Harriet Riley

Award: Fusion Fund

Year: 2020

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Percussion

Location: South West

Website: harrietrileymusic.com

Originally from Devon, Harriet grew up in a musical household and went on to study Orchestral Percussion at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She has experience in a range of genres from ethiopian-inspired jazz band Tezeta to orchestral playing with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, studying gamelan in Bali to hip-hop punk band United Kingdoms. Harriet performs regularly with Spindle Ensemble, a neoimpressionist quartet who play original contemporary music. Their debut album, entitled Bea, was pressed to vinyl and released November 2017, with two singles and music videos recently released from their forthcoming album. Harriet works in a number of dance and theatre projects playing solo percussion, most recently for children’s circus theatre company Can't Sit Still. Their show, Plink & Boo, toured the UK Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 as well performing at Bristol's Circus City 2019. Harriet also regularly performs with the Paraorchestra on their Richard Feynman-inspired dance collaboration called The Nature of Why as well as Minimalism changed my life: Tones Drones and Arpeggios and Anatomy of the Orchestra. She has toured extensively with Paraorchestra both nationally and internationally in prestigious venues such as the Southbank Centre, the Heath Ledger Theatre, Perth WA and The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. Harriet recently performed a specially commissioned percussion concerto, Heartbeat, by William Goodchild with Bristol Symphony Orchestra to a sold out audience at St George’s Bristol. She has recently started a large jazz ensemble, Little Umbrellas, which features all original material written by Harriet and will launch later this year. Harriet has been working freelance in Bristol since she graduated in 2014.
I am using this just post-lockdown time to create a short film with filmmaker with Tom Jacob and theatre and circus practitioner Maia Ayling. We are making a piece which reflects the lockdown period, the isolation many artists have felt without performing, and the impact that has. We will be working with film for the first time to get lots of up-close shots which the audience may never normally get to see and create a piece of music which is integrated with an aerial rope routine and spoken word.