Sheridan Tongue has always written music for others. In the course of writing music for film, TV and adverts he has earned himself a number of plaudits, not least a BAFTA nomination for Best Original Music on the acclaimed BBC drama Spooks. His work with Robert Plant, Blur and Beverley Knight – among many others – has given him pop sensibilities to go with his prowess as an arranger and orchestrator.
Seven Days has a personal story, though the listener is invited to discover it for themselves. On his blog Tongue indicates how it hit him during the recording session that he was finally making music for himself.
What’s the music like?
Extremely well crafted, and shot through with deep feeling. Tongue’s writing for strings produces some beautiful sounds and chords, but crucially he has the melodies to go with them too.
Scarlette In Love is a good example, with its richly toned cello solo, sounding more than a little like an ITV drama theme – Broadchurch, perhaps, while the opening title track is brilliantly constructed, working a memorable and subtly powerful loop to mesmeric effect with resonant violins. The closing Chorale Wo Soll Ich Fliehen Hin is an eerie update of Bach to muted string orchestra, extending its cold and icy tendrils around a melancholy line for violas.
The mood of Seven Days is essentially one of contemplation, but Tongue adds the light and shade of personal experience to create something much more meaningful.
Does it all work?
Yes. The voice of experience works well here, and although Seven Days is a relatively short listen it is a beautifully written and executed piece of work.
Is it recommended?
Yes. There are a lot of composers writing in this form, which reflects just how popular music for small orchestra or strings can be, with or without classical influences. Seven Days falls squarely between the two forms, and Sheridan Tongue’s craft, application and melodic gifts ensure he is up there with the best writers in his field.
Listen on Spotify