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Richard Reed Parry (b.1977): Music for Heart and Breath / Nico Muhly; Bryce Dessner; Aaron Dessner

Album Summary

>Parry, Richard Reed : Quartet for Heart and Breath, for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet & trumpet
>Parry, Richard Reed : Heart and Breath Sextet, for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet & piano
>Parry, Richard Reed : For heart, breath and orchestra, for orchestra
>Parry, Richard Reed : Interruptions (Heart and Breath Nonet), for 2 guitars, double bass & ensemble
>Parry, Richard Reed : Duet for Heart and Breath, for viola & piano
>Parry, Richard Reed : Quartet for Heart and Breath, for string quartet
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Music for Heart and Breath is Richard Reed Parrys debut as classical composer who is mostly known from the Grammy Nominated Uber Indie Rock Band Arcade Fire.

Richard is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, drawing his influences from classical music, folk and electronica. This is his first core classical release that will find his home at Deutsche Grammophon!

The album features various compositions for Heart and Breath for various ensembles, as well as small interludes (Interruptions).

The concept behind Heart and Breath is that every musician involved in the piece generates his own tempo by listening to his/her pulse during the performance. Fragile and intimate, these stunningly created performance effects are the basis for this conceptual compositional approach.

The music is performed by an exciting line-up of musicians, produced by Bryce Dessner Nico Muhly (Conductor, celeste/piano), Bryce & Aaron Dessner (guitar) from The National, Kronos Quartet, the ensemble Ymusic.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Dreamland (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Dreamland (07/2012-11/2012); Mission Sound Recording (07/2012-11/2012); Dreamland (08/2012); Mission Sound Recording (08/2012).

Richard Reed Parry is one of the members of the monstrously successful Montreal rock band Arcade Fire. This said, try this album out on a friend without identifying the composer, and s/he will be unlikely to guess that it comes from any kind of rock-to-classical crossover background. Parry was not classically trained but had frequent exposure to classical music in his youth, and the music is notated and possessed of an economy and a structural orientation rare in a composer coming from the top echelons of the rock world. The title Music for Heart and Breath refers to the fact that the performers determine the tempo of the music by referring to their own heartbeats and breathing, not in a general way but wearing stethoscopes to put themselves in close touch with their own rhythms. The instrumental contributions are seen as elaborations of these basic beats. One is reminded of Moondog's recollection of the Arapaho music he heard as a youth: "the running beat, and alongside it the walking beat, which is also the universal heartbeat." The booklet makes the grandiose claim that Parry is "slowly creating a new paradigm." Moondog aside, the analogy of music with breathing or with heartbeats is hardly new, and Parry draws on minimalist composers from Steve Reich to Arvo Pärt. The pieces tend to sound similar to one another; the genius of Reich and Philip Glass is that, no matter how simple the music may be, each work remains distinctive. Still, Parry doesn't sound precisely like anyone else, either, and for an initial attempt this is pretty impressive. His textures are not continuous like those of most of the minimalists; the music is divided into short phrases that are like conversational utterances, and some of the textures -- hear the glissandi in the concerto-like "For Heart, Breath and Orchestra" (track three) -- are quite evocative. The whole thing succeeds as a sort of night music, and Parry's engineering team, sending the music rock-style among several different studios, gets superb results. ~ James Manheim

REVIEWS:

Paste (magazine) - "If not a new kind of classical music, it certainly pushes the realm to places not previously explored."



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Works Details

>Parry, Richard Reed : Quartet for Heart and Breath, for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet & trumpet
  • Ensemble: yMusic
  • Notes: Dreamland (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Dreamland (07/2012-11/2012); Mission Sound Recording (07/2012-11/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Parry, Richard Reed : Heart and Breath Sextet, for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet & piano
  • Performer: Nico Muhly (Piano)
  • Ensemble: yMusic
  • Notes: Dreamland (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Dreamland (07/2012-11/2012); Mission Sound Recording (07/2012-11/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Parry, Richard Reed : For heart, breath and orchestra, for orchestra
  • Performers: Hideaki Aomori (Clarinet); Caleb Burhans (Viola); Shawn Conley (Double Bass); Clarice Jensen (Cello); Amelia Lukas (Flute); Amelia Lukas (Piccolo); Nico Muhly (Piano); Yuki Numata (Violin); Courtney Orlando (Violin); Richard Parry (Double Bass); Richard Parry (Piano); Annaliesa Place (Violin); Arthur Sato (Oboe); Caroline Shaw (Violin); Sirota (Viola); Brian Snow (Cello)
  • Conductor: Nico Muhly
  • Notes: Dreamland (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Dreamland (07/2012-11/2012); Mission Sound Recording (07/2012-11/2012)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Parry, Richard Reed : Interruptions (Heart and Breath Nonet), for 2 guitars, double bass & ensemble
  • Performers: Aaron Dessner (Guitar); Bryce Dessner (Guitar); Richard Parry (Double Bass)
  • Ensemble: yMusic
  • Notes: Dreamland (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Dreamland (07/2012-11/2012); Mission Sound Recording (07/2012-11/2012)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Parry, Richard Reed : Duet for Heart and Breath, for viola & piano
  • Performers: Richard Parry (Piano); Sirota (Viola)
  • Notes: Dreamland (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Dreamland (07/2012-11/2012); Mission Sound Recording (07/2012-11/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Parry, Richard Reed : Quartet for Heart and Breath, for string quartet
  • Notes: Mission Sound Recording (01/2013); Mission Sound Recording (08/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music