Moira Smiley, singer-composer, leads moira smiley & VOCO, travels the world as a soloist and creates new work for dance, theatre and film. Her voice can be heard on a wide variety of media, including feature films, television (BBC, PBS), NPR, and on over 40 recordings. Her recent albums “blink,” “rua” and “circle, square, diamond & flag” feature spare, vocally driven collections of warped traditionals and new song. She has sung with leading ensembles and artists around the world, including Paul Hillier’s Theater of Voices, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, KITKA Vocal Ensemble and New World Symphony. Featured at Lincoln Center, UCLALive, Royal Festival Hall, and music festivals across the U.S. and Canada, Moira has received praise from Billboard to Gramophone. While studying piano performance and Early Music at Indiana University, Moira was represented by IMGArtists Agency and toured extensively with her vocal group, VIDA. Praised for her musical depth and noted as a musical “shape-shifter,” Moira premieres new art song, opera, and physical theater. She also explores the depths of early American, Irish and Balkan traditional song. Moira is in high demand as a music director and vocal coach—giving master classes in vocal technique, traditional styles, physicality and improvisation. She composes for vocal ensembles around the world—her song “Stand in that River” is performed by thousands of choral ensembles and singers of all stripes.
Moira has taught extensively in the U.S., Europe, and England. Her subject is the singing voice, and its ability to encompass an astounding range of expressive, linguistic and stylistic “colors. Moira seeks to guide her students in the discovery and development of this flexibility within their own voice – both technically and artistically. She also works a lot with students on the skill and magic of creating a moving performance.
Moira has led vocal workshops and residencies at University of Birmingham (England), CalArts, Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, Swannanoah Gathering, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, Northwestern University, Omega Institute, CA WorldFest, Virginia Waterfront Festival, Bishop-Auckland Early Music Festival, and many others.
Moira’s academic specialty is Early Music, and she has developed parallel experience with various folk traditions – especially early American, Irish and Balkan vocal styles. By exploring the particularity of a tradition, style or period – one finds something uniquely one’s own.