For over 30 years, Audrey Riley has recorded for artists and producers as part of a session string quartet.

Formed in 1985, this quartet cut its teeth within the independent and rock music scene of the 1980’s and 1990’s. In its early years, the quartet routinely recorded with 4AD and Rough Trade artists, such as iconic Australian indie band The Go-Betweens.

Consisting of Chris Tombling (violin), Sue Dench (viola), Leo Payne (violin) and Audrey Riley ('cello), the outfit continues to work with small, independent projects and has collaborated with scores of major–label acts, including Coldplay, Blur, Jessie J, The Cure, Nick Cave, Muse, New Order, Feeder, Moloko, and Birdy.

The Orchestra

When a recording's orchestration demands additional instrumentation, Audrey can call upon up to 40 musicians for a studio recording.

She has contributed orchestral arrangements and recordings to many hit albums across her career, including Coldplay’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002) and X&Y (2005), and Foo Fighters' Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007).

Audrey has led orchestras on four albums for Muse including The Resistance (2009). Her arrangements have featured on numerous Grammy award–winning singles.

Chris Tombling, Sue Dench, and Leo Payne, from Audrey's quartet, often lead each section of additional musicians. "These are not ordinary session players, but colleagues and friends I have known and worked with in many different capacities over years," she explains.

"The orchestra is a cross–section of players from all the major orchestras, chamber ensembles, quartets, theatre orchestras, contemporary music groups in London and beyond."

Due to the calibre of musicianship, and familiarity between the musicians, these sessions are efficient and friendly. Knowing each of her musicians benefits Audrey's work as an arranger.

"We are keen to make sure the recordings are the best they can possibly be," she remarks. "If time is short, each player has the studio experience to understand exactly what needs to be done: to do the job quickly and well."