're writing. Ideas come to you.
3 I think for a composer coming out of the world, whether it be a school, streets or whatever, if you want to do something, it's either for commercial use, via the radio, or visual use, in film. I think that's the most viable outlet for a writer. But, I don't think you have to have this crazy education to get there. I think people I've met [who] are brilliant have no education at all, they just had a gift.
4 In all the films I work on, there's always that "What is the heart of the film?," and I try and nail that.
5 The mood of a film dictates a certain sound in my head and that is what I try and connect with right away, way before I'm writing melodies or times or anything like that. I'm trying to find an orchestration for the film that says what I want it to say musically.
6 What working for Roger [Roger Corman] did for me, was that it helped my procedural skills. How to produce music for literally nothing and how to write the best music for the films that they were.
7 [about his creative process] I don't use a computer when I write and I don't use a piano. I'm at a desk writing and it's very broad strokes and notes as colors on a palette. I think very abstractly when I'm writing. Then as the project moves on it becomes more like sculpting.
8 [from 2009] My job -- and it's something I discuss with Jim [James Cameron] all the time -- is to make sure at every turn of the film it's something the audience can feel with their heart. 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. That is my primary role.
9 [from an interview in December, 2014] I'm much choosier. I don't want to be doing these movies that now 85 or 90 composers want, as opposed to five or six. And now all these movies, action movies. I don't get offered all the movies obviously, but I see a lot of them and I do get asked to do a lot of them, and I just know they're not asking me to do something that I can do something original, they're asking me to do a formula and I'm too rebellious.
10 I had no idea who Jerry Goldsmith or John Williams were before I did The Hand (1981). I'm sure that I was influenced by Goldsmith's large orchestral scores when I started out, and that was because the people who employed me wanted that kind of sound. I wasn't in a position to say, 'Go to Hell!'
11 [from an interview in 1983] I like dramatic scores. I'm not a disco person, and I'm not a rock and roll person. I guess I'd call myself more of a classical composer, and my scores tend to have more of a classical sound. Whether one calls those sounds avant garde or not doesn't matter, they're on the classical side of music rather than on the popular side. I haven't written any jazz scores, there's a possibility I may include some symphonic jazz and modern serious music, which I have an interest in, but I'm not into writing a pop score. This is where the Goldsmith [Jerry Goldsmith] analogy comes in because I find that the pictures that I'm trying to get and the pictures he gets are the same kinds of films. I'm not in his league by any means, but I enjoy doing those kinds of films -- action, dramatic, that type of thing. I also like to do very tender stories that also have dramatic underscoring.
12 [from an interview in 1983] I look at the film and try to assimilate what the producer and director want. Very often they don't know exactly what they want or they know, but don't know how to express it, so it comes out wrong. I try and find out what the director or producer feels, and I try to get them to express it to me in non-musical terms, so that there's no misunderstanding. Then, based on what they want, I do it in my own language, in terms of putting into the score what I want it to have, certain ideas I'll get while actually writing. You can't talk out the whole score ahead of time, a lot of it just happens while you're writing. Ideas come to you.
13 I think for a composer coming out of the world, whether it be a school, streets or whatever, if you want to do something, it's either for commercial use, via the radio, or visual use, in film. I think that's the most viable outlet for a writer. But, I don't think you have to have this crazy education to get there. I think people I've met [who] are brilliant have no education at all, they just had a gift.
14 In all the films I work on, there's always that "What is the heart of the film?," and I try and nail that.
15 The mood of a film dictates a certain sound in my head and that is what I try and connect with right away, way before I'm writing melodies or times or anything like that. I'm trying to find an orchestration for the film that says what I want it to say musically.
16 What working for Roger [Roger Corman] did for me, was that it helped my procedural skills. How to produce music for literally nothing and how to write the best music for the films that they were.
17 [about his creative process] I don't use a computer when I write and I don't use a piano. I'm at a desk writing and it's very broad strokes and notes as colors on a palette. I think very abstractly when I'm writing. Then as the project moves on it becomes more like sculpting.
18 [from 2009] My job -- and it's something I discuss with Jim [James Cameron] all the time -- is to make sure at every turn of the film it's something the audience can feel with their heart. 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. That is my primary role.
19 [from an interview in December, 2014] I'm much choosier. I don't want to be doing these movies that now 85 or 90 composers want, as opposed to five or six. And now all these movies, action movies. I don't get offered all the movies obviously, but I see a lot of them and I do get asked to do a lot of them, and I just know they're not asking me to do something that I can do something original, they're asking me to do a formula and I'm too rebellious.
20 I had no idea who Jerry Goldsmith or John Williams were before I did The Hand (1981). I'm sure that I was influenced by Goldsmith's large orchestral scores when I started out, and that was because the people who employed me wanted that kind of sound. I wasn't in a position to say, 'Go to Hell!'
Sources:
IMDB, Wikipedia


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