Tag Archives: Remembering James Horner Blogathon

The 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon starts Friday!

It’s nearly time for the 3rd (THIRD!!!) Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon to start. The blogathon where we look at scores crafted by the late, great James Horner will begin on Friday and go through Sunday.

Many have already signed up, but it’s not too late to join. The link to the sign up page will be posted below. Keep in mind that you are free to talk about the film as well as the film music, it just has to be a film that Horner scored.

When you post your entry to the blogathon this coming weekend, be sure to include at the top a line such as:

This post is part of the 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central

And include a link that links back to my blog 🙂

I can’t believe it’s nearly time for this blogathon to get going, I also can’t wait to see everyone’s contributions this year 🙂

Remembering James Horner Blogathon Info and Sign-up

See you on Friday!

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂



The 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon starts in 2 weeks!

It’s hard to believe but we’re only two weeks away from the start of the 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon which pays tribute to the memory of the film composer extraordinaire.

There’s still time to sign up if you’d like to participate, just follow the link below and enter your information. Be advised though, there is a delay between when you enter the information and when it appears on the list.

Can’t wait to get this blogathon started in two weeks!

Remembering James Horner Blogathon Info and Sign-up

Announcing the 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon


It’s time once announce the return of my annual blogathon! The 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon will be held June 22nd-June 24th, 2018 and will be hosted by me!

If you haven’t participated before, this blogathon is held every summer to honor the memory of film composer James Horner, who died in a plane crash in 2015. Participants choose any film that was scored by Horner and talk about what this film/soundtrack means to them. You can talk about just the film if you wish, or just the soundtrack or even just a favorite part of the film or soundtrack, it’s completely up to you. Also remember that your post must include a link back to my blog at the top (like this): This post is part of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central

If you’re stuck for ideas, check out my recaps for the previous two years for examples:

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Recap!

Remembering James Horner Blogathon: Recap

For a full list of Horner’s scores, see here: James Horner filmography

To ensure a diverse selection, each film may be chosen only twice. That is to say, only 2 people can write about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only 2 people can write about Titanic and so on and so forth. You can sign up for the blogathon below, leave a comment if you have any questions.

Please share this announcement to spread the word! Thanks everyone! Also feel free to borrow the banner up top to advertise for the blogathon 🙂

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Recap!

It’s finally here, the 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon is here! Even before I woke up this morning day 1 is off to a good start with two amazing entries already. As I see new entries come up, I will add them to this list below. Enjoy!!

Day 1

Plain, Simple Tom Reviews: The Land Before Time (1988)

Movierob: The Pelican Brief (1993)

Listening to Film: “Nautical but Nice”: James Horner and the Music for Wrath of Khan

Listening to Film: “The Underappreciated” (Star Trek III)

Reelweegiemidget: Willow (1988)

Day 2

Sean Munger: Postmodern patriotism: Howard’s “Apollo 13” as history and mythology

MovieRob: Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Day 3

MovieRob: The Karate Kid (2010)

The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Christina Wehner: Sneakers (1992)

Listening to Film: The Rocketeer (1991)

Tranquil Dreams: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Old School Evil: The Land Before Time (1988)

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Remembering James Horner Blogathon: Recap

Wow! I can’t believe the Remembering James Horner Blogathon is already here! I’ve seen some great posts so far, here is a recap of Day One:

More will be added as they come, but it’s been a great blogathon so far! Thank you so much for participating and making this so much fun! See you on day 2 and day 3! -Bex

Day 2




Day 3


Remembering James Horner: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

*This is part of the Remembering James Horner blogathon to remember the late composer James Horner (1953-2015)


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is (rightly) regarded as one of the best, if not THE best Star Trek film ever created. The film continues a story told in the Original Series episode “Space Seed” and brings back the villain Khan Noonien Singh (as played by Ricardo Montalban) to face off with Kirk and his crew once more.

Given how Star Trek: The Motion Picture suffered at the box office, Paramount greatly reduced the budget for the sequel and removed series creator Gene Roddenberry from the active production process. The music for the first film had been scored by Jerry Goldsmith, but with less money in the budget, he was no longer available. Nor was the second choice, Miklos Rozsa for that matter (though it would have been interesting to hear him score a Star Trek film). James Horner (who was only 28 at the time) was ultimately chosen because his demo music stood out from the group; this was Horner’s first big break into major motion pictures (his first credits after leaving film school begin in 1980). Horner stated once that the producers wanted a completely different score than what Goldsmith had given for The Motion Picture; it couldn’t be John Williams-like, but it still had to be different: more modern, more nautical. Horner did his best to oblige and the results are unforgettable.

In place of the grand theme created by Jerry Goldsmith for the first film, Horner created an entirely original theme and overture first heard in the opening credits of the film. This theme is repeated as the Enterprise leaves Spacedock (a theme I briefly discussed in the “Enterprise Clears Moorings” post below). What I love about this piece is the way the music audibly “ripples” as it builds to the climactic sounding of the main theme. I could literally visualize Horner conducting this music, and at times, I like to pretend that I’m conducting it as well. There’s a huge swelling of enthusiasm that wells up as the music grows and grows; which makes sense since the Enterprise is currently full of young cadets who have never been on a major space voyage before.

“Enterprise Clears Moorings” from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Another theme from this film that I love is “Surprise Attack” (originally covered in the post linked below). Horner related in several interviews that he created Khan’s musical theme to reflect the villain’s increasingly unstable mental state. For over fifteen years, Khan has obsessed over getting revenge on James Kirk, and now that he has his prey in sight, nothing and no one is going to stand in his way. “Surprise Attack” takes place when the Enterprise is being approached by the U.S.S. Reliant (which has been hijacked by Khan and his followers). From the opening notes, this theme is full of tension, created by contrasting Khan’s theme with that of the Enterprise (in a sense this could be considered Kirk’s theme as well). Khan’s theme is full of tension, rage and a thirst for war (lots of drumbeats and high shrilly strings and woodwinds), while the Enterprise/Kirk theme is dominated by lower, calmer strings and minimal percussion. Horner knew that in the upcoming battle scenes it would be vital to have two themes that were noticeably different from each other, to make it easier for the audience to keep up with which ship they were seeing (since there would be some very fast scene changes).

Star Trek II “Surprise Attack”

James Horner’s theme for Spock is also extremely beautiful and simple at the same time. It was created using a glass instrument that is something of a bowl and a chime, put together (think of how a crystal goblet will ring if you fill it with water and rub your finger on the rim). The theme highlights Spock’s devotion to Vulcan logic with it’s simplicity, there is not one note out of place. It is just the sort of music you might expect to find for a Vulcan. After Leonard Nimoy’s death, and again after Horner passed away, I played this theme several times a day for several days, as a way of saying goodbye to them both.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan “Spock” (1982)

Another theme that always tugs at my heartstrings is the conclusion of the “Genesis Countdown” (probably the last two minutes of the piece), which takes place when the crew is observing the formation of the Genesis Planet, unaware that Spock has given his life to save the ship. The moment when Kirk races down to Engineering (because deep down he KNOWS what has happened, even though McCoy won’t tell him) always makes my heart hurt, because I think we can all imagine the horror of that moment: racing down to find our closest, dearest friend, whoever that may be, already dead or nearly dead, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. This moment remains one of the most iconic in Star Trek history, because this is SPOCK we’re talking about, one of the most important characters in the series. Typically, there’s an unwritten rule that says these major characters never die; to see this happen sent shock waves through the Star Trek Universe. Actually, Spock’s death was originally going to happen at the beginning of the film, but news of this leaked out so to preserve the surprise it was switched to the end of the film. I know that after Nimoy’s death, viewership of this scene spiked, because so many people associated Nimoy with Spock, that it seemed like a good way to say goodbye. I did a similar thing when James Horner passed away. I didn’t just listen to the Spock theme, and various other themes, I also listened to this part as well, because in my mind, I needed to let the pain of Horner’s untimely death go (film composers mean a great deal to me).

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan “Genesis Countdown” (1982)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan “Spock (dies)” (1982)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan “Spock’s Death” (Film Version) (1982)

I could keep going about James Horner and Star Trek II for thousands of more words, but I think this will do. I will say that I highly recommend the full soundtrack of this film to anyone who has not heard it before. The entire soundtrack can be found on YouTube, so if you have a spare afternoon or evening one weekend, give it a try, you will not be disappointed. And if you’ve never seen The Wrath of Khan, definitely give that film a look as well, you won’t be disappointed.

We lost James Horner over a  year ago, and I don’t believe the void he left will ever be truly filled. But remembering him in this blogathon was the best way I could think of to honor his legacy, and I think that if he were here he would like that very much. James Horner, you are truly missed. Keep making music up in Heaven!

*The Remembering James Horner Blogathon has begun today! Several great posts have already appeared and I’m excited to see what the rest of the weekend will bring. Thanks again for contributing, this means a lot to me. -Bex

*all images are the property of Paramount Pictures