James Horner, film composer, has been reported killed during a plane crash. Odds are, you’ve heard his work at some point over the years: Avatar, Titanic, Braveheart are three of his most notable works, but he’s had steady credits since the late 1970s. Actually, looking at his list of credits [follow the above link] is impressive… I didn’t realize just how much of his music I had head over the years: Star Trek 2 & 3, Willow, Cocoon (1& 2), Commando, Aliens, Glory. Field of Dreams – and that’s just a handful that I could list from my youth. Mind, all of those were from before I was into music to the point of seeking out film scores and being able to identify the composer’s other projects.
As a (prose) writer, my process has evolved, but one thing that I tinkered with before, but become a regular fixture while working on my MFA thesis, is using film scores as background music while slinging ink across a page, or while keying in revisions. The Avatar score was a huge part of that listening. I’m sure more of his music will find it’s way into what I listen to while writing, I’m just sad there won’t be any more*.
* There are three more films due out this year that he composed for... It seems he was also working on the Avatar sequels, but it's too early to know if anything has been written for them.