Ulster Orchestra to perform soundtrack from Troubles TV series

Belfast-born composer Sheridan Tongue, who composed the soundtrack for the series Spotlight On The Troubles: A Secret History, in the studio
Belfast-born composer Sheridan Tongue, who composed the soundtrack for the series Spotlight On The Troubles: A Secret History, in the studio
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A unique orchestral version of the soundtrack for landmark BBC documentary series Spotlight On The Troubles will be performed by the Ulster Orchestra next week.

The musical backing for the programme, which re-examines some of the key moments during the conflict, came from Belfast-born composer Sheridan Tongue.

The Ulster Orchestra in performance

The Ulster Orchestra in performance

The live performance in the Ulster Hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm is part of a special BBC Invitation Concert of music and readings entitled ‘Yearning for the Light’ to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle.

Sheridan said: “I feel very privileged that the Ulster Orchestra will perform extracts of my Troubles soundtrack as part of this special concert to reflect the events and legacies of Northern Ireland’s past.

“Working on this special orchestral arrangement brought back wonderful memories of when I last performed at the Ulster Hall myself back in 1985 as a member of the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra and City of Belfast School of Music.

“As a teenager growing up in Belfast, attending Ulster Orchestra concerts were a major part of my life, feeding my soul with their music, so I’m really looking forward to hearing the Ulster Orchestra perform my work next week.”

Yearning for the Light will explore themes of conflict, loss, remembrance and hope. It has been developed around music that was commissioned for recent BBC television programmes about the Troubles, including Lost Lives, produced by DoubleBand Films, and Sheridan Tongue’s soundtrack for Spotlight On The Troubles: A Secret History.

It will also include a selection of pieces by local writers and music that explores/depicts conflict and its effects more generally and it will conclude a new BBC music commission from Neil Martin, Richard Hill, Mark Gordon and Charlie Graham that looks to hope for a more peaceful future at home and around the world.

The Ulster Orchestra will be conducted by David Brophy. Readings will be by well-known actors Michelle Fairley, Stuart Graham, Ali White and Ian McElhinney and the concert will be presented by John Toal.

BBC NI said: “Our concert will be meditative in tone and will reflect the human cost, dislocation and legacies of violent conflict.

“It will explore aspects of our recent past, but also the experiences of people in other times and places and how these have been represented in the work of composers, poets and writers.

“Some of the readings that we’ve selected are about issues and experiences which some people may find upsetting. But they will be accompanied by other pieces that acknowledge the possibility of new relationships and renewal.”