A Moving Sound
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A Moving Sound

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Taiwanese Singer and dancer Mia Hsieh is the star of a Taipei-based A Moving Sound (AMS) project. AMS fuses musical influences from Taiwan, China, and neighbouring Asian countries into music that combines both traditional and modern songwriting sensibilities. Backed by virtuoso musicians with ancient Asian and modern Western instruments. Mia Hsieh and AMS have been performing their critically acclaimed music all around Asia, Europe, and North America. - Three Pieces

This page contains all press and reviews from our recent CD release tour + music + video + photos + press release - Motema Music

HOMEBASE: Taipei, Taiwan


CATEGORY ENTERED: World Beat and Design, Album Art / Photography



LABEL Name OR Self-Released: Motema


Performed by:
Mia Hsieh/ vocal
Scott Prairie/ zhong ruan, bass guitar, gong, vocal
Zheng-Jun Wu/ percussion, erhu, flute
Tang-Hsuan Lo/ erhu
Hua-Zhou Hsieh/ guitar, zhong ruan
Hsin-Hai Yang/ suona horn song #1
Han-Sheng Hsyu/ sheng flute song #4

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BAND NAME? WERE THERE ANY CONTENDERS? Mia (the vocalist) came up with the name first in Chinese, which sounds like “Sheng Don,” with the English translation being “A Moving Sound.” At first Mia wasn’t sure if it was good, but Scott thought it was without a doubt the right name, liking the multiple meanings of the word “moving”…both movement and emotionally touching.

DESCRIBE YOUR LATEST RELEASE. These songs do something which is not very common; they use traditional Chinese instruments and melodic ideas found in Taiwan/China to create new compositions. Though this type of re-creation from traditional sources is part of the musical evolution in many cultures, Ie: African and Latin music, it has not happened often in Chinese music. Certainly this comes from the marriage of cultures and creative energies between the band…but it’s also a fortuitous happening of Scott landing in Taiwan just at the time when the place was bursting open and hungry for new creative possibilities. Taiwan is a very unusual place in terms of how smart and enthusiastic and ready to try new things the people are. So the creative expression of the songs came from all of this.

DID YOU USE ANY UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR EFFECTS? We use the “erhu” which is a vertically held and bowed instrument like a violin but has no soundboard, also a Chinese guitar called “zhong ruan.” We use other instruments that are very unusual, one called the “sheng” which is like a portable pipe organ and the “satar” (not sitar). It’s like an “erhu” with a long neck but it has sympathetic strings like a sitar which creates a very haunting sound.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT TO THE 11TH IMAS? Our super creative record label, Motéma submitted our music.

WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE? WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? It really depends where we are. When we are doing a festival next to a pig farm in rural Taiwan, we have grandma’s and kids and everyone from the village. When we play in New York City we have those interested in Taiwanese and Chinese music, or experimental music or anyone who’s heard about us. At world music festivals it’s the musically adventurous, at folk festivals it’s the folk audiences. I think generally we attract the curious and we seem to be a magnet for those hungry for some earthy spiritual vibe.

HAVE YOU EVER HUNG OUT WITH ONE OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES? WHAT’S THE STORY? While still living in New York City, Scott recorded a CD with Wharton Tiers, producer of Sonic Youth, and got to be in the studio where they made a lot of their music and guitarist Marc Ribot played on the CD. Scott also used to lived in Dayton, OH where the drummer from “Guided by Voices” was in his first band for awhile.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? It was pretty cool being interviewed and featured on National Public Radio and the feedback we got from that.

WHAT’S YOUR BEST/CRAZIEST TOUR STORY? Doing a show at Olin kan festival in Mexico City and getting a standing ovation from 12,000 people. Scott wore a wrestling mask during the encore song that was given to him by a guy in an earlier show that day. Immediately after the first show, the band had to race on a bus through the streets of Mexico City to make the starting time for the big show on the main stage.


WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU LISTENING TO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? Galaxy 500, Kora played by a Belgian monk named Jacques Burtin, Huun Huur Tu, Bright Eyes

NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING. We are inviting a bunch of jazz artists from the Motema label, like trombonist Dennis Rollins, to a Jazz festival in Taiwan.


A Moving Sound on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/home.php?clk_loc=5#!/amovingsound.taiwan
Our page on the Motema label:
Our Website: www.amovingsound.com



A Moving Sound (Motema Music, 2011)

Lush and exotic A Moving Sound is a stunning collection of tracks celebrating the musical tradition of Taiwan. The sweeping elegance of the Asian musical landscape, fashioned by A Moving Sound on this latest self-titled recording, plumbs the depths of ancient Chinese musical traditions and Taiwan’s rich wealth of aboriginal and folk music in a context where fresh influences can take hold to make new world music connections.

A Moving Sound co-founder Mia Hsieh explains, “Taiwan has only been free from martial law for 20 years, so only now are some of these new influences coming in. When we started, not many people even knew what world music was here, and now more and more groups are wanting to try things. We believe music is a channel and a way to connect with people in a positive way, to go on a journey together. We want there to be no boundaries.”

Beguiling and potent, A Moving Sound moves through achingly elegant tracks like “Silk Road” and “Gu Qin” with Ms. Hsieh’s soaring vocals against a backdrop of zhong ruan, bass guitar by the group’s co-founder, composer and arranger Scott Prairie, percussionist and erhu player Zhen-Jun Wo, erhu player Tang-Hsuan Lo, guitarst and zhong ruan player Hua-Zhou Hsieh. Listeners are treated to the brightly colored “Flying Dombra” the potently worked “Howling Wind” and the dark lovely “Ghost Lake,” based on a Taiwanese aboriginal song about a girl who tells her mother that she’s fallen in love with a lake spirit. Listeners get a dash of fun with “The Market Song” and the boldness found on the rhythm thick “Dynasty.”

Ms. Hsieh explains, “The album goes from the heavens to the earth. “Songs like “Silk Road and “Gu Qin” are the meditative, transcendental side, but the CD also has very earthy songs like “The Market Song” or “Toh Deh Gong,” which is a modern talking song, like rap, but the lyrics explore the traditions of how people worship the God of Earth, the most popular god in Taiwan. So this is folk culture, but it is also ground in a very ancient philosophy and religion.”

- World Music Trends

AMS co-founders, Mia Hsieh and husband Scott Prairie are featured on the widely read and very respected internet newspaper The Huffington Post as well as on LINK TV. LINK TV music director, Michal Shapiro’s insightful article and video blog. Michal shot the video during her recent musical fact finding mission in Taiwan. She describes A Moving Sound as one of the pioneers of new music coming from Taiwan.

In the video Mia describes her passion for using “the old elements, the old wisdom and the old instruments to create something that can dialog with modern people”.
- The Huffington Post

The video begins with co director Mia Hsieh leading a workshop and continues to the beautiful Red theater with the whole group. This program was broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 50 countries with a viewing audience more than 1 million people. - Lonely Planet (Click Taipei's Red Theater)

A feature on Taiwanese music that included A MOVING SOUND aired on National Public Radio's most prestigious news show "All Things Considered" The NPR network includes over 600 radio stations across the country.

AMS is featured prominently (at 2:15), along with short segments on two other Taiwanese music groups and an interview with travel writer Joshua Samuel Brown:
- National Public Radio

Top 10 Global Albums, September 2011
SoundRoots / Spin The Globe’s Top 10 World Music Albums – September 2011

A Moving Sound: A Moving Sound
Boban & Marko Marcovic Orchestra vs. Fanfare Ciocarlia: Balkan Brass Battle
Sally Nyolo: La nuit à Fébé
Te Vaka: Havili
Nation Beat: Growing Stone
Tinariwen: Tassili
The Klezmatics: Live at Town Hall
Vagabond Opera: Sing for Your Lives!
Heyraneh: Promise to Freedom
The Creole Choir of Cuba: Tande-La

A Moving Sound: A Moving Sound

Quite a few new names on the chart this month, under the rare #1 repeat of the wonderful Marcovic/Ciocarlia brass off. Cameroon's Sally Nyolo has a new album full of vocal & rhythmic wonder; Ta Vaka's new CD is both very rooted and very modern, and Tinariwen gets a little mellower. Other newcomers: Vagabond Opera's uncategorizable flights of fancy, Heyraneh's rich Persian melodies, and A Moving Sound brings a new look at Chinese music via Taiwan. Watch for review of many of these new albums soon here on SoundRoots.

October 19, 2011
A Moving Sound is magical and mystical
By Michael Lipton

Sweeping Elegance
By TJNelson– October 6, 2011
Posted in: CD Reviews
- World Music Central


Motema Music recently (9/2011) released a compilation from two of A Moving Sound's Asia released CD's
entitled A Moving Sound

A Moving Sound-debuted #3* (+106) and #2 most increased spins on JazzWeek/World Musicchart

for all information about this release please visit the press page www.motema.com/press/amovingsound

this site includes all songs+ media +press including a link to AMS interview on National Public Radio

Lucy Duran on BBC Radio 3’s respected radio program “World Routes”

"Mia Hsieh is a great young woman singer putting a new spin on old traditions with her group A Moving Sound. She projects her own experience of the mix of eastern and western influences in Taipei…. Not often do we get to hear music from Taiwan. AMS has a fine and unusual album just out and beautifully packaged"



Traditional Taiwanese, Chinese and neighboring Asian music forms are fused in new original song compositions. Instruments such as the Chinese erhu (a vertically held, bowed instrument), the zhong ruan (Chinese guitar), an assortment of western instruments, and the transcendent vocals and dance of lead singer Mia Hsieh, transport listeners on a journey that Global Rhythm magazine describes as “...delicately balanced between many worlds…an entryway to Eastern music and artful expression of the human condition."

A Moving Sound has attracted international attention for opening doors to the under explored territory that is Pan-Asian music. The group is intensely passionate about how it presents the use of traditional instruments in its contemporary sound. Their approach is to be holistic – combining art, spirituality, social awareness, and a universal love of humanity play key roles in the creative process.