Richard Reed Parry: Music for Heart and Breath (Deutsche Grammophon) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Richard Reed Parry

Music for Heart and Breath

Deutsche Grammophon

Sep 08, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


You may or may not know Richard Reed Parry as the lean, pointed gentleman who yelps things from behind a double bass in Arcade Fire. Travelling the globe with his orchestral-rock cohorts and whipping up stadium-sized audiences into a communal, riotous frenzy has been Parry's bread-and-butter for 10 years now. But if "community" and a sense of "togetherness" are the hallmarks of his day job, then Heart and Breath represents a chance to get away from that altogether.

In fact, these placid, glistening chamber compositions purposely disrupt any sense of musical unionplayers are equipped with stethoscopes and instructed to play the material at the pace of their own bodily organs. It's a wonder the whole experiment doesn't take a dramatic turn for the chaotic (Gavin Bryars' raucous 1-2-3-4, in which a band all play along to tape recordings of Beatles songs played back at slightly different speeds, springs to mind). But Parry's work is put together in such a way as to be indeterminate yet accessibletonal relationships bind the free-floating musical fragments together, and while the instrumentation here might certainly be "classical," these compositions are far from esoteric. Fans of the gentle pointillism of Brian Eno's generative music may want to take note.

Music for Heart and Breath comprises iterations upon the same themethey range from intimate ("Duet for Heart and Breath") to expansive ("For Heart, Breath and Orchestra"), but all retain the same idyllic, intimate mood. Heart and Breath is far from the disco-ball subversions of ReflektorParry's musical mind contains multitudes, and it's a pleasure to find the quieter of those nurtured on his off-days from superstardom. (www.richardreedparry.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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