Colin Riley

Colin’s music crosses many boundaries and draws on a range of elements including new technologies, song-writing and large-scale classical form. He’s at home creating small delicate piano pieces and intimate electronica as well as monumental and epic orchestra works.

He has always remained independent, forming his own ensembles and record label as well as gaining the respect of national and international organisations. Colin’s music has been played on Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, and he frequently collaborates with artists from other artforms.

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Patrons can expect access to unreleased tracks and remixes, blogs and special fly-on-the-wall features involving Colin’s work and creative process, as well as being invited to connect directly through chats and regular updates.

Music Patron has the potential to shake things up. The way people listen is changing, and we need to explore new ways to connect and create.

Supporting a composer on Music Patron gives you a first-hand perspective on the many elements within the creative process and an understanding of the authentic journey of a composer. You can learn more about what it’s like to be a patron here.


His albums include Shenanigans (NMC) and In Place (Squeaky Kate). Other works include Warp and Weft a concerto for 2 cellos (Gabriella Swallow / Guy Johnston), Rock Paper Scissors (Ensemble Bash), Stream-Shine (Philippa Mo) and Earth Voices (Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden). Hearing Places, his large-scale multi-media piece was premiered earlier this year by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to excellent reviews. The Daily Telegraphy described it as “witty, inventive music of ear-tickling inventiveness”.

Recent projects include the music for a new film Coma 2020 by Michael Rosen, a sound installation for the Cutty Sark and a piece for electronic tabla Quiet Flower for Kuljit Bhamra MBE. Colin is developing a multi-media project Ludic Inventions for piano and live visuals, a new string quartet for the RIOT Ensemble harnessing AI and the song of the blackbird, as well as a new album for Melanie Pappenheim.

Colin creates work for his own two groups, the Homemade Orchestra and MooV where he is composer and performer/director. Moov’s last album Here was described as “utterly unclassifiable” (London Jazz Blog), and “criminally underexposed” (Jazz UK).

Colin’s work has been performed by many of the UK’s leading musicians and has collaborated with diverse artists including an album with drummer Bill Bruford, Skin and Wire and two theatre projects Nonsense and Centrally Heated Knickers with the poet Michael Rosen.

Colin wanted to be a composer since the age of seven. Lucky enough to learn the cello at his local comprehensive school, he went on to further study in the sixth form at Chethams School of Music and then the University of York. He is largely self-taught as a composer, developing his craft from piece to piece. He has played in bands, orchestras, run festivals, championed a whole range of new music, runs a record label, writes a regular blog (de-mystifying the act of composition), and has spent many years teaching composition. His music is published by Composers Edition.

Listen The Years Midnight | Colin Riley

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Recent updates from Colin

🔒 Water Songs – an audio commentary

An audio commentary about one of my pieces for orchestra ‘Water Songs’

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