A celebrated composer by trade, Sheridan Tongue has spent the last number of months developing something different. The result of this new direction is IN-IS and an album the sings to the beauty of collaboration while maintaining the undoubted cinematic quality of his work. 2068 features collaborations with a number of international artists, most notably Irish songwriter Ailbhe Reddy. Reddy’s ‘Daydream’ is a particularly highlight.
A BAFTA nominated composer, and recently nominated for his score on Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History, through 2068 he seeks to examine humanity in the future, set against often dark and considered musical notes.
We asked Sheridan Tongue for an insight into some of the musical influences that informed his sophomore album.
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
There are so many things that I love about this track but most of all is its scale and huge cinematic sound (along with the very controlled distortion on the bass!). There is also a real intimacy at the start that is so effective pulling you into their original sound world. The very strong repeating harmonic progression is compelling, and we are treated to a collage of unusual sounds and parts that are tastefully added as the song progresses. I love the distant flute…not even sure what that is.
Antony Partos – Animal Kingdom
As an artist who has spent my career composing music to film & television, I am naturally drawn to music that works well with moving images and Antony Partos is a film composer I really admire. This track ‘Animal Kingdom’ is the main theme from the film of the same name. It was shot in the fairly mundane world of Melbourne suburbs in Australia but somehow this captivating score manages to give the film weight and gravitas. The sounds in this track are simply beautiful. As Quincy Jones says ‘there are only 12 notes available’… what Antony Partos achieves with just these 12 notes is sublime.
Ailbhe Reddy – Nothing to Doubt
I really love the way Ailbhe Reddy sings the opening few lines of this song, so natural and effortless. I began to think how well her voice could sit in an electronic track if I was to write something for her when I first heard it. With Ailbhe’s unique voice in my mind I played ‘Nothing to Doubt’ numerous times before I reached out to her. This track certainly laid the groundwork for our recent release ‘Daydream (feat. Ailbhe Reddy)’ by IN-IS.
Cliff Martinez – Chang and Sword
I first came across this track while watching the film ‘Only God Forgives’ with the soundtrack by Cliff Martinez. I am drawn to film composers that started their careers as artists in their own right and early in his career Cliff Martinez was a drummer with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He has a masterly understanding of sound and I admire his leftfield approach to scoring, in particular his use of percussion. In this soundtrack Cliff used quite an electronic sound world that I totally love. The film is set in Bangkok but the soundtrack almost goes against the film and manages to create something very captivating. It is a little violent but worth watching to see how the pictures and music work incredibly well together. After the film finished I went back to the scene where this track appeared and watched it numerous times…it is just so clever!
Ryan Vail, Elma Orkestra, Moya Brennan – Colours
I have been a fan of Moya Brennan my whole life and when I heard this track on the Borders album I was blown away. Ryan Vail & Elma Orkestra have been able to fuse Moya’s delicate and very personal vocal performance with solid beats, beautiful piano and perfectly crafted soundscapes into something quite magical. I was lucky enough to see them perform this live in 2019 in Belfast at the Northern Ireland Music Prize Awards where they won the Best Album of 2019. So well deserved, I will never forget that evening. This track did not influence my 2068 album as it was written after I had finished 2068, but it persuaded me to ask Ryan Vail to do a remix of my track ‘Broken Ones (feat. Haula)’ on ‘2068’. And I am so glad I did!!
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
There are certain tracks which had a huge influence on me when they were released, they literally changed my life and this is one of them. When it came out in 1991, I had heard nothing like it before: the fusion of a large orchestral sound with beats. I wanted to enter the music industry to find out how to produce tracks like this. It features singer Shara Nelson and the strings are arranged by Wil Malone. I remember the video was also very distinctive: a single camera shot of Shara walking through a Los Angeles district, quite stunning.
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – In Motion
It’s hard to beat the pedigree of ‘Nine Inch Nails’ and ‘Bomb the Bass’, I have always admired these two artists. I love the simplicity of this piano melody from ‘In Motion’ contrasting with the developing and building synth parts composed for the soundtrack to the film ‘The Social Network’. This track proved to be incredibly influential and I can’t tell you how many times its been mentioned to me in meetings as a sound reference by directors and pictures editors. The pair quite rightly picked up the Oscar in 2010 for Best Original Soundtrack. ‘In Motion’ immediately speaks of technology and a sense of the world around it growing and expanding and I was keen to explore these issues when I began ‘2068’.
Alev Lenz – Fall into Me
It was in 2016 when I heard this track at the end of a Charlie Brooker ‘Dark Mirror’ episode. It was so beautiful and yet so dark. At that very moment I knew I wanted to work with Alev Lenz and when I began work on ‘2068’ two years later I reached out to her. Alev has somuch control over her voice using it almost like an instrument. While working together I discovered how much she likes to record various vocal parts, many of which are really subtle. But she is able to build up a wonderful soundscape of voices that never sound overly busy or over produced. I like to think that I do the same with my music. It was an incredible experience to work together on our track ‘Hope (feat. Alev Lenz)’.
Novo Amor & Ed Tullett – Alps
Ed Tullet is a very talented producer and multi-instrumentalist. I was lucky to be introduced to him by my publisher Sarah Liversedge when I was working on my first album Seven Days back in 2016. Ed produced a wonderful remix of my IN-IS track ‘Our Story’. I love the veryunderstated vocal performance and the rolling guitars. Simple and very effective, as the track develops it grows in scale and stature, but it is never overpowering.
Drake – The Motion
The production on this track is pure perfection. Every musical part in this piece has a very distinct role, there is no wastage…it is all so well considered. The distinctive bass line is a lesson in what you can achieve with syncopation. I really consider Drake to be a genius and musical ground breaker. ‘The Motion’ may have my favourite bass line of all time, with the possible exception of ‘We are Family’ by Sister Sledge!