Edwin Farnham “Win” Butler III (born April 14, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and multi-instrumentalist, who is one of the co-founders of Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire which includes his wife Régine Chassagne and younger brother Will Butler. Butler was born in Truckee, California, on April 14, 1980, and raised in The Woodlands, Texas, with a Mormon upbringing. He also lived in Buenos Aires before his brother Will was born. Win and Will Butler have strong musical roots. Their maternal grandfather was jazz steel guitarist Alvino Rey, a pioneer bandleader whose career spanned eight decades. Their maternal grandmother, Luise, was a member of The King Sisters, who starred in a weekly variety program on ABC called The King Family Show and cut a swath through big-band America in the 1940s.. Their mother, Liza Rey, who also performed on the family TV show, plays jazz harp and sings. Their father, Edwin Farnham Butler II, worked as a geologist for oil conglomerate Halliburton in Houston, Texas. They currently live on Mount Desert Island, Maine.
At the age of 15, Butler started attending the Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school in New Hampshire, where he lived in Abbot Hall. There, he played varsity basketball and club softball, and performed with several student bands. He also worked with the administration to establish “Winter Thaw”, in which students got a long weekend’s worth of rest in the middle of typically cold, grueling New England winters. After graduation, he studied photography and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, but left after a year. Butler moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 2000 to attend McGill University, where he met his future wife, Régine Chassagne, whom he married in 2003. The first song Regine and Win ever wrote together, back in 2002 before they were married, was called “Headlights Look Like Diamonds.” Butler graduated from McGill in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies.
Butler participated in the 2005 UNICEF benefit project, “Do They Know It’s Hallowe’en?,” along with Chassagne. The two also collaborated on the music for the 2009 Richard Kelly film The Box, which starred Cameron Diaz and James Marsden. On April 2, 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its last concert before its disbandment. Arcade Fire performed with them during the song “North American Scum.” During James Murphy’s stumbling introduction to the song, Butler shouted out “shut up and play the hits!” Murphy immediately responded, “Ladies and gentlemen, for our live record entitled ‘Shut Up and Play the Hits,'” and Butler’s cry later became the title of the well-received documentary of the concert. In September 2011, Butler played in a charity basketball tournament in Toronto, Ontario, Canada known as “Rock The Court.” Several other celebrities and athletes participated, such as Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs.
The Hunger Games is a 2012 American science fiction-adventure film directed by Gary Ross and based on Suzanne Collins’ 2008 novel of the same name. It is the first installment in The Hunger Games film series. Hunger Games has a storyline of a group of children sent on an annual battle to the death, which is screened live to the rest of the planet. The film score was by James Newton Howard, but Arcade Fire also contributed to the movie’s original score. The group composed the fascistic-inspired Panem national anthem, entitled “Horn of Plenty,” an important and signature leitmotif appearing throughout the film. In addition the Canadian band wrote and recorded “Abraham’s Daughter” for the soundtrack of the movie. While the soundtrack album for The Hunger Games contains songs inspired by the film; only three of them (“Abraham’s Daughter,” “Safe & Sound,” and “Kingdom Come,” respectively) appear in the film itself, during the closing credits.
Butler told Entertainment Weekly how he attempted to channel the movie’s strong dystopian themes. He came up with the idea of using the account in Genesis of God ordering Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac in order to test his obedience as its framework. Régine Chassagne gave birth to the couple’s first child, a son, on April 21, 2013. On February 12, 2015, Butler participated in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and scored 8 points and had 12 rebounds. He returned to the event a year later in his home country. In his second stint, Butler won the MVP award of the event. In March 2015, Butler and Chassagne attended the launch of music streaming service Tidal, and revealed themselves, along with other notable artists, as shareholders in the company. Each member of the band plays multiple instruments both in the studio and on stage during live events. Some of the instruments that can be heard are, hurdy gurdy, violin, cello, viola, guitars, drums, bass, cymbals, French horn, accordion, xylophone and harp. During live events, band members sometimes climb around the stage using parts of the set and venue as instruments.
The following work by Win Butler is contained in my collection:
The Hunger Games (2012): Abraham’s Daughter.