Richard Reed Parry (born October 4, 1977) is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist, composer and member of the indie rock band Arcade Fire, where he plays a wide variety of instruments, often switching between double bass, celesta, keyboards, drums, guitar, and accordion. He is also a member of the Bell Orchestre, in which he primarily plays double bass and is the de facto producer. He was formerly a member of the band the New International Standards, with Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara.
A long-time contributor with the husband and wife songwriting duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, he co-produced the debut EP, Arcade Fire and brought in New International Standards bandmate, Tim Kingsbury. He has also made musical contributions to albums by 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.
Parry comes from a musical family. His late father was David Parry of the Toronto 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.
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.
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.
Parry collaborated with The National for a track on their 2010 album High Violet and appeared with them playing double bass in their Vevo live event. He joined them onstage as a guest during their set at Lollapalooza 2010 (at which Arcade Fire also performed) and also during a brief segment of Arcade Fire's 2011 US tour in which The National acted as openers.
Parry recently co-hosted a BBC 6 Music Takeover programme with the members of The National called Arcade Fire And The National Takeover 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. 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 arrangement on 'Conversation 16'. During this show Parry mentioned he was producing an album by a local Montreal artist named Little Scream.
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