Born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Chris spent his summers in Greece, the land of his heritage, through his bicultural experiences, cultivated his ear for music that embraced an expanse of musical styles. At this time, his sister played the classics of Beethoven, Chopin, and De Bussy. Inspired also by the Beatles, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and his beloved cousin Jimmie Spheeris, Chris developed an early style of song writing and guitar playing that was very much his own. He spent the first six years of his musical career as a singer/songwriter with his childhood friend, Paul Voudouris.
During that period the music of Vangelis, Brian Eno, Talking Heads and Kraftwerk peaked his curiosity in the emerging field of electronic music. Early in the 80’s at the conclusion of his working relationship with Voudouris, Chris built a small studio and began experimenting with a blend of electronics and acoustic instrumental music. Many of these early sketches were to appear later, on his first major label release.
By 1984, Chris had started his own grassroots record company, comprised of borrowed cassette decks, and a now archaic Macintosh 512 computer. The rather random distribution of his cassette releases brought one of his recordings to the desk of Columbia records A&R department. By 1986 Chris had become one of the first “New Age” (as he was then categorized) artists to be signed to a major label. His first recording, Desires of the Heart, went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. His second Columbia release Pathways to Surrender in 1988, featured 2 vocals, Walk with Me, and Where the Angels Fly established Chris Spheeris as an artist of depth and versatility.
CollaborationsIn 1990 Chris teamed up once again with Paul Voudouris to produce Enchantment, an instrumental recording which eventually sold over half a million copies, went Platinum in Spain, and increased his distribution word wide. Chris’ follow-up solo releases were Culture (1993), Desires a rerecording of Desires of the Heart (1994), Eros (1996), and, what Chris refers to as his “ultimate production”, Dancing with the Muse (1999).
He also recorded several collaborations Europa (1995) with Voudouris, Mystic Traveller (1998) with Robert Cory, Brio (2001) with fellow guitarist Anthony Mazzella, and Adagio (2001), a solo pianist CD of Spheeris compositions, performed by George Skaroulis.
With the release of Dancing with the Muse, Chris felt that he had completed a cycle in his recording career and directed his focus back to song writing, performing, recording documentary soundtracks, and writing poetry. Out of this came an Emmy Award, a book of poetry, and a repertoire of songs that he has since been performing. Between the years of 2004-2010, he released three live cds: Solo Live, Bridge and Songbook Live.
2011 brought Maya, Chris’ first studio recording in ten years. The recording features the voices of Deva Premel and Martha Redbone. Maya began as an Emmy-winning soundtrack to the Chip Duncan documentary film, In a Just World, and was developed into a full music cd over several years. Maya is dynamic, impressionistic, exotic, and sonically adventuresome. In Chris’ own words, “For me, Maya is best listened to through the body. The first time i really “heard” it was when i danced to the entire record.”
A New Direction
In 2011, Chris also conducted 8 workshops and a group trip to Peru. Regarding the workshops, Chris says, “When music was my life, my passion and my purpose were to share music. Now that my awakening is my passion, i can share that as well as music and anything else i can to inspire others into their own joy and fullness.”
Between workshops, time in the studio, and occasional performances, Chris directs his creativity to photography, digital art, writing, gardening and raw food preparation, home remodeling and antique clock restoration.
What does the future hold for this artist? In his own words, “Images, musical and spiritual journeys, a celebration of life, and whatever else inspiration brings. Whatever is most inspiring to me, i work to translate into a form of expression and communication. That is my fundamental nature and my job, always has been.”