Siberry: Her Life and Works
her beginnings in the early 1980s as a guitar and piano-based folk
artist in the coffeehouses and clubs of Toronto through her many
musical incarnations, Jane Siberry has established herself as a
uniquely gifted singer and composer. Siberry began her professional
musical career while waiting tables and earning a science degree
at the University of Guelph, Ontario. In 1981, she released her
self-titled debut album JANE SIBERRY independently, having financed
it with her waitressing tips and bartered studio time.
1984, she signed with a small Canadian label that later joined forces
with A&M/Windham Hill in releasing NO BORDERS HERE, yielding
the hit song MIMI ON THE BEACH. Her 1985 album THE SPECKLESS SKY
brought Siberry her first music awards, as it reached Gold status
in Canada and garnered two Peoples Choice Awards for Album
of the Year and Producer of the Year. In addition, the lead track
from the album, ONE MORE COLOUR was later used by director Atom
Egoyan in his film THE SWEET HEREAFTER.
to Warner/Reprise in 1987, Siberry released the hauntingly beautiful
and enigmatic THE WALKING. A subsequent tour of Europe, Japan and
Australia led to the accolades "heart stopping" and "spellbinding"
from the press across both ponds. In 1989, BOUND BY THE BEAUTY brought
a wry sense of humor and an acoustic simplicity to Siberrys
growing body of work. Recorded in the middle of an apple orchard,
the album attracted attention from producer and ambient music pioneer
Brian Eno, who offered to produce some tracks for her next album,
1993s WHEN I WAS A BOY. This recording became Siberrys
biggest commercial success, and included such hits as SAIL ACROSS
THE WATER, TEMPLE, and CALLING ALL ANGELS a duet with k.d.
lang which first appeared in Wim Wenders film UNTIL THE END
OF THE WORLD and was later re-recorded for the soundtrack PAY IT
jazz-inspired MARIA followed in 1995, exploring new musical territory
including the epic 22 minute OH MY MY. Following this, Siberry left
Warner/Reprise and boldly launched her own independent label SHEEBA
Records in 1996. Having envisioned her label as a vehicle to pursue
additional projects beyond her recorded work, Siberrys goal
for SHEEBA is to distribute "all things Siberry." The
label has put out seven new recordings, including the 1996 album
TEENAGER, comprised of early songs wrote by Siberry in her teens.
Sheeba also released THE NEW YORK TRILOGY collection which was the
outcome of her extraordinary series of three theme concerts at New
York Citys Bottom Line nightclub in the autumn of 1996. The
TRILOGY consists of the two single-disc titles TREE: MUSIC FOR FILMS
AND FORESTS, and LIPS: MUSIC FOR SAYING IT, as well as the two-disc
CHILD: MUSIC FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON, released in October 1997.
Other SHEEBA releases include 1997s A DAY IN THE LIFE which
is an adventurous, 29-minute sound collage of a day in New York
City made up of voice-mail messages, cab rides, moments from yoga
class, and excerpts of studio adventures with fellow artists Joe
Jackson, Darol Anger, k.d. lang, and Patty Larkin. 2000 saw the
release of HUSH, a collection of traditional American and Celtic
spirituals that have the ambiance of lullabies.
with her music releases, Siberry has published three books through
SHEEBA: SWAN in 1998, ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE by invitation of NARAS
in 1999, and NEW YEARS BABY in 2000. The label has relied primarily
on a highly active web site (www.janesiberry.com), that sells an
extensive catalogue of Siberry recordings, books, videos, and clothing,
as well as serving as a resource for information on new releases
and tour dates. The site has taken on a life of its own, and has
evolved into a forum for discovery and input among those who follow
Siberrys career. By way of the web, Siberry seeks advice from
the public on a variety of topics, which have ranged from suggestions
on new web site designs to tips on growing roses.
accordance with the inventive nature of Siberrys music and
SHEEBA Records, in 1998 she devised a series of three-part, weekend-long
Siberry Salons, which consisted of two performances, a workshop,
and dinner at intimate, non-typical venues such as art galleries
and loft apartments. Through these and her other pursuits, Siberry
has taken full control of her career, both creatively and commercially.
In the fall of 2001
Jane released City, comprised of collaborations with artists as
diverse as Peter Gabriel, Joe Jackson, Sotoma Takafumi and Barney
the purple dinosaur. Beautifully packaged and rapturously received,
it includes Jane's re-recording of "Calling All Angels"
and has become one of her most in demand titles. 2002 sees Jane
busy on many fronts most notably writing and recording her first
full length album of new material in six years, provisionally entitled
Lily and scheduled for release in 2003.
Copyright 2002 Sheeba Records