Sheridan always could get music out of a stone . . .

In the High Flyer spotlight this week is Belfast-born composer Sheridan Tongue, who is internationally renowned for composing the soundtracks for some of TV’s best loved dramas and documentaries including Silent Witness and the recent BBC Spotlight on the Troubles documentary series.

What was your first job?

As a teenager, my first job was paper boy at Musgrave Park Hospital. I entered each ward shouting ‘Tele’ and tried to sell as many papers as possible.

What qualifications do you have?

Maths, physics and music A-levels from the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, then a music and sound recording (Tonmeister) degree from Surrey University.

What do you attribute your success to?

A passion for music, my grandmother Mona, who always said ‘I could get music out of a stone’, my parents (Alan & Maddy), who never said to me ‘get a real job?’ and my wife Pam, who is my rock and keeps my creative mind focused and my feet firmly on the ground.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

Relaxed, positive and enthusiastic who enjoys a good flat white mid-morning.

Who do you look up to in business?

Successful artists in the music business who give something back to the community and help nurture young talent: Gary Lightbody and his commitment to the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

I have a fantastic team and I try to give them ownership of the work they do for me, so that they are also building up their credentials.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

The creative industries have enjoyed a period of major growth due to the tremendous work by NI Screen attracting major productions here putting Northern Ireland on the global stage. But it’s great to see the Assembly finally back up and running to make the much-needed decisions necessary to support the continued growth of the creative sector here.

What website or app could you not do without?


What was the last book you read?

Trouble Songs by Stuart Bailie – it’s a powerful and emotive read.

What car do you drive?

Volvo XC90, but if I can I will use a bicycle.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

While I’m best known for composing soundtracks, my latest project is more personal. I’m finishing a new album under my moniker IN-IS featuring singers from around the world. I’m hoping to perform live in Belfast later this year.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

Holidays in Donegal. Just before I was born my parents bought a cottage with no electricity or mains water up a mountain near Killybegs. Spending time there still nourishes my soul and we still get our water from a stream.