Two-time Oscar-winning film composer James Horner died Monday after a plane he was piloting crashed in California.
The 61-year-old artist is perhaps best known for his Titanic score, which sold more than 27 million copies, netted him Oscars for original dramatic score and best theme song, and was one of three movies he worked on with director James Cameron. He received Oscar nominations for the other two, as well: Aliens and Avatar. The pair were reportedly working on more Avatar films.
Over his nearly four-decade career, he amassed 10 Academy Award nominations.
With more than 250 soundtrack and composer credits to his name, it’s nearly impossible not to have heard Horner’s music. Other notable credits include Braveheart, Field of Dreams, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, The Karate Kid, A Perfect Storm, and even the theme music for the CBS Evening News when it debuted Katie Couric as anchor.
Horner best summed up his methodology and work himself in this Los Angeles Times interview:
“My job… is to make sure at every turn of the film it’s something the audience can feel with their heart. When we lose a character, when somebody wins, when somebody loses, when someone disappears—at all times I’m keeping track, constantly, of what the heart is supposed to be feeling. That is my primary role. I have to color all the rest, and be on top of all the details and part of all the action and paint everything with my weird colors and weird orchestra and all that, but my primary job is knowing what the heart is feeling.”
We’ve compiled a collection of our favorite scores below to add some magic and feeling to your day.