Moe! Staiano is an experimental composer, drummer, percussionist, songwriter and multi-instrumental performance artist who has been at the forefront of the Bay Area improvisation scene for over a decade.
Moe! is conductor and composer for the Moe! Staiano Ensemble, (formerly Moe!kestra!), a large-ensemble avant garde orchestra, which can feature over 30 musicians playing everything from violins, clarinets and cellos to drum kits, oscillators and electric guitars. Moe! Staiano Ensemble performances are high-energy, electrifying experiences that create unique and memorable soundscapes that intrigue and beguile.
Moe!'s innovative solo percussion shows feature prepared drum kit, found objects, audio looping and the inventive use of a "percussion guitar" woven in with performance art, which always gets the audience involved and eagerly expectant of what might happen next.
Moe! also fronts Surplus 1980, a post-punk band that continually evolves its journey of no-wave progressive and percussive musical exploration. Surplus 1980 features Moe!'s bracing guitar and wry wordplay and a wide palette of timbres from the multi-instrumentalist members of the group.
Over the years, Moe! has worked with a veritable who's-who of the Bay Area creative music scene, including Ron Anderson (the Molecules, RonRuins, PAK), Tom Nunn, Vacuum Tree Head, Z'ev, Amy X Neuburg, Ava Mendoza, Nurse With Wound, David Slusser, Karen Stackpole, Ches Smith, Michael Evans (God Is My Co-Pilot), Caroline Kraabel & John Edwards (Shock Exchange), Gino Robair, William Hooker, Tom Dimuzio and has performed with all these plus Henry Kaiser, Mark Growden's Electric Pinata, Amy Denio, Cheer-Accident and sfSoundGroup among others.
Moe! performs solo percussion shows, some are based around a modified drum set and looping, while others include "playing" a variety of found objects. His performances are always interesting and engaging, and often include the audience as a participant, as well as observer.
Moe! Staiano Ensemble (formerly Moe!kestra) is a large-ensemble avant garde orchestra, which can include over 30 musicians that play everything from traditional classical instruments and percussion to contemporary mainstays like electric guitars and drum kits.
Moe!'s ferocious conducting leads the ensembles through his own compositions--epic forays into sonic landscapes from pastoral and evocative to jagged and frenetic.
Moe! has created over ten works for his ensemble, including the dramatic and safety-glasses-encouraged "Piece No.1: Death of a Piano"--which climaxes with a frenzied crescendo and Moe! destroying a piano with a sledgehammer.
His first work for multiple electric guitars, bass and drum set, "Away Towards the Light" will be performed at SFAIF on May 28.
Moe! has collaborated in small ensembles with notable musicians such as Amy X Neuburg, Aram Shelton, Jordan Glenn, Thollem McDonas and more.
To see Moe! in action, visit the calendar for all the latest show dates and ticket information.