Richard Reed Parry's Quartet For Heart And Breath is an innovative and original piece based on the performers' own bodily rhythms. This sheet music is for String Quartet (Violin/Violin/Viola/Cello).
Richard Reed Parry is familiar to millions as the lead singer of rock band Arcade Fire, yet his foray into classical music is equally worthy of attention. Quartet For Heart And Breath is an experiment into using the performers' heartbeats and breathing to dictate the tempo. The performers are instructed to wear stethoscopes in order to listen to their heartbeats closely, while one complete breath corresponds to one bar and two heartbeats equal two crotchets.
The result is a quiet and subtle piece, as each instrument has to play softly so as to be able to keep in time. The piece also has a naturally occurring dynamism in that the players' heart rates constantly change as the performance goes on, with each instrument falling in and out of sync sometimes culminating in a beautiful moment of all heartbeats matching each other. Interestingly, this unique aspect means that no performance will ever be the same, meaning to hear or play this composition will be a truly once in a lifetime experience.
Quartet For Heart And Breath is a superbly one-of-a-kind composition by Richard Reed Parry. Commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, this piece makes for a wonderfully distinctive performance, with fascinating implications for the connection between the music and the body.