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Siris (band)

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SIRIS is the name of American music duo Michael and Patrick Maley.[1] Their name SIRIS was derived from two Chinese words "sai" 赛 and "ri" 日, meaning to surpass the sun. Hailing from the city of Philadelphia, the brothers are best known as the only western band in the world performing and composing their own original English and Chinese language songs.[2]

The beginningEdit

The brothers began singing and writing music at an early age. During their teenage years they performed in local bands throughout the city of Philadelphia. Some of their major influences included Genesis, Sting, U2 and Tears for Fears.[3] In 1992, shortly after graduating highschool, Michael Maley moved to China to pursue his studies in Chinese at China's prestigious Fudan University. During that time, younger brother Patrick remained in America and continued his pursuit of music as a drummer.[2]

Chinese InfluenceEdit

Siris' Chinese inspired music is due in large part to Michael's experiences in China. While living in China, he not only studied at Fudan but also worked as an English teacher and Chinese/English translator.[4] Michael's fluency in Chinese and strong martial arts background helped him gain notoriety in TV commercials and films. In 1994 he was featured in the Hong Kong produced martial arts movie The Green Hornet.[5] After living for four years in China, Michael returned to America and reunited with his brother Patrick. In 1996, the brothers returned to their musical roots by forming the band Siris. They adopted a unique multi-cultural approach to making music by melding influences from the east and west.[2].

Professional Career HighlightsEdit

1997 to 1999Edit

Beginning with their 1997 debut Chinese EP entitled, "Till My Last Breath" (直到我最后一息) SIRIS became the first Western group in music history to record an original Chinese language album. The album was co-produced by Grammy nominated producer David Ivory.[4]. In 1998 the brothers moved to Taiwan and Mainland China to promote the new album. Breaking new ground in the Chinese market would prove difficult. After a modicum of success in Asia, they returned to the United States in 1999.

2000 to 2003Edit

The year 2000 was a turning point for SIRIS as the brothers returned to the studio to record their first English album "The Order Of Time".[2] That same year, they also formed their own record label and production company, "Run Hard Music". "The Order of Time" was a very progressive offering that stayed true to their musical roots. The album also managed to celebrate their Chinese influences, containing many Chinese references throughout. These references were evident on both the packaging and on three of the albums twelve tracks; including the progressive title track "The Order of Time", "Ma Ma Hu Hu" and their Chinese single "Beautiful Angel" 美丽的天使. "The Order of Time" was officially released and distributed worldwide in February 2001. While the record industry was facing new challenges from music downloads and online file sharing, Siris seized a new opportunity. On the strength of their English single, "My Love For You Will Always Be" and the albums' lone Chinese track "Beautiful Angel" 美丽的天使 , SIRIS quicky jumped to the top of MP3.com's top 40 pop chart. "Beautiful Angel" broke the top 20, reaching number 11 and became the first Chinese song in MP3.com's history to enter the charts.[2] After more than 2 million downloads, 100,000 units sold and a string of successful performances, Siris' critically acclaimed English debut was an independent success.[2] In 2002, Music legend Adrian Belew commented, "It's nice to hear something refreshing in a world of similar artists!" In 2003, Siris once again took part in breaking new ground as their Chinese single "Beautiful Angel" became the first Chinese song to be sold on Apple's iTunes.

2004 to 2007Edit

In 2004, Siris went back into the studio to focus on new Chinese material. In 2005, they released the Chinese EP "Xing Fu".[6] The album received widespread critical acclaim and helped solidify their unique place in music history.[7] In late 2005, a successful promotional tour of Mainland China, Taiwan and the United States followed. On the strength of their hit single "Xing Fu" 幸福, Siris was heavily featured by major U.S. and Chinese media throughout 2005 and 2006.[2] ABC News stated: "SIRIS is certainly breaking down cultural barriers between east and west... these two guys from the City of Brotherly Love may just change the world of Rock![8]" MTV described SIRIS' music as "Magical!" and stated "They should be embraced because there is sincerity in their work." In 2006 SIRIS was invited to perform at several high profile television events including the Phoenix Television Chinese New Year Global Gala and the groundbreaking MTV Chi Rocks! Concert, celebrating MTV's strong push into the Chinese market.[9] Since its release, Xing Fu has been downloaded over 25 million times.[10] In 2007, SIRIS announced the release of a brand new full length Chinese language album entitled "我们都一样" (We're All The Same). The new album was released in North America and became the first half of their planned double Chinese/English album release for 2008.

2008Edit

On August 8, 2008 - just in time for the Beijing Olympics, SIRIS announced the release of its brand new "double" Chinese- and English-language album, "8".[10] The new album includes 20 original Chinese and English songs. Prominent singles featured in the release are "God Bless Sichuan", "I Was Chinese in My Previous Life", "China", "A Trip To Nowhere", and "You'll Be Okay." The Mandarin single "God Bless Sichuan" was pre-released on July 1 , 2008 as a tribute to the survivors of the tragic Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008. The song features renowned mainland Chinese erhu soloist, Qin Qian.[10] Since its July 8 release, "God Bless Sichuan" has become the No. 1-played song on mainland China's most popular video-sharing Web site, Youku.com, surpassing 2.5 million plays. The band's 2008 offering is its fifth studio album and the first full-length "double" Chinese- and English-language album ever released. The album was made available for free on the band's official Chinese Web site. SIRIS also announced plans to tour Asia and North America in support of the new release. The band also announced that all proceeds from physical album sales and portions of tour revenue would go to Sichuan earthquake disaster relief.[10]

DiscographyEdit

  • 直到我最后一息 - Till My Last Breath - Chinese (1997)
  • The Order Of Time - English (2001)
  • Martial Arts Channel - Sound Track (2003)
  • 幸福 - Xing Fu - Chinese (2005)
  • 我们都一样 - Chinese (2007)
  • 上天祝福四川 (God Bless Sichuan) single - Chinese (2008)
  • 8 - Chinese/English double album (2008)

Side Projects & CreditsEdit

As a studio / touring drummer Patrick Maley has performed with accomplished acts such as: Little Richard, Three Dog Night, The Beach Boys, The Rip Chords, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and many others. Michael Maley has established the company Run Hard Media which is producing new television shows for the Chinese market.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Seattle Times, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/musicnightlife/2002963768_siris01.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Chinese World Journal http://post.baidu.com/f?kz=99875734
  3. ABC News Interview http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=features&id=3915277&ft=lg
  4. 4.0 4.1 Associated Press http://asap.ap.org/stories/483465.s
  5. International Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110926/
  6. TVBS News Taiwan http://www.tvbs.com.tw/news/news_list.asp?no=vivi20050826195951
  7. LA Living Television Interview http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=817864034
  8. ABC News http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=special_coverage&id=3915442
  9. 2006 MTV Chi Performance http://youtube.com/watch?v=mvNTNL0lmc0
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 PR Web http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20080808/bs_prweb/prweb1192464

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