Best known as a founding member of Arcade Fire, musician Richard Reed Parry is one of Spitalfields Music Festival’s featured composers. His latest release, the album Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1, sees him depart from the sounds of Arcade Fire into some eclectic, delicate and beautiful songwriting. He draws clear influences from both the British and Japanese folk traditions, providing a layered and varied collection of works. Heavily influenced by Richard Reed Parry’s experiences travelling, he incorporates Japanese culture and mythology, alongside his own personal character, creating a thoroughly immersive album.
Noteworthy are tracks On the ground, a beautiful example of chamber pop, and Song of Wood, described by The Fader as “a lush and verdant composition filled with buzzing cicadas, plucky guitar, and his airy voice flowing like a breeze through the treetops”. When talking about one of the climactic moments of the album, his track I was in the World (Was the World in Me), Parry said: “[It’s] a song about the elements and our bodies being inextricably interwoven – about being a human and experiencing a moment in nature that’s so direct and powerful that we lose our sense of where we end and the world around us begins.”
Described as “sometimes grandiose, sometimes subtle, but always bewilderingly beautiful” (The Barbican), and as “a mind-blowing and extremely powerful record filled with strong songwriting and production touches that show Parry at the top of his game. A truly effortless collection of songs worth revisiting for years to come” (Exclaim), this album is not one to be missed and neither is its UK premiere at the Spitalfields Music Festival on Saturday 8 December.
He will also be in the spotlight of this year’s Classical Uncovered presented by Classic Album Sundays, where Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy will be discussing his favourite classical recording Snowflakes are dancing by Tomita, and how it has influenced his work, followed by an uninterrupted vinyl playback of the full album.
His music will also be featured in our event Heart and Breath, performed by The Riot Ensemble, as part of our festival programme that features some of Canada’s most exciting contemporary composers, at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London’s only lighthouse. Richard Reed Parry will key into the most basic of all rhythms, the human heartbeat, for this performance. Instrumentalists will be connected to stethoscopes, their heartbeats act as a metronome and their breath the downbeat of a conductor’s baton. As each individual’s bodily rhythms are different, so is each performance, providing a unique experience for both audience and performers.
Tickets for all of our events, including those featuring Richard Reed Parry are on sale now, and available to book through our box office on 020 7377 1362 or online. Discover what else we have on during our festival here.