Richard Reed Parry

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Richard Reed Parry (born October 4, 1977) is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, best known as a core member of the Grammy Award-winning indie rock band Arcade Fire, where he plays a wide variety of instruments, often switching between guitar, double bass, drums, celesta, keyboards, and accordion.[1]

Richard Reed Parry
Parry performing with Arcade Fire in 2011
Parry performing with Arcade Fire in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRichard Reed Parry
Also known asRichy
Born (1977-10-04) October 4, 1977 (age 44)
OriginOttawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Musician
  • composer
Years active2000–present
Associated acts

Life and careerEdit

Parry comes from a musical family. His late father was David Parry of the folk band Friends of Fiddler's Green. His mother, Caroline Balderston Parry, is a poet and musician, and his sister, Evalyn Parry, is a singer, songwriter, and spoken word performer.[2][3]

Parry attended Canterbury High School in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and was one of a dozen members of the Literary Arts program (first generation). His classmates include Stargate: Atlantis writer Martin Gero and The Holmes Show comedian Kurt Smeaton.

In the mid 1990s, he worked summers at a vegetarian camp in near Chelsea, Quebec, called Camp Au Grand Bois.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he studied electroacoustics and contemporary dance at Concordia University in Montreal.

The Bell Orchestre was formed in 2005, along with Sarah Neufeld, Tim Kingsbury as well as Stefan Schneider and French horn player Pietro Amato. Parry primarily plays double bass and is the de facto producer.[4][5] Bell Orchestre released As Seen Through Windows with Arts & Crafts Records on March 10, 2009.[6] It was recorded with John Mcentire in Soma Electric Studios in Chicago, Illinois. The album since won a 2011 Juno Award for best instrumental album.

A long-time core member of Arcade Fire, he co-produced and collaborated on the debut EP, Arcade Fire, before the first lineup of the band fell apart. Helping to reform and recreate the band, Parry brought in Bell Orchestre bandmate Sarah Neufeld, and New International Standards bandmates, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. He has also made musical contributions to albums by The National, Little Scream, Sufjan Stevens, The Unicorns and Islands. On the latter's critically acclaimed 2006 album Return to the Sea, he played several instruments, sang background vocals and arranged strings, and appeared with the band's 2016 10-year-anniversary shows where they played the album in full. Parry has also performed in a cover band called Phi Slamma Jamma along with Arcade Fire bandmates Will Butler, Jeremy Gara, and Tim Kingsbury. The group performed at the 2011 POP Montreal Festival as well as the 2012 Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival.

On January 20, 2007, Parry returned to Canterbury High to perform a concert with Arcade Fire in the school's cafeteria. Only 400 students and staff were permitted to attend the show. Beforehand, those chosen had the opportunity to preview new, unreleased songs from the Arcade Fire's upcoming album. After the show, there was a brief autograph period and the students met with the band members.[7]

He was also formerly a member of the band the New International Standards, with Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara.[8] His first work for Orchestra, entitled For Heart, Breath and Orchestra. It was recorded by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, on their 2011 album From Here on Out alongside pieces by Jonny Greenwood and Nico Muhly. He has also written commissioned works for Kronos Quartet, yMusic and Bryce Dessner, and his chamber works also have been performed by the Calder Quartet and Warhol Dervish. Parry appeared at each night of the 2012 All Tomorrow's Parties festival, mounting a "moving surround sound sci-fi composition for bicycles and boomboxes" entitled Drones/Revelations, as well as performing songs with a folk trio called Quiet River of Dust, and as part of a chamber music ensemble performing Parry's Music for Heart and Breath. The lineup included Owen Pallett, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Gaspar Claus, Nadia Sirota, Kyle Resnick, and Dave Nelson. He occasionally performs as drummer and backup singer with Little Scream.[9]

Parry has also collaborated with The National, arranging vocals and writing guitar parts for their songs on their 2010 album High Violet and appeared with them singing and playing guitar and double bass in their Vevo live event as well as on their Late Night with David Letterman appearance in 2011. He has joined them frequently onstage as a guest during many performances, including Lollapalooza 2010 (at which Arcade Fire also performed) and also during a brief segment of Arcade Fire's 2011 midwestern US tour in which The National acted as openers. Parry has also collaborated with Bryce Dessner of The National on classical compositions, performing together at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015.[2]

Parry recently co-hosted a BBC 6 Music Takeover programme with the members of The National called Arcade Fire and the National Takeover [10] Parry and brothers Aaron & Bryce Dessner who play guitar in The National have been long-term friends since meeting on the American alt-rock circuit, regularly appearing on the same festival bills worldwide. [10] Their friendship was cemented when Richard from the Arcade Fire contributed to a number of songs on The National's album High Violet, most notably playing double bass and guitar on 'Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks', and doing the vocal harmony arrangements on 'Conversation 16' and 'Sorrow'. During this show Parry mentioned he was producing an album by a local Montreal artist named Little Scream.

In July 2018 Parry announced the upcoming release of two albums: Quiet River Of Dust Vol. 1 and Quiet River Of Dust Vol. 2.[11] The albums are inspired by Buddhist myths, death poems, British folk songs, and a recent trip to Japan.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Parry is married to Laurel Sprengelmeyer, also known as Little Scream.


Solo worksEdit

Arcade FireEdit

Bell OrchestreEdit

Little ScreamEdit

The NationalEdit

Barr BrothersEdit


The UnicornsEdit


  1. ^ Jeremy Gara and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. Paul Caine, A.V. Club, September 20, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Jack, Malcolm (August 18, 2015). "Interview: Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry – 'People no longer need a bank account big enough to afford a ticket to hear this music'". Edinburgh Festival. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Richard Reed Parry: Music For the Heart and Breath". Crossover Media. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "Bell Orchestre". AllMusic. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Liss, Sarah (August 4, 2005). "Bell de jour". NOW Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "Arts & Crafts – Bell Orchestre – As Seen Through Windows". March 10, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Denis. "Grammy winner one of many famous Canterbury grads". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Richard Reed Parry's body is a gauge". Montreal Gazette. August 29, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "Stereogum Sessions At Voodoo 2016: Little Scream Play "Love As A Weapon" With Richard Reed Parry". Stereogum. November 4, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Arcade Fire and The National Takeover, 6 Mix - BBC Radio 6 Music". BBC. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry announces two new albums, shares two new songs - NME". NME. July 19, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Minsker, Evan (April 24, 2019). "Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry Announces New Album, Shares New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  13. ^ Nast, Condé (September 2, 2020). "Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry Details Soundtrack for New Jude Law Film The Nest". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 19, 2021.