James Horner's Avatar Score Promises to Be 'Hugely Cinematic'

October 7, 2009

James Horner - Avatar

I normally don't talk about movie scores before a movie comes out, but today I'm making an exception because it's Avatar, and I love James Cameron. MovieScore Magazine recently did an interview with Mike Knobloch, the executive VP of Fox Music, talking about composer James Horner (known for his work on movies like Braveheart, Apollo 13, Titanic) and his score for Avatar. While this could've been just another interview, Knobloch went all out, saying that the score he's working on will be "epic" and "hugely cinematic." Anyone else getting chills just thinking about it? Okay, sure that was cheesy, but I love great movie scores!

"Horner is doing a brilliant job of creating music that transports us to another world, but supports the film using the traditional orchestral conventions to make a sound that’s hugely cinematic," Knobloch explained. He also goes on to says that Horner's score is "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." Sounds wonderful already and I haven't heard much of it. I've heard bits and pieces during the clips at Avatar Day and Comic-Con and on the official website, but that's it.

In terms of how much music Horner is producing, Knobloch says, "the film will run the better part of three hours and there will likely be nearly as much score." He also reveals that "the music also features vocalists singing in the film's Na'vi language." Horner has been working on the Avatar score for "more than a year and was doing pre-records and working on ideas with Cameron already back in June 2008." From my interview with James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer last year, they started working on The Dark Knight score before Chris Nolan had started shooting, and that turned out amazing. I'm hoping for the same here.

I'm sure we'll be hearing more and more of Horner's score as we reach the December 18th release date. If you want a small taste, head over to YouTube, as the piece of music from the official website has since been removed. If you can't tell, I'm as big of a movie score nut as I am a fan of movies in general. Head over to MovieScore Magazine to read more from Knobloch. And stay tuned right here for more updates on Avatar!

Find more posts: Editorial, Hype



This is going to be EPIC...

m4st4 on Oct 8, 2009



3D here to stay on Oct 8, 2009


Alex, you do know that the music in the footage from Avatar-day was indeed James Horner, but NOT from Avatar. It was from Apocalypto. And the trailer, I doubt that's original music either.

Branden on Oct 8, 2009


this cannot fail it's james cameron ffs

qweqwu on Oct 8, 2009


Just stop it. Seriously there is no way Avatar can meet the level of hype movie sites are giving this. I mean hyping the score, really???

shadow on Oct 8, 2009


...Epic...Fuck you No. Two!!!

m4st4 on Oct 8, 2009


This is news? Really?

SlashBeast on Oct 8, 2009


its going to be hilarious if the movie fails. LETS SEE HOW EPIC THIS IS TO ALEX!

LC on Oct 8, 2009


This is actually really important everyone and yes it is news. The score of a film is meant to heighten the experience of what you are seeing on screen. Think of watching star wars without John Williams' score. It would be a whole different experience and I would even go as far as to say you wouldn't feel the same level of emotion you do towards a scene without the music. To be honest with you I think some films (the Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars films to name a few) owe a lot of their success to brilliant score writers and that they never would have done as well without their musical portions. One thing I will point out though Alex is that you forgot to mention Aliens among the movies James Horner has scored. I think Aliens really showcases just how talented he is by incorporating a variety of different styles and I'm glad to hear thats what he will be doing with the Avatar score. I'm personally really excited to hear what he has to offer. Anyways James Cameron and James Horner make a great team and I'm glad to hear both are giving their all to this project. I can't wait until December 18th.

Alex T. on Oct 8, 2009


#4 - you clearly know nothing about film scores. Ever notice how practically every great film also has a great score? Music is absolutely critical. As George Lucas put it, sound is 50% the movie going experience. Why do you think the great directors align themselves with the great composers such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, etc? It's hard to find examples of great movies that didn't have equally amazing music. Shelve your ignorance and stop hating on Avatar.

Geoff on Oct 8, 2009


2 examples of how great a difference a slightly less self important soundtrack can make, toward making an otherwise self-righteous film entirely more enjoyable. I give you, the 2012 we'd all RATHER see (in 2 versions): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW2qxFkcLM0 AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJa6FEYl84w p.s. @Geoff #7: "Shelve your ignorance and stop hating on Avatar." - has GOT to be the single best quote of the "Leave James Cameron A-LOONNE!!!" threads I've encountered yet. You guys are passionate. Certifiably so.

Django on Oct 8, 2009


#7 - No this isn't news... It's an editorial piece, looking at the score in advance, talking about it. It's not labeled as "movie news" so I wouldn't call it that. We have different kind of articles on FS, some are news, some are not, some are editorials, some are hype, some are reviews. There's everything! 🙂 #10 is dead on with his response. This isn't about the movie anymore as much as it is about James Horner's score and building hype for that... It's a great interview and it gets me more excited and I'm glad the few people who also care about the music/score as much as I do got to read this.

Alex Billington on Oct 8, 2009


#2 the name 3D Here To Stay shouldn't you be happy the fims is supposed to catapult 3D (Fingers crossed that it dosen't) into the new era. EPIC NAME FAIL!

Xerxex on Oct 8, 2009


It's building hype for Avatar, stop trying to wind around it Alex. Ugh...how dull. LOTR? Seriously? I can't recall the music in that what-so-ever and I own all three. Fun to fast forward through and watch the battles but I've never paid as much attention to it as Star Wars. In fact, I cannot recall the last time I thought a score was epic and I seriously doubt this one will be anything spectacular. Stick to the hyping of the stupid movie, but scores? Seriously? At least this footage of the movie now to go with what you're saying but music? Please...

Tra la la la la di da on Oct 8, 2009


@14 You's got to be trollin'

Digital Metaphor on Oct 8, 2009


Hope it actually sounds epic and not cheesy trying to be epic

Sgt. Pepper on Oct 8, 2009


#14 Stop trolling.

Governor on Oct 8, 2009


#14 Tra la la la la di da, you should clone yourself while you're still alive...............so you can go fuck yourself

Alex T. on Oct 8, 2009


See Twitter reactions from the Adobe Max Avatar 20 minutes preview at Imdb. Here is the link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/board/thread/149094646 .Just excited to see the movie in december 18.Have a lot of faith on James Cameron as he is starting to deliver.This is for those of you who dont' understand what 3d is and watched it on their PC sitting home and not at 3d theatre.Bad luck for you guys who don't like avatar you opinions won't be counted either.As for the score James Horner should be good because given a lot of good scores for Cameron's movies like Aliens and Titanic.

nick on Oct 8, 2009


@ alex--------very true. i just saw lotr again for the 5th time just to experience the music again

NEO on Oct 9, 2009


#14, WTF are you talking about? i think you're the only person who thinks LotR music wasn't any good. and WTF again..............."fun to fast-forward through and watch the battles"??????you ARE NOT a movie fan. i think you're on the wrong site. as far as the avatar score. if horner is going to be talking it up........it better be good.

beavis on Oct 9, 2009


James Horner is a fantastic composer. Can't wait to here the soundtrack.

Moe on Oct 9, 2009


John Williams movies (Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indy) Back to the future and the LOTR Sound tracks are memorable. Outside of the "Terminator beat", I cant think of really any Cameron flick with memorable theme music... Except titanic (because of celine). This composer's other flicks themes dont jump out at me. That in essence could be a testament to Cameron as he doent need epic music to carry his films. I'll say it this way: if 'Duel of the fates' can make the last 20 mins of the Phantom Menace enjoyable, I'm willing to give this a try.

wHiskey Tango... on Oct 9, 2009


Back From The Future was composed by Alan Silvestri, not Williams. I hope this movie going to be amazing and Horner can recover from his temp track situation. And LOTR is the only soundtrack trilogy side by side with the Star Wars musical saga.

Yony on Oct 11, 2009


This is REALLY news?

SlashBeast on Oct 13, 2009


Terminat beat is not alone. if you'll check, Horner did soundtracks for movie, Enemy of the gate, there is some elements of melody from there.

Efim on Feb 2, 2010


Terminator beat is not alone. if you'll check, Horner did soundtracks for movie, Enemy of the gate, there is some elements of melody from there.

Efim on Feb 2, 2010

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