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IN-IS picks his top 7 TV and film soundtracks

You may not be familiar with the name Sheridan Tongue, but the odds are you’ve heard his music.

Fans of UK dramas such as Silent Witness, DCI Banks and Spooks will know how integral music is to the show; fuelling the intensity or drama, amplifying moments of sadness or joy and ultimately, turning TV into an immersive multi-sensory experience. Sheridan is the man behind the music, also composing for shows including Brian Cox’s Wonders Of The Solar System and Stephen Hawking’s’ Universe, utilising his ever-growing library of unique sounds and instruments to soundtrack some of the nation’s favourite programmes.

Now, after years of composing for film and TV, Sheridan is exploring a different side to his artistry, drawn out of a need to create a body of work which represents something more personal, something which is solely his own. Under the pseudonym IN-IS, he has created ‘Seven Days’, a blissful eight-track album that draws on his wide range of musical experiences, from orchestral and electronic to folk-influenced world music, inspired by the likes of Brian Eno and Kraftwerk, artists he grew up admiring.

Following the recent release of ‘Seven Days’, we got IN-IS to pick out seven of his favourite TV and film soundtracks, from Twin Peaks’ timeless score to the theme for Scorsese’s 1976 movie, Taxi Driver.

1. Michael Andrews – Waltz in the 4th Dimension
Donnie Darko (2001)

I love the sounds and electronic treatment in this soundtrack – it creates a beautiful weirdness in the soundtrack. This track features female voice with an electronic pulse and the sound of the upright piano is fantastic.

2. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Main Theme
The Revenant (2015)

I have always been a fan of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s work but in this soundtrack he really explores quite a dark ambient, sparse sound world mainly based on strings and electronic textures. There are no themes in the more traditional sense – more a series of block chords and soundscapes. It captures the desolation and brutality of the fur trappers’ world beautifully. Music can be so effective when used sparingly and I really admire this restrained but powerful score. It is also incredibly melancholic without ever being twee or simplistic.

3. Vangelis – Love Theme
Blade Runner (1992)

Another film where it’s hard to imagine any other soundtrack to this film. Even though the soundtrack is scored predominantly for synths there is a real emotion and human warmth in the music. Lovely haunting soundscapes that ebb and flow on the futuristic journey that director Ridley Scott brings us on in this sci-fi film.

4. Dave Porter – Three Days Out
Breaking Bad (2013)

One of the things that I love in soundtracks generally is how music can have the ability to suggest something very different and contradictory to a scene. In Breaking Bad the music is never conventional – often going against the scene or adding a contradictory element to a scene.

5. Bernard Herrmann – Main Theme
Taxi Driver (1976)

I can’t compile a list of my favourite film scores without mentioning Bernard Hermann and Taxi Driver. Nothing electronic in the score, just an incredibly evocative theme for alto saxophone, strings and brass that manages to sum up perfectly the feel and mood of New York in the 1970s and the world of taxi driver Travis. It is a very lonely and sad theme but full of lush chords and beautiful string orchestrations. I was recently given a copy of the musical score of this theme hand written by Bernard Hermann – stunningly simple on the page but so effective.

6. Cliff Martinez – Chang and Sword
Only God Forgives (2013)

There is not a lot of music in this film, but when it does come in it is incredibly powerful and robust. This theme ‘Chang and Sword’ is based around a very dark electronic motive and the scene could have been scored in many more conventional ways – but his music adds something to the scene that is not there.

7. Angelo Badalamenti – TV Series
Twin Peaks (1990)

The soundtrack to Twin peaks created such a strong haunting atmosphere for this TV series that it made a big impact on me at a young age. Generally a very understated score that slowly pulls the view into this slightly twisted world that is Twin Peaks. I was in Washington State recently where a lot of the series was filmed and even just driving though the countryside that soundtrack was playing in my head. I can’t imagine the series without any other soundtrack.

IN-IS’ ‘Seven Days’ is out October 28th on NW1 Records, order it here.