RWCMD graduate composes score for Collidron

Musician Harriet Riley has composed a new score for Wales’ new dance theatre company which makes its debut performance in Swansea this week.

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama graduate has composed a marimba percussion score for the dance which is called Collidron and choreographed by Phil Williams, the Artistic Director of the new company, Cascade Dance Theatre.

Collidron is described Phil as an elegant, pure and energised work for five international dancers and it will be performed at all 9 venues on Cascade’s inaugural tour, with the live percussive score performed on marimba by Harriet.

Harriet performing with dancer Faith Prendergast

Phil said, “With initial exploration of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which marks its centenary year in 2016. This new ensemble work will be a tour de force displaying an abundance of technique and skill.”

The tour opens at Swansea’s Taliesin Arts Centre on Thursday, November 3.

Harriet grew up in Devon where she attended a state school. “At the time an Arts funded school, KEVICC happened to have a fantastic percussion teacher, Kath Banks, and whilst I was learning drum kit the school bought a marimba. Because of my musical family and background in piano I took to it straight away. A few years on I applied to South West Music School which helped me get through to study percussion at RWCMD.

“Now, two years since graduating, I’ve been lucky enough to work collaboratively with Cascade Dance Theatre for their upcoming Welsh tour as a composer and performer. It’s an excellent job because of the creative freedom it gives me to work so closely with the visual performance. I was heavily involved with the Research and Development process and, as well as a solo percussion score, collaborating with Jak Poore to create a soundscape backing track to be played underneath the live music.

“I actually was put in touch with Phil Williams, the choreographer, through RWCMD’s Head of Composition John Hardy after he assessed me performing for my 4th year Contemporary Performance module in 2014. I’ve worked with Phil intermittently since then and we’ve developed a language in which to create the choreography and music so as to both compliment and accompany each other. We are setting off on tour this week to Swansea as our premier and we’ll be touring schools doing workshops as well as small theatres all around Wales in November.”

She added, “I have also been supported by Ty Cerdd as a composer for this project which is heavily affiliated with RWCMD, particularly through Peter Reynolds who was my tutor during my composition portfolio as a major part of my degree and sadly passed away at the beginning of October.”

Harriet also works in many other projects from Thimble Theatre, world-jazz band Tezeta, Contemporary folk ensemble Spindle Ensemble and work with current composers in New Music in the South West.

Cascade Dance Theatre’s Autumn tour visits the following venues: Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea (Nov 3rd) ; Blackwood Miners’ Institute (Nov 7th) ; Torch Theatre, Milford Haven (Nov 9th) ; Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan (Nov 11th) ; Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli (Nov 15th) ; Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Nov 18th) ; Wrexham Stiwt (Nov 22nd) ; Borough Theatre, Abergavenny (Nov 23rd) ; and Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd (Nov 25th).