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Arcade Fire Man Works With Kronos Quartet
The Quietus , September 5th, 2012 03:13

Multi-instrumentalist Richard Parry composes music for heartbeats, for Kronos Quartet

Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry has composed a series of pieces for renowned modern string quartet Kronos Quartet. Entitled Music For Heart & Breath, they use the performers' heartbeats as additional sonic material within the music, and will apparently be performed in the UK in the near future, he has revealed in an interview with Classic FM.

"Especially if the audience knows what they're hearing when they hear the pieces," he says of using the body's rhythms as musical material, "it really adds this ... different dimension of listening to the piece, where ... you find the audience paying attention to their own internal rhythms, their own breathing, their own heartbeats, and then trying to sort of match them to the performers onstage. Listening in the space between those two things happening, someone else broadcasting or amplifying or broadcasting musically their own internal, really quite rhythms, and as a listener trying to see where that interfaces with your own. That's just a completely different listening experience to what we're used to having."

In the interview, he also discusses his enthusiasm for working with Kronos Quartet on these pieces. "They're kind of the template for what is the modern string quartet in a lot of ways, where they just decided to drop the barriers and play anything they wanted to, that they thought was interesting music, which I think is the modern paradigm really. That kind of attitude has really permeated, musically and culturally."

The fact that Parry's day job is as member of one of Canada's most popular musical exports, he says, can make him "a bit nervous to take risks," because of the fact that as soon as anything's performed it's likely to find its way onto the internet. "But it's also really important to not let that possibility - of something doing a faceplant publicly - get in the way of trying the things you want to try and taking risks," he continues. "That line where things could fall on their face can be an exciting line, can be an exciting place for music to happen in."

You can listen to the full interview with Parry at the Classic FM site.