User profile: Mike Tiano
Mike Tiano might be known to people around the world, but it's not for his music--at least not yet. As editor for Notes From the Edge, an online fanzine he joined in 1993 for the rock band Yes, Mike would go on to interview the members of that veteran progressive group innumerable times, and continues to do so today. His association with the band led to Mike's attaining the role as site manager for Yes' official web site YesWorld, and has contributed liner notes to a number of Yes releases. He also personally manages guitarist Steve Howe's site Guitar Rondo.
Now Mike is stepping into a role for which he is not as familiar: songwriter/performer. After many years of singing and playing guitar for his original songs Mike has been honing his craft by performing at various venues in the Seattle area, including local open mics. But as Mike is quick to point out this is not a recent development: "I've essentially been writing songs ever since I was very young, and over the years have written dozens. The earliest ones were pretty creative but probably best left to the mists of time. But I took the advice of a good friend: keep writing and developing songs because over time they will just get better. That advice has paid off as I currently have a set of compositions that I'm proud of, and to which I hope people will respond."
Characterizing his music as Beatle-esque progressive rock, Mike combines a strong sense of melody with creative and dynamic arrangements. However, the inventiveness of his music doesn't sacrifice feeling and emotion. "It's important to me that I don't come across as strictly being clever," Mike says of his songs. "I want people to experience the feeling I'm trying to convey, be it the exuberance of Triad, the outrage of The Dark Ages, or the resolve of Emerge Triumphant."
Though his repertoire is centered around his original compositions Mike's set includes songs written by others which will not be familiar to audiences. "I feel if I respond strongly to a tune then others will as well, when I do it justice."
Mike has been recording with some talented local musicians with the goal of producing his first solo album. He has titled this project Creetisvan, a name he created for his artwork when he was a budding cartoonist and has been carried to his music: "It's a word that I associate with my art regardless of the form, and felt it appropriate given my own personal history. If I had to define the word then I would state that it describes art where themes are introduced and reinvented throughout the work in question."
While Mike continues to work on his upcoming CD he can be seen performing live at various Seattle-area venues.