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 Posted:   May 15, 2022 - 5:40 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I enjoyed the concert, and found the context given from having footage of Horner's wife and daughter particularly poignant. When they were talking about how he used to do those looping movements in the sky with his airplane, it kind of made me hear those long-lined, sometimes "circular" melodies he used, and reused, in a new light. I'm not making a big deal about this, it's just a connection I made.

I enjoyed Thor's post too, and what brought me here is kind of connected to what he mentions. I'd always found FOR GREATER GLORY to be a somewhat under-discussed score, and it's one which I think is really fabulous and beautiful. One thing that I'd always wondered about is the song performed by Clara Sanabras in the film (and in the recent concert) which appears on the CD as the first track "Entre La Luz y El Pecado"). I don't think I've ever seen a lyricist credited - it's certainly not on the CD - and I can't find (at least on a superficial search) any online lyrics, but I don't hear the words "Entre La Luz y El Pecado" anywhere in that track, although I admit that they may appear in an extended version of the song - if there is one - on the CD, and that I've simply forgotten.

Of limited interest, I know, but this is what I hear in the first track of the CD (I won't post all the lyrics, just the first part - followed by my translation) -

Entre el cielo y la tierra
Entre la luz y la oscuridad
Entre la fe y el pecado
Sólo (solo) se encuentra mi corazón

Between the sky and the Earth (OR "Between Heaven and Earth", more probably)
Between light and darkness
Between faith and sin
Only my heart is found (OR My lonely heart is found, depending on if she's singing "sólo" or "solo").

Whatever, I don't think that anyone ever sings the name of the track itself, which is a bit strange. Unless I'm wrong, which is very possible. But no lyricist credited anywhere? That IS strange. Perhaps it's a traditional song? Possible. Either way I shall remain in nincompoop-nutmegland forever.

So here's where you can all wake up and pay attention. In the following link to The Guardian, you can read Clara Sanabras talking about Norway's Stavanger Konserthus in May 2015, her meetings with James Horner, and her reflections on his tragic death.

 Posted:   May 15, 2022 - 7:41 AM   
 By:   jb-martin   (Member)

I don't think I've ever seen a lyricist credited.

I interviewed Clara in 2012 for the album release. Here is her answer.

But did James Horner give you specific directions, before recording or while you were working? What feelings and emotions did he ask you to convey with your voice?

While listening to the song, he confided he had written a short poem, which someone had translated into Spanish. The poem went “Between the Sky and the Earth, between light and dark, between Faith and Sin, there's only my heart; just God and my heart”. He then suggested I should create my own interpretation from these words. At first, he asked me to sing with a lot of air in my voice, a lot of breathing. Then he whispered to me “Sing this the way you would sing it”. I ended up singing without having to think at all, as if it had been written for me.


 Posted:   May 16, 2022 - 2:49 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Thanks for that link, jb. The whole thing is interesting and gives me more of an insight into Horner's personality. It's strange, but in your link, and in the one to The Guardian which I posted, the composer comes across as very unlike the "difficult to communicate" image that I've been getting of him. Quite the opposite. I really know very little about James Horner.

About FOR GREATER GLORY, and the interview with Clara Sanabras - so it was Horner himself who wrote those lyrics in poem form, had them translated into Spanish, and then asked Clara to sing them in her own way? That's fascinating. I love her voice on FOR GREATER GLORY. It's absolutely right, with that very plaintive vocal inflection, very folk-like, very "Hispanic" if you will. I don't think her voice fits the TITANIC song nearly as well, but that's not a score I ever really liked, in fact I actively (well, passively) dislike the song especially.

One of the good things about not knowing much about James Horner, or having many of his scores, is that I'm always learning. I was very struck by the full soundtrack to FOR GREATER GLORY. Then I read some lukewarm online reviews, saying that it was just another reworking of his themes for... followed by a list of scores I've never heard.

 Posted:   May 16, 2022 - 3:35 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

You've made me cue up FOR GREATER GLORY, Graham, to give it another listen.
At the time, I remember thinking exactly what you said. That it is a powerful, anguished score of great beauty, while also being a call back to many other Horner scores I already had.
That was his gift...That was his curse.
If you're a fan, the new take quickly becomes part of the overall fabric of his works and style.
If you're take to these very pages, with torches lit, to hoist him once more atop the fire along with Frankenstein.
Initially, it can be VERY distracting when a theme pops up that you're mentally file flicking, trying to remember where you heard it before.
But there was still always another NEW theme or two, or a motif on offer to add to the Horner library of greatness.
I've heard people say similar things about John Barry and John Williams and Leonard Rosenman ("Oh, they ALL sound the same"), but those people - to me - are missing out on some of the most glorious music ever composed for film.

 Posted:   May 16, 2022 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   c8   (Member)

the composer comes across as very unlike the "difficult to communicate" image that I've been getting of him. Quite the opposite. I really know very little about James Horner.

I hope this is instructive on neurodiversity. Horner was pretty obviously high functioning on the autism spectrum. Difficult to communicate isn't just words, its emotions and how you say what you say. The para-language. And most people thrive when you're asking them about themselves. Who doesn't enjoy that and who isn't put into a good mood by that?

Were you around for the colossal uproar after his interview with Daniel Schweiger where he laid on pretty thick criticism of Yared's score to Troy? I didn't disagree with him one iota, but his comments to a great many people came off as aloof and rude toward Yared especially when Yared was already down (his handling of Troy essentially ended his Hollywood career). He dismissed Yared as a composer (English Patient was just a reworking of Bach) when 1) Horner himself was obviously very schooled in the classics and 2) he didn't even acknowledge the complexity of what Yared wrote. I 100% concurred Yared's score was inappropriate for the movie and wasn't offended by Horner's comments but when you're dealing with a lot of politics and hotheads, you sort of have to walk on broken glass.

I have worked with neurodiverse populations (and quite possibly am neurodiverse myself) in the past and this isn't terribly uncommon with people with Asperger's in particular. Just can't wrap their heads around why people might get angry at something that is said (using anger as the emotion in this context but switch the word as you please). And it has to be stated in very black and white terms the meaning of their words and the impact. I can't tell you the number of times I've been told something I said had a negative emotional impact and someone has to spell it out for me as to why (which of course makes the situation worse since the other person, often my partner is already hot and get hotter with the "why can't you understand why this made me angry...just accept that it did" while I'm trying to learn what it was so I don't do it again). Very much a calm "what did I do wrong?!" when someone else is like "isn't it obvious?"

I've heard many times about myself: "you love him once you get to know him." The barrier is getting to know me. But because I thrive on a few close relationships as opposed to many acquaintances, its a badge of honor for me to hear that because I know then that's when I've made a connection. I can't say whether or not Horner was the same way, but the way I've heard him talked about after his death, I have to think its the case.

 Posted:   May 16, 2022 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

You're right, c8. I didn't express myself well at all. Of course Horner's "problems with communication" didn't stop him from being charming and generous and all the other nice things professional people have said about him. I didn't know about the Gabriel Yared uproar but it makes sense in the context you've given it.

As Horner's own daughter said, "He could be hard work. But it was worth it".

 Posted:   May 17, 2022 - 8:27 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

This concert - and those wife & daughter segments - has really opened up a whole new topic around James Horner to me.
It could be subtitled 'James Horner and Autism'.
We'll never know the depth of it, only his loved ones SHOULD really know the innermost aspects of it, but it's clear he was so devoted to his family and kids.
It's fascinating, now, that he would seek out films about parents and their children/daughters, and the bonds they shared and could be broken/mended (To Gillian...,The Forgotten, Flightplan, Southpaw...which he even did for free fantasy films like Casper and Spiderwick Chronicles).
He even combined that WITH autism in House Of Cards.

 Posted:   May 17, 2022 - 9:43 AM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

Autism is a very broad diagnosis these days, rather than the 'Autistic Savant' label of the past (think Dustin Hoffman in 'Rain Man').

It encompasses much more mild symptoms, often labelled as 'Aspergers', but even that can't cover the really subtle end of the 'autistic spectrum' that branches out into the general population of introverted people. There is a likelihood that many more than the oft-quoted 1% of the population have a very subtle condition.

However, while it's certainly not something that entirely stops participation in general society, it can get in the way of some general work and social situations. It's not good for customer service or people management, or for parties or similar general social get-togethers, and can present problems when trying to access public services, where the staff don't understand the subtleties of the condition.

How do I know these things? I've been 'suffering' them for the last 52 years, and will continue to do so to my passing. Before my diagnosis back in early 2017, I'd known something wasn't right from day one, when school just didn't work for me. I've been fine when I have had a job that allows me to focus on practical things, but failed miserably when working with people is needed.

There is circumstantial evidence of subtle autistic conditions in many figures from the past, particularly in the fields of science and arts. It should not be a surprise, then, that Horner might have had a subtle autistic condition.

It should also not be a surprise of how his wife and daughter felt about him, as our value to those closest to us isn't in 'shallow' social small talk, but in the depth and honesty of how we see life.

 Posted:   May 17, 2022 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   c8   (Member)

And one thing I omitted is that neurodiversity is like any makes our humanity that much more special because peoples' uniqueness and talents come in different and varied forms. It makes life a rich tapestry.

I'm glad this conversation is starting and is hopefully a place of learning and understanding smile

 Posted:   May 18, 2022 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   iain k   (Member)

This was a beautifully done concert and fantastic accomplishment.

Congrats to all involved.

It was wonderful to hear Spectral Shimmers - it has moments I imagined it might, and others very unexpected. I'm sure it infuriated any contemporaneous academics and perhaps, thankfully, hastened Horner's entry into the industry!

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