It is always invaluable to hear a composer speak about why he created a film score in a certain way. Just imagine if it had been possible to videotape Beethoven or Mozart speaking about THEIR works.
Resources like this become all the more valuable (and poignant) when the composer passes away suddenly. While many of the greats (including James Horner) have passed on, at least we have a portion of their thoughts set down and recorded.
In this interview, James Horner (who is greatly missed) talks about his thought process behind writing the genius score for one of the greatest Star Trek films of all time. After the critical failure of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, director Nicholas Meyer wanted to create a totally different feel and sound for the sequel. The director had a particular vision of “Horatio Hornblower in space,” which inspired Horner to create a distinctly nautical sound in the music for The Wrath of Khan.
The score is also more heavily based on leitmotif’s, with very few “hummable” themes, a direct contrast to Goldsmith’s score for The Motion Picture (think of Ilia’s Theme or the Klingon’s Theme). There are a few subtle homages to Goldsmith’s score for The Motion Picture however: during Khan’s surprise attack, Horner employs the “blaster beam” which was used in the previous film as a notable sound effect for the V’Ger alien.
Horner’s score for The Wrath of Khan is widely considered to be the greatest score found in a Star Trek film, though some prefer Eidelman’s score for The Undiscovered Country. Again, I hope you enjoy listening to this interview from the late, great, James Horner.
James Horner talks Aliens (1986)
James Horner talks Field of Dreams (1989)
James Horner talks The Rocketeer (1991)
James Horner scoring Braveheart (1995)
James Horner talks The Perfect Storm (2000)
James Horner talks A Beautiful Mind (2001)
James Horner talks Windtalkers (2002)
James Horner talks Avatar (2009)
James Horner talks The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
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Thank you for posting this, I love The Wrath Of Kahn and to see James Horner talk about his music is brilliant.
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No problem, I’m always fascinated to hear a composer discuss even part of their thought process in putting this score together. Glad you liked it 🙂
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