Senior shows introspection on new album ‘Reflections’

Tilly Friedlander

“Everyday, when he’s gone to crew before school and then back to crew after school, the first thing Parker does is go over to the piano and start playing. It’s just part of his way of doing things,” said Marci Addison, mother of senior Parker Addison.

Parker released his new album “Reflections” onto Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and iTunes on Sept. 19.

“I call the album “Reflections” because all the songs are about reflecting on the world around me. I wrote some instrumental pieces over the summer and also a little bit during the end of school year,” Parker said. “I started writing those songs with different themes of nature in mind. All of the song names are titles like ‘Meadow’, ‘Mountain’, and ‘River.’”

Playing the piano, senior Parker Addison practices the songs within his album while in the Advanced Performance Workshop classroom.
Playing the piano, senior Parker Addison practices the songs within his album while in the Advanced Performance Workshop classroom.

One of Parker’s favorite songs on the album, “Notre Paix [Our Peace],” is about the shooting at the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo two years ago.

“I really enjoy ‘Notre Paix’ because I feel like that’s the one where I put in the most thought on reflecting on what had happened. It was a huge shock to see what had happened in the world and how such a simple thing, creating a parody art, could cause such an event to happen,” Parker said.

Marci also said that “Notre Paix” was one of her favorite songs from the album because of its meaningful lyrics.

“I understood the message in [Notre Paix]. [Parker’s] not the type of kid to just say something to be conversational. I know when I’m hearing things like that, I’m hearing his thoughts,” Marci said.

Parker has been playing music since he was four years old and has been expanding the variety of instruments he can play ever since.

“It started with me wanting to play guitar. My parents started letting me take some piano lessons so that I’d have a little bit of musical experience,” Parker said. “In that half year, I did wind up getting the guitar, but I wound up enjoying piano a lot more. I stuck with piano ever since and from that I’ve expanded the instruments that I like to play.”

In addition to guitar and piano, Addison started singing in fourth grade, playing trumpet in fifth grade and bass in seventh grade.

According to Addison, releasing  “Reflections” was harder than he expected because of all the legal processes that came along with it.

“It’s not something that you can just go to the iTunes website and say, ‘Hey, I want to upload a song.’ There were a lot of legal things that I had to do: getting copyrights and making sure that I wasn’t infringing on any copyrights. I had to make sure that my songs didn’t sound too similar to anything else. I ‘Shazamed’ all of my songs just to make sure that nothing else came up, and luckily nothing did,” Addison said.

Addison enjoyed pursuing the album entirely on his own and turned down offers for help.

“He pretty much owned it. We asked several times if there’s anything we could do, like get him a studio to record in. He wanted to do the whole process,” Marci said.

The lone electronic song on the album, “Meadow,” took Parker less than 24 hours to create.

“I really enjoyed working on ‘Meadow’ because that’s one song where I actually tried some electronic bits. I enjoyed the process of translating a song that started on the piano, putting that onto the computer, and then working electronically with it. I made that song in one day. It was just a lot of inspiration,” Parker said.

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Parker is a part of the Marin Rowing Association year round, a huge time commitment during the school year in addition to his school work, so he decided to work on the album mainly over the summer.

“It definitely is hard to find a balance in my life between school, crew, and music. That’s really where I took advantage of the summer last year,” Addison said.

Parker wanted “Reflections” to be available to anyone for free as he believes that music’s purpose is solely for listening.

“I could’ve kept the album just on Youtube or Soundcloud, but I really wanted it to be able to get out to the world. I didn’t want it to just be something that you had to buy. I think that music should just be free for everyone because it’s for people to listen to. So, I made sure that it was on Soundcloud and Youtube and Spotify and other streaming services,” Addison said.

Although Parker does not plan to pursue a music career, he thinks it will always be a part of his life.

“It’s always going to be something that I go back to just to relieve stress, be creative and to work on things that I enjoy doing,” Parker said.

Marci believes that even when he goes off to college, Parker will carry on his habits of playing music every day.

“I think that at no matter what point you catch him in life, he’ll always be playing the piano and hearing songs in his head,” Marci said. “He even asked me, ‘So what happens if I go to [college] and there’s not a piano right there?’ and I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you have a keyboard in your room.”