Mike Tiano is known for his bringing Yes into the Internet age. After helming one of the first online fanzines Notes From the Edge Mike created their official web site YesWorld, and for well over a decade was their web site manager.
Mike is also a musician and songwriter in his own right, now releasing “Creétisvan” which he characterizes as his life’s work and is informally calling the album his “audiobiography”. As he explains, “This album is culled from many of my best compositions, written throughout my adulthood. I’ve rarely performed these, and had only recently produced them.”
What is evident is Mike’s being inspired by the likes of the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rush, and of course Yes. “The tunes are in the vein of early progressive rock: lots of heart along with catchy melodies, recurring themes, sonic instrumental flights, shifting dynamics, and the kind of tuneful content which is sorely missing in today’s popular musical scene. Many who miss ‘classic’ rock in general will find much to enjoy here.” Mike’s influences are apparent throughout the album, including the Zeppelin-esque “Automaton”; the Yes-like “Triad”; the Beatles-inspired “(Because) You Win”; the surprising Buffalo Springfield vibe of “A Natural”; and Mike’s prog influences in general on the epic “Emerge Triumphant”, which features a live orchestra.
Every track was written and arranged by Mike, who is lead vocalist and handles the lion’s share of the guitar work. While he also produced ten of the twelve tracks the remaining two were handled by Yes member Billy Sherwood on “Different Drummer” while the instrumental “Dance of the Little Guys” is the work of Randy George, bassist for the Neal Morse Band. Both musicians perform on those respective songs.
Other accomplished musicians gracing “Creétisvan” include David Sancious (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Jon Anderson’s album “Animation”); keyboard wizard and orchestrator Jonathan Sindelman (Keith Emerson Band, The Magic Band/Captain Beefheart); guitarist Steve McKnight (Cry Wolf, GayC/DC); keyboardist Rick Daugherty (the reformed Flash); vocalist Joanne Perica; and a host of notable Seattle-area talents.
Mike attributes the album’s “exquisite mix” to Grammy winner Steve Smith. Steve began his career as assistant engineer on Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” and was a member of legendary Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick’s production team for Supertramp’s “Even in the Quietest Moments”, where Steve participated on the hit “Give a Little Bit”. Steve would go on to apply his talents on projects for Heart, Cheap Trick, Donna Summer, Garth Brooks, and video game orchestrations for Michael Giacchino to name a very few.
But what the heck is Creétisvan? When he was young Mike aspired to be a cartoonist; in his late teens and early 20s he created spacey cartoon collages. To title this style of art he used a word unique to his own history—one that you won’t find in a dictionary (yet). Mike would use “Creetisvan” (no accent over the second ‘e’) for that art and later for his musical performances, and when he decided to retain it for the title of the album he added that accent to include the word “create”—denoting his devotion to artistry and creativity. Bringing his artistic journey full circle some of the original artwork he created as a young adult will be found on the inside cover.
Here’s what’s being said about Mike Tiano’s “Creétisvan”:
“Mike Tiano’s project is adventurous, sonically rich and both enjoyable and refreshing.” – Lee Abrams
“Mike has crafted an album that is true to his progressive rock influences as well as pop sensibilities in the style of the Beatles.” – Randy George (The Neal Morse Band)
“‘Creétisvan’ is a lovely, creative album that pulls at my heartstrings with a revitalized British rock sound, very much in the mold of the later Beatles and earlier progressive rock. Tiano’s voice takes me back to Peter Gabriel’s in the earlier Genesis albums, and the sonic landscape is lush and dreamy. The album is a wonderful work, a rich vein where musical miners will hit the motherlode and be splendidly rewarded.” – Bill Martin: Philosopher, musician, author (‘Music of Yes’ & many others)
“‘Creétisvan’ harkens back to that creative time period of the late 1960s, early 1970s: impactful with certain amounts of melodic content permeated throughout. It’s very authentic.” – Steve Smith, Grammy-Winning Recording Engineer
“This is the kind of music that we need right now.” – Colin (Person on the Seattle street)
About Mike Tiano: After living in L.A. for most of his life Mike moved to the Seattle area in the late 1980s to pursue a career in technology, and to begin recording his songs in earnest. Mike would join Microsoft where he remained for nearly twenty years in various roles, including primary Test Engineer for two brand-new features in Windows 95: the Taskbar and the Start Menu. In 1993 Mike became editor for Notes From the Edge, publishing innumerous interviews with Yes members. After convincing Yes to launch their official site Mike created its original schema, and as Site Manager oversaw the official band and various member sites. Mike provided the liner notes for four of the Yes remasters from Rhino, and is currently a contributor to the online media journal Something Else! Reviews.
For more information:
Official site: http://miketiano.com
About Steve Smith: http://www.stevesmithrecording.com/live-studio-recordings
Mike Tiano’s Writing Portfolio: http://miketiano.com/portfolio
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