Aside from the new book announcement, Tolkien news has been pretty depressing these past few months with the deaths of Andrew Lesnie, Sir Christopher Lee and now James Horner.
Wait... What!? What does the composer of Titanic and Avatar have to do with Middle-earth?
Many fans don't know it, but James Horner was actually offered the job of composing the score for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. However, as he explained in a recent interview with Classical FM (which you can read in full here), he didn't feel like he could spend a year away in New Zealand after his daughter underwent surgery. Good thing too, for he could have had to stay for much longer as the man who did get the job, Howard Shore, spent several years in the Southern Hemisphere. While I immensely enjoy Shore's Middle-earth scores and would probably prefer them over what nearly anyone else would've produced for these stories, James Horner was a genius composer in his own right. After producing such well-loved scores as Titanic, Braveheart, The Mask of Zorro, and Avatar and earning multiple awards including several Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Grammys, his mark on modern cinema and film composing will be felt for decades.
My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues in these next few days after such stunning and terrible news. I pray he found the one and only true Straight Road through Jesus Christ before passing into the west.
Before I close, here's a personal favorite of mine from Horner's score to The Rocketeer.