If we had a way of communicating without being limited to the palette of the written word, I could explain what music means to me. I could show you if we had a way of sharing thoughts. Music is color, music is visual, music is emotion, music is sensation. It is not words. Its power is not easily explainable with the English language. There is almost nothing more important to me than music.
I grew up with music-loving parents. The classical station was usually playing throughout the day. We’d listen to opera at night. My parents had a vast collection of records: opera, classical, and film scores. We’d often listen to those records, and often we would just listen. And I mean listen. Not play games or cards, not read a book, but sitting and just listening. I still do this a lot. Music is best when you can devote your full attention to it. Just close your eyes and listen.
Our lives are so darned busy, overwhelmed with stuff that needs to be done. But we will always make time for what matters to us. Listening to music matters to me.
The first thing I do in the morning is start playing music. The last thing I do before I go to bed is usually turn it off. I don’t listen to it at work because I’m often on the phone, but if I’m on a project where I’m not going to be interrupted, then I’ve got music playing. The minute I go on break or lunch, I hit play on the iPod. If I’m writing, I’m listening to music. If I’m driving, I’m listening to music. If I’m not listening to music, I’m humming or whistling to music playing in my head.
Since 1982, since getting the score to Star Trek II, James Horner's music has been with me weekly, if not daily. And on days I choose to listen to something by another composer, his name still crosses my mind. That’s thirty-three years his music has been with me almost daily. There’s only two other people that get thought of daily and going back as long: my sister and Jerry Goldsmith, my other favorite film composer. This is one of the reasons James Horner’s death has hit me so hard. Why I still tear up if someone starts talking to me about him, or if certain pieces come on my iPod. His music has been a constant companion for most of my life. Through the ups and downs, through multiple novels, through moves, through trips, through friends. Thirty-three years this man and his music have accompanied me every single day. His music will continue to accompany me daily for the next thirty-three years... but there will no longer be any new scores to look forward to.