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Curious About James Horner's Score for AVATAR? Check Out This Brief Article from MovieScore Magazine.

Greetings! ScoreKeeper here revving up the hype machine with a brief article regarding James Horner’s “hugely cinematic” score for James Cameron’s upcoming 3D sci-fi saga, AVATAR (2009). Not much has been reported about Horner’s score until now. Mikael Carlsson over at MovieScore Magazine has an exclusive article regarding some of the details surrounding the music Horner has been crafting since June of 2008.
…Mike Knobloch, the executive vice president of Fox Music, describes James Horner’s music for the film as epic. “It’s a brilliantly unique blend of traditional and contemporary, electronic elements and spans the entire spectrum of attitude and energy – from bombastic action to the delicate, romantic discovery of a new world.”
There's no doubt this is one of the most anticipated scores of the year. Marking their first science fiction collaboration together since ALIENS (1986), Horner and Cameron aim to up the ante in regards to music. With time running out, the world does not have much longer to wait. To read the entire article visit MovieScore Magazine.


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  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    God, the more I see that blue face poster the worse it looks.<p> Hopefully the score will be aces though.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:30 a.m. CST


    by fimano


  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by PennsyDeux


  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Hopefully its got

    by Series7

    Death by trumpets!

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    damn good score to a damn good movie

    by judge dredds fresh undies

    Yep, that's Aliens.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST


    by just pillow talk

    In your face fimano!

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST


    by sherlock_junior

    Bring it on, Horner and Cameron!

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Sounds like shit

    by Trannyformers_Apologist


  • Oct. 7, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    reading about music

    by animas

    is just about the most retarded and boring thing that is even possible

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    when you read the menu in a restaurant that wets the appetite

    by sherlock_junior

    I wouldnt call that boring... Frustrating maybe, cause we have to wait so long for the FOOD

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Fern Gully

    by enderandrew

    It still looks like Fern Gully. I thought the trailer was awful. And I'm not a hater. I just don't understand all the hype, even though this is Cameron. I'd like to be wrong, however. Perhaps this will surprise me.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Just reuse the score from Delgo

    by BoE

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Watched Aliens last night

    by henrydalton

    That film has a fantastic score.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    High hopes for this score

    by kwisatzhaderach

    If it's half as good as Horner's Braveheart score we're in for a treat.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    yet another round of lame and lazy insults

    by Six Demon Bag

    in the thundercats/smurfs/dances with wolves/delgo type

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    I wonder who Horner will be ripping off this time out...

    by YackBacker

    With Horner it's always "Hear it again for the first time!"

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST




  • Oct. 7, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Avatar score- Fucking your ear drums

    by BendersShinyAss

    THIS I'm keen for. I've been waiting for horner to score a massive Sci-Fi film for over 20 years

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST


    by Nasty In The Pasty


  • Oct. 7, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Oh its going to be so much fun

    by kwisatzhaderach

    rubbing the haters faces in it come December.

  • then it should be fine. Not anything beyond a scene or two "of note", but also nothing that was detracting, and seemed to complement very well w/ the scenese shown. My 64 y/o dad agreed that the temp score worked.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST


    by lockesbrokenleg

    And imagine that a bit different.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Let's see- probably a lot of

    by Rubiks Doob

    Crappy The Abyss chorus with airy riffs off of Titanic then a bit of Aliens for the action scenes. See I can be James Horner too!

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I bet it sounds like Wrath of Khan - again!

    by catlettuce4

    Horner is that rare creature, the self-plagiarist

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    ScoreKeeper indeed Cameron and Horner

    by ominus

    last partnership was in the Titanic,not Aliens.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST


    by Sodomy_Joe_Shitpants

    It was their "last science fiction collaboration" it says.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    James Horner only rips off himself

    by MattmanReturns

    Stupid four-note-motif that got so overused in Enemy at the Gates and Troy.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Ace of Wands

    by ScoreKeeper

    No, I absolutely love the score to TITANIC. But ALIENS is perhaps the seminal work for both Cameron and Horner. AVATAR is such a highly anticipated film partially because it returns Cameron to science fiction. I was just extending the parallel to Horner as well.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Anyone who likes the Aliens score...

    by blackmantis

    ...should go watch Wolfen, or just watch this--

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    So my eardrums will get fucked too?

    by Logan_1973

    We're into DP territory here, folks. <p> And post some samples or STFU with these dumb "updates".

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    What no mention of Braveheart?

    by TheWaqman

    That was easily my favorite of his scores. Sure it was heavy-handed and could be seen as cheesy by many. But I just love that shit.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 7:18 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius's...WHET

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 8:13 p.m. CST

    But it's HORNER, it'll sound like all his other stuff!

    by Drath

    And sure I like his music fine, but "most anticipated score of the year"? Uh, no! I'll be shocked if it doesn't sound like some variation of several of his older scores. Somehow he'll probable work some Celtic into the aliens' theme. Also, I am sorry you guys have nothing more newsworthy to post than this. Did anyone think the music WASN'T going to try and be epic, or that someone would say it was even if it fell short? Music just isn't something I can read a rave about anyway, it has to be heard for itself. This is just aimless hype rather than news. At least give me good hype!

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 9:30 p.m. CST

    So will the score promise to be...

    by MurderMostFowl

    The greatest score ever, transcending previous scores? We'll get to hear a teaser 30 second clip, and then everyone well tell us how they got to hear it with their friend in a limited engagement, it it's so much better in the Surround sound version instead of the limitations of this Stereo version. "You really have to hear it!"<BR><BR>"No, really at first my ears were confused, and then it just felt so amazingly natural, especially the 7 foot tall double Bass and kettle drum. Amazing kettle drum."<BR><BR> Then the TB will be filled with people saying things like "I liked it better when I heard it the FIRST time on AM radio!"<BR><BR>"Apparently Horner has run out of ideas. He's such a hack these days. Go back an compose for and 80's hair band, Jimmy!" <BR><BR> And then some random, "John Williams raped my childhood!" comments, and people asking why we don't see more scene of clarinet players in film.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 9:57 p.m. CST

    "James Horner only rips off himself"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    WHAT?! He's plagarized from several other film composers and classical pieces in the past.

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Leonard Rosenman raped my childhood!

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    ...or was it Laurence Rosenthal? <p> Scratch that, I think it was my adulthood and come to think of it, it was more consensual than anything else. Ah yes, I can picture him now, a straping bear of a man. He went by the name Marc Shaiman. Yes. That was absolutl...NOoo! It was Mark Isham! No-no, I'm quite certain now, it was Marco Beltrami. I mean Mark Manicina...Henry Mancini...Angelo Badalemente? Ah of course, it was Tyler Bates. That is to say Brian Tyler... I mean BT...Oh never mind!

  • Oct. 7, 2009, 11:24 p.m. CST


    by uberman

    I remember how before TITANIC was released that the buzz from Hollywood was that it was going to tank. They were wrong in a BIG way. They were, however, just one film off of their prediction. AVATAR is going in the toilet as a major, epic fail. I just dont think folks are going to go for blue CGI ThunderSmurfs. Sure, there will be the curiosity factor opening weekend (FROM THE CREATOR OF TITANIC COMES AN EPIC STORY...)but, unless word of mouth is insanely positive, this one is going down in flames big time.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    A V A T A R - Fucking your eyeballs in December.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Only few weeks left.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Lesser artists borrow...

    by Rhuragh

    Great artists steal. And really great artists write Star Trek II. <BR><BR>Since so many posters seemed to enjoy this last time I posted it, I'll post it again. For the definitive word on James Horner, and his nasty habit of engaging in plagiarism, go listen to the "Opportunity Makes a Thief" podcast dated 10/9/2006 from Film Score Monthly located here: <BR><BR>This podcast is about 17 minutes long and includes numerous quotations from Horner's work, as well as other film composers, who have borrowed/stolen verbatim from classical composers. Enjoy.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Thank you, AICN, for your shitty board

    by Rhuragh

    You'll need to remove the space in "r ss" at the end of that URL. It should be "rss".

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 3:29 a.m. CST

    IT will be very interesting to see what score James Horner rips

    by Rogue_Leader

    Seriously that due can't get an original idea out of his ass anymore worth a damn.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Chill Out Everyone...

    by Arturo

    If your expectations are going to be so fucking HIGH, then some of you will be so dissapointed, remember before "The Phantom Menace" was released everyone thought it was going to be a life changing experience...But hey i do have faith in the 2 James, but just don't hype it to fucking much..

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Where have all the great scores gone?

    by The Mothman

    Granted I don't follow the scene that much, but the 90s seemed to have oodles of great scores, and with the unfortunate advent of comic book movies I'd have thought there'd be a shitload of memorable, theme-y scores to track down. I think the last one I was truly interested in was Ocean's 11. Anyone have any recommendations?

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    TAINTLICK - what's with the james beating up linda shit?

    by cloudrider`

    dont you get tired repeating that same horseshit in every avatar talkback? nevermind that it aint true, but this is the place to talk about films, right? there are plenty of other places to talk about tabloid junks. please seek those places, they might give a damn. so you dont have to keep repeating the same thing to get our attention.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST


    by kuldan

    I totally agree with you. I used to rush out and buy movie scores that came out BEFORE some big movies came out, mainly because they were from composers like Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, etc. Unfortunately, we lost Goldsmith, and Williams has been pretty un-inspired with his themes lately. I bought "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" soundtrack and was hugely disappointed. There has not really been any standout scores for many years (not in the 80s John Willaims-heyday way).

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Best composers working today: Desplat and Giacchino

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    They always have a memorable theme in there somewhere and write actual MUSIC instead of a pair of sticks banging together (accompanied by Moaning Woman) for two hours.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8:19 a.m. CST

    The Mothman

    by Rhuragh

    If you're looking for the big adventure scores like Williams' original Star Wars trilogy, or Horner in his hey-day in the '80s (Star Trek II & III, Krull [all the same score], Aliens, Willow), those days are over. Scores are no longer big and bombastic, they're generally more nuanced material and usually very subtle. See, the people in charge of what happens on the screen don't want the score getting in the way of the visuals. <BR><BR>These days, I seem to be following a select group. Alexandre Desplat (Lust, Caution is an incredible score), James Newton Howard (Defiance, TDK, King Kong, his Shyamalan collaborations even though the movies themselves are junk), David Julyan (Insomnia, The Prestige, and The Descent are great scores), Shigeru Umebayashi (2046, Curse of the Golden Flower, House of Flying Daggers), Howard Shore (LoTR, duh), Brian Tyler (there's a reason Children of Dune has become trailer music, I also really liked his AvP:R score, he did a great job weaving all the previous scores into a single coherent whole), Dario Marianelli (V for Vendetta, Atonement), Philip Glass (Fog of War, Illusionist, Notes on a Scandal, Cassandra's Dream, all the same score; it's funny, I like his film scores more than his concert music), Osvaldo Golijov (I was unimpressed by Youth Without Youth, but I think he's quite possibly the best living classical composer (Ainadamar, Oceana, Ayre), so I'm going to follow his work with Coppola), and finally, the cream of the crop (for me), Bear McCreary. His Battlestar Galactica soundtracks have been some of the most impressive and nuanced film/television music I've ever heard. His television music is more complex than most film scores (even some on this list). <BR><BR>I left the names of some composers off the list who have only written one particular movie whose score I enjoyed, rather than a series of great scores. I'll elaborate, if you wish. <BR><BR>And, in case you're wondering, I primarily listen to classical music (mainly 20th century composers, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schnittke, Stravinsky, Britten, Bartok, Poulenc, Copland), with a smattering of film scores/composers, so I'm approaching my film score listening from the point of view of a classical aficionado.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    That paragraph is rather unwieldy.

    by Rhuragh

    I apologize. I should have broken that up a bit.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST


    by Rhuragh

    You'll notice Giacchino is missing from my list. That's because he sucks. His early work on Lost was admirable, but has since (third and fourth season, I stopped watching after that) devolved into self-parody. I know people rave about his score for Ratatouille, I haven't listened to it or seen the movie. Star Trek was junk. His Medal of Honor and Call of Duty scores are the most insipidly patriotic bullshit ever written. Honestly, he should have stayed in Video Game music. That's all he's suited for.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST


    by sherlock_junior

    thanks for the info :)

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    If the score of Avatar is good, i'll be suprised

    by AsimovLives

    I'll be very suprised. I have gave up on James Horner since the mid-90s. Since his score for Titanic, to tell you the truth. And since then his scores have only gone worst, with Troy being a particulary low case. Truly, if the score of Avatar is any good, i'll be VERY suprised. And i used to love his movie's scores, i own several CDs of his past glories.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    “It’s a brilliantly unique blend of...

    by AsimovLives

    ... traditional and contemporary, electronic elements and spans the entire spectrum of attitude and energy – from bombastic action to the delicate, romantic discovery of a new world.”<br><br>That basically describes EVERY score that James Horner has made in all his career.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Rubiks Doob

    by AsimovLives

    It was Alan Silvestri who composed the score for The Abysss, not James Horner. And the score for The Abyss is brillant.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST


    by Rhuragh

    Mask of Zorro (the first one) and Deep Impact weren't bad. Of course, they were just retreads of some of his earlier scores (Willow for Zorro, and the Jack Ryan scores for Deep Impact, IIRC). But yeah, most of Horner's "original" work was done in the '80s, and has simply been copy/pasted in various permutations into his scores for the last twenty years.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    The problem is not reusing classic music for scores

    by AsimovLives

    That's nothing new. Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio morricone did that constantly. John Williams owns half his career to Aaron Copland, Goldsmith to Debussy and claude Debussy. Prokofiev and Penderecki have had their stuff stolen from every movie score composer from around the world. That's not the issue.<br><br>The issue with James horner is that he's so unelegant and so damn obvious about it. And that he repeats the same thing over and over again. not only he plagiarizes, he repeates the same plagiarism from one work to the next without a break. That's his problem. And now, he's so lazy, he even plagiarizes himself when he plagiarized others. It's insane.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Nasty In The Pasty

    by AsimovLives

    I used to think highly of Giachino because of his excelent work for The Incredibles and because of of his cool riff off Jerry Goldsmith's planet Of The apes score for the end credits of Lost. But his horrible souless shit score for Jar Jar Abrams' Skank Trek lost my faith on the dude. And his end scroe for Cloverfield is hardly the great stuff people were claiming it to be, more a case of hype over reality.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I'll give you on Mask Of Zorro, it was good stuff, yes. But frankly, i abhoor the fucking score for the fucking movie Deep Impact. Really, that movie's score is very alike the movie, melodramatic dumb bullshit pretending to be a serious intelligent SF movie.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST


    by Rhuragh

    Hahaha. Yeah, Deep Impact is a bit of a guilty pleasure. It's still a better movie than that Michael Bay abomination though.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    And I just noticed your other post too...

    by Rhuragh

    "And his end scroe for Cloverfield is hardly the great stuff people were claiming it to be, more a case of hype over reality." Yeah, just like the movie. I really like how he uses the chorus from Rosenman's Robocop.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Oh, btw...

    by Rhuragh

    Jar Jar Abrams, mind if I borrow that? I love it.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    That score is obviously CGI

    by drompter

    I said.

  • Oct. 8, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    "Jar Jar Abrams, mind if I borrow that? I love it."<br><br>By all means, please do.<br><br>"Deep Impact is a bit of a guilty pleasure. It's still a better movie than that Michael Bay abomination though."<br><br>It's pretty easy to be a better movie to the worst movie ever made in the whole history of cinema, isn't it? Every movie stands to win compared to that horrible piece of shit. Still, as the say goes, two wrongs do not make a right. Deep impact is still a bad movie, no matter what. It's like a bloated TV movie made with more money and better special effect,s but with all the wrongs that can be found on a bad TV movie, specially the fucking melodrama. And teen marriage, man, teen marriage! Fuck's sake! And the science of Deep Impact is not much better then Armageddon. Well, a little bit better, but really, not by that much!<br><br>But if you want to get some good news stuff about Deep Impact , learn that in 1998, at the box offic,e it made more money then Armageddon. No, it didn't had bigger numbers, but the production of Deep Impact was much cheaper, half the budget of Armageddon, therefore by the end, and all counted in, it proved to be a bigger sucess for Dreamworks and Paramount then Armageddon was for Disney. How about that?

  • Oct. 9, 2009, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Not quite Asimov

    by DoctorWho?

    "John Williams owns half his career to Aaron Copland, Goldsmith to Debussy and claude Debussy. Prokofiev and Penderecki have had their stuff stolen from every movie score composer from around the world." Don't mischaracterize these guys as ripping off these late 19th/early 20th century composers. The reason everyone sounds like them is because they defined the modern orchestration and texture we hear today. Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, etc. They were the 'colorists'...everything we hear today (orchestrally speaking) flows from their contributions. <p> And in no way shape or form does any of our great film composers even hold a candle to those giants. John Williams can write a hell of a melody but he had greats like Herb Spenser orchestrating for him.

  • Oct. 9, 2009, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Horner seems like a nice chap, but his music is fucking boring

    by quantize


  • Oct. 9, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Hey Asimov, hows it going dude? I love some

    by southafricanguy

    of Horner's scores. Obviously Aliens, but his star trek work is awsome imho, and Braveheart is pretty damn good too. I agree that he has been quite uninspired for quite some time now (but then which major film composer the 70/80s is nt these days?), so Im really hoping he finds some inspiration and pulls off at least a good score for Avataar...

  • Oct. 9, 2009, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Hey cloudrider, waqman, kwis, ace etc....

    by southafricanguy

    yeah, its just getting boring now hearing the same dead horse flogging from the Avatar haters. I dont know why they insist on just repeating the same crap over and over. Yeesh, we get it, they hate Avatar, cool beans, nothing for you to see here then. Move along....

  • Oct. 11, 2009, 3 a.m. CST


    by The Mothman

    Thanks for the tips. And please, if you've come across great one-offs recently, shout them to the world. A shame you have to look so much harder for heart-quickening scores these days, but I'll give those recommendation a whirl. If they aren't to my taste, I guess there's still a lot to catch up on.

  • Feb. 16, 2010, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Ainadamar & Bloodshed

    by markth_wi

    I had a question, particularly to The Mothman - did you find there were certain - thematic similarities between Bear Mc Creary's work and that of Osvaldo Golijov, specifically in regard to the song "Bloodshed" vs. "Muerte a Caballo". There seemed to be some thematic commonality and I wanted to see if you felt similarly.

  • Feb. 17, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Bit late to the party are we?

    by orcus