Crossover: from rock to classical and back again

Posted on: August 29, 2014

In Thursday’s (8/28) Globe and Mail (Canada), Brad Wheeler interviews “fledgling neo-classical composer and quasi rock-star, Richard Reed Parry … producer and multi-instrumentalist with Arcade Fire, the star indie rockers from Montreal. He has just released an album of his own compositions, and it is the most curious thing: Music For Heart and Breath involves musicians—such as the Kronos Quartet, a significant American string quartet—generating tempos by listening to their pulses during a performance. Ace bandages, stethoscopes and heart rates are involved; time signatures are not. This is radical. What isn’t so radical any more is the notion of a rock or pop artist composing so-called serious music. Beethoven no longer rolls over in his grave. Rather, he’s propped up on one elbow listening to Radiohead. Musicians such as Parry, Owen Pallett, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and the National’s Bryce Dessner—who produced Parry’s Music For Heart and Breath—are at ease in classical and pop genres. … If you’ve grown up listening to the Beatles and Bartók or Debussy and Devo, the lines inevitably will blur.”

Posted August 29, 2014