Through the looking glass

Through the looking glass
Fallbrook native and now Carlsbad resident Christine Parker released her first full-length solo album, “Looking Glass,” with the help of friends and a kickstarter campaign. Photo by Greg Harlow

Christine Parker found herself at a crossroads and opted to follow the path of music 

CARLSBAD — Sitting on a park bench and a guitar at her feet, singer and songwriter Christine Parker is about as far away from her previous profession as she could be.

The Fallbrook native, and now Carlsbad resident, has gone from working as a therapist in community counseling clinics in the Midwest, to taking to the stages of San Diego’s concert venues.

“I didn’t feel like it (music) was a viable career option,” she said.

But prompted by friends who would question why she wasn’t pursuing music, when it seemed she was the happiest when performing, Parker started to listen.

While living in Missouri, she started playing shows on the side, began writing more songs and, she said, ultimately came to a crossroads.

She realized that it was time to return to California to pursue her music.

The first goal she set for herself was to record a full-length album.

She launched a kickstarter campaign to help fund the record.

“It was really nerve-wracking,” she said. “I think, probably any artist has a fair amount of both hope and self-doubt or fear. And so, I know when I first posted it…that I had the thought, ‘Well, maybe this will actually work.’ But at the same time I was like, ‘Oh, God, this isn’t going to work.’

The funding started to come in waves, she said.

Over the first three or four days, a few thousand dollars came in, and then there was a lull. And then there was another wave, and another lull.

Having raised more than $9,000 she was able to record “Looking Glass,” an 11-track album of songs that she had written over a span of more than 10 years.

With the album recently released (it’s available on iTunes and amazon.com) and her first goal completed, Parker is already lining up her next — to play the Belly Up.

Did living in Missouri help influence your music?

I think I’m probably more shaped by my influences than the geography.

Who are some of your influences?

All the way back in high school, it was people like Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, people like Pearl Jam. They’re a little heavier than what I play, but more currently, people like Brandi Carlile, people like Sara Bareilles.

How would you describe the sound of “Looking Glass?”

Someone told me I sound like a female version of Jason Mraz…but as far as nailing down a sound for this album it’s a bit tricky…All of the songs are pretty different…There’s songs that have a very kind of jazz combo feel, and there’s a couple on there that are very bluegrass-y, folk-ish. There’s a couple that are a little more rockin’…There’s a couple of ballads on there. I guess my hope would be that there’s something on there for everybody.

Does the title of the album have a special meaning for you?

Yeah. So the title of it is “Looking Glass,” and I knew the songs all tied together somehow. I had a hard time kind of articulating it for a while, but I finally figured it out or what it was. Each of the songs I wrote in a really different season of my life, and I can hear the songs played back to me or be singing it, and it transports me back to the moments I was writing about. It kind of serves to me as a mirror back to a certain time. To me, it’s the same person looking in the mirror for each song, but it’s a different reflection mirrored back to me.

Is it true that you’ve got perfect pitch?

Yeah. (My parents) picked up on, I guess, that music came naturally to me. But actually, I didn’t know that perfect pitch was a thing. I didn’t know that that was something special. I thought everyone could do it.

Can you say that it’s helped you to create your music?

Sure. (For) some people, math comes easy; it just feels like something you’ve always known, or building a table. Some people are really good at that and they just know kind of intuitively how to do it. And I think I’ve just always felt that way about music; it’s just kind of like a language, I already knew sort of inside.

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  1. Jim Gledhill says:

    Great article, Tony! Christine is an amazing singer-songwriter and her new album “Looking Glass” is chock-full of honest, moving and melodic songs. Support local artists like Christine – you’ll be able to say “I knew her back when” someday!!!! :)

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