Chris Parkes

I was born in Syracuse, NY (USA) on February 17, 1980. I spent my early childhood in Liverpool, NY and around 1988 or '89 my family and I moved to Baldwinsville, NY (about 15 minutes North of Liverpool).  It was in Baldwinsville that my musical endeavors began.  I wouldn't say that I came from a musical family, though both my mom and aunt did play piano when they were young (my aunt also sang).  Even though the family did not play music much, there was always music playing on the record player or tape deck.  I grew up hearing all sorts of genres:  Classical, Folk, Reggae, or Rock of some sort.  It kind of felt deep rooted in my soul to make music.  

I started my musical journey on the organ and teaching myself with some simple music books.  Organ was the only instrument we had at first. About a year later I began playing trumpet with the school band.  The trumpet was okay, but not my favorite for sure.  The following year my parents purchased a Wurlitzer Baby Grand and soon began piano lessons.  At first the lessons were more pop based, but later I moved to study Classical, and then Jazz in late high school and college.  

I began writing music almost right away after placing my hands on the keys...I was probably 11.  A year or so later I joined and formed a band with an odd name: Electrified Meat (me and Ed Sheedy).   The band was mostly for fun and originally started with two keyboardist.  Soon Ed received a guitar for Christmas, but had no clue how to play.  I asked my music teacher at school for some chord charts for the guitar and I took the instrument on, mostly first to show him.  Well, a new love was born.  I showed Ed how to play and he showed me how to construct a pop/rock song.  Soon the music I was writing needed more, so I took on singing...certainly not because I had a great voice.  Later the band added other members (Justin Jackson and Kevin Garvey) and changed our name to Many Others.  Many Others performed a mixture of covers and originals.  We played a few gigs- coffee shops, Battle of the Bands, wherever we could.  The group was really a channel for me to do more writing and practice.  As time went on my voice really matured, though I never had any formal vocal training.  As a group we produced one album, titled: 'The First. The Last. The Only.' This was the final work of the group before separating in 1997, but this was only because I moved from Baldwinsville, NY to Mansfield, MA.  After moving I formed a Transit Group*: Two Minds.  This was music mostly from myself and some minor parts thrown in by Justin Jackson.  We created two albums together before calling it quits.

I then worked on a ton of solo material, some good, some not so good...writing around 300 or so original songs.  It wasn't until 1999, when I went to college at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where I met my longtime friend Brian Kumm.  Brian and I  shared a dorm together at school and worked on a lot of school and non-school related musical activities.  After leaving college I was in a group called Kilroy Was Here for a short time.  

Following that chaotic period I stumbled around awhile until I ended up in Florida to return to school.  That didn't last long, as I began a relationship that turned into a marriage.  My wife (at the time) Tami offered a lot of very valuable insight into my music.  Not so much as criticism, but more of a way to make it better.  I was able to learn how to sing more naturally and with bounds more emotion.  During the marriage I worked to create two solo albums, 'Nicks & Scratches' and 'The Answer's Within.'  These were some of my more inventive projects until recently.  

Over the years Brian and I have worked on music together, sometimes just for fun, other times in attempt to help each other with ideas.  I have worked with Brian on his concept album, 'A Perfect World?,' that he has been working on since college (1999).  At first I worked more as a co-producer and engineer for him, as well as filling in the gaps of percussion, keyboards, and bass.  It wasn't until May 2010, after my marriage ended, that we decided to get real serious about the project (well, at first his project).  We decided to become a group/collective together (Resonant Reflections).  We send material back and forth - to record, mix, arrange, or whatever is needed.  This is the biggest project I have ever worked on, and the music on our debut album is really ground-breaking.  We released the album, A Perfect World?, on December 1, 2011.  You will be able to find us at www.res-ref.com, iTunes, Amazon, Zune, and more.  

* Transit Group: recordings passed back and forth between musicians over long distances, but on playback it sounds unified.

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