And now a few thoughts from percussionist Brian Kilgore about James Horner, Mighty Joe Young and expensive chairs ...

"In the 80’s I was doing a lot of records, jingles, TV shows and stuff.  I had been trying to break into film for a long time and it just seemed like it wasn’t happening, so I finally said to my wife, lets move to Thousand Oaks, cause I’m happy doing records and jingles.  You can have a great life doing that and raise our kids out there.  While we were in escrow with that house I get the call to do Mighty Joe Young with James Horner, which was like a week or two of triple sessions of just me and two other percussionists doing all the percussion.  Sandy DeCrescent contracted Mighty Joe Young.  The reason I got that call was Mike Fisher, who was James Horner’s main hand percussionist guy, recommended me as the guy to fill out the three person team.  Mighty Joe Young really featured percussion, in fact I’ve heard percussion sounds from that score in some of Horner’s later scores.  For example, we had these 8-foot cedar poles and we were slamming them together.  I definitely heard that sound come up in Avatar and a few others.  If a composer likes a sound they will use it for later use.  That film was a turning point for me, from that point on films were the bulk of my work.  Up until that point I had done so many different types of gigs.  I had been in Brazilian bands and had done a lot of salsa, so I played timbales.  I think it’s fortuitous that I didn’t crack the nut earlier because what had happened was I was able to do all these different kinds of gigs and build up this skill set, which would have been much harder to do if I was doing sessions.  I had also toured with Teena Marie and done a lot of records, lots of R&B, funk, rock’n’roll and orchestral stuff.  This reminds me how much Horner loved the sound of drumsticks on very expensive fiberglass Herman Miller chairs.  He bought a set of six or maybe eight chairs that he kept at Todd-AO.  They would say, “these are expensive chairs!” But he loved the sound of drumsticks or timbale sticks I think were his favorite on these expensive designer chairs that no other chair would make the same sound for him.   These chairs were like $800 a piece or something like that.  That would be written into our part.  In the percussion overdub sessions where we would pre-lay percussion stuff before a score is recorded with the orchestra, we would stack stuff like that.  For instance, on Mighty Joe Young we had three big taiko and all this African stuff, log drum, ethnic stuff and we would layer multiple passes of percussion on those days.  The Herman Miller chairs I definitely remember them on The Missing.  I think they were on Troy as well and might have been on Mighty Joe Young.  I can’t remember the exact first time we used them.  In Horner’s sessions the percussion was all recorded usually in the same session."