Colin Riley

Colin is a composer, curator and educator. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music Manchester, the University of York and Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is now a senior lecturer at Brunel University London. His work embraces disparate elements including technology, improvisation, song-writing and large-scale classical form and is difficult to categorize. He is published by Composers edition.

Much of his music is concerned with ideas around deeper listening and a connectedness to nature and place. In his new commission for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales Hearing Places he is developing a synthesis of field recording and slow-film footage with full orchestra. He also works in the context of wellbeing and mental health. His research project Made 2 Resonate attempted to make music that was ‘seen and felt as much as it was heard’.

Collaboration is a key component for Colin. He has worked across many other disciplines including with Michael Rosen (Nonsense and Centrally Heated Knickers), with Robert Macfarlane (In Place and Roads Shining Like River Up Hill After Rain) and with Dame Evelyn Glennie (Chelsea Flower Show Sonic Garden). He is a collaborator with the Catching a Wave international research group currently working on a sonic installation for COP23 and also a supporting artist of Music Declares an Emergency.

Colin is in demand as an educator, mentoring on the prestigious Adopt a Music Creator Scheme for the last twenty years guiding young and emerging composers. He has led numerous outreach projects for many of the orchestras, opera companies and music festivals in the UK. He also writes a regular online blog Riley Notes about composing, creativity and teaching.


Colin Riley on Vimeo.

Soundcloud: Squeaky Kate Music

Twitter: @colinjriley

A BLOG post from Colin: Natural Elements, Human Imprints

Other links:

Examples of work:

The Years Midnight:
Weather Words:
The making of Centrally Heated Knickers:
Songs of Coiled Light, Documentary:

Collaborating, Alderburgh, Suffolk
Teaching, Dartington, Devon
Field Recording, St David’s Head, Pembrokeshire

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