A Moving Sound
A Moving Sound

BIO

A Moving Sound, whose 2011 eponymous Motéma Music CD resulted in strong

coverage in such international taste-making media outlets as NPR’s All Things Considered, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post, is consistently touring throughout the world and has recently been featured at The Kennedy Center, The Melbourne Festival and Peter Gabriel’s W.O.M.A.D. festival in the U.K.

A Moving Sound (AMS) brings the sounds of traditional Taiwanese, Chinese and neighboring Asian traditions into modern times with skillful compositions that open new passageways for east-west cultural dialogue. Accompanied by the sound of traditional instruments such as the Taiwanese erhu, zhong-ruan, and traditional percussion, the sublime singer and dancer Mia Hsieh leads a powerful ensemble on ethereal journeys that are enchanting audiences and critics across five continents.

Opening doors to the vibrant cultural crossroads of modern Taiwan, A Moving Sound has attracted international attention through their creative contemporary use of traditional instruments and vocal techniques. The group’s fresh sound simultaneously draws on the powers of history and innovation to create a thoroughly unique presentation. Their holistic approach – which combines art, spirituality and history with an up-to-date sense of social awareness – is a

sterling example of the creative process.  Co-leaders Mia Hsieh and Scott Prairie, based in Taiwan, co-wrote and arranged the music on their self-titled U.S. debut. AMS has been described by National Geographic World Music as “one of the most original outfits working in the world music arena today” and by BBC’s The World as “truly creative music from Asia.”

While Asia has yet to make much of a mark on the ever-growing world music scene, if there is one group poised to change that, it is A Moving Sound. Drawing on the rich culture of Taiwan, a beautiful island off the coast of China where ancient traditions flourish as nowhere else, the sound of AMS captures the way ancient traditions jostle with the open, sophisticated, and avant-garde styles that have been welcomed in the two decades that have passed since the end of martial law in Taiwan.  AMS has fashioned an exquisite, accessible and, yes, quite “moving” sound that speaks eloquently of its unique country of origin, while at the same time speaking in a universal language to listeners around the world.

In the decade since AMS was formed in Taipei by Hsieh and Prairie, the group has released three albums in their native Taiwan: Little Universe (2004), Songs beyond Words (2007) and Starshine (2009), which provided the source material for their 2011 Motéma debut. AMS has played many major tour dates in North America and Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.They were featured artists in a special program on Taipei presented by the Lonely Planet television series (broadcast in 50 countries on The Discovery Channel), and have also been profiled in The London Financial Times, National Public Radio, The Huffington Post, Public Radio International’s The World, Link TV, American Public Radio, BBC Radio 3′s World Routes, and a variety of Taiwanese media outlets.

The music of AMS has been praised by critics and world music advocates around the globe. Chris Heim of the Global Village radio show said their work was “…delicately balanced between many worlds… an entryway to Eastern music and an artful expression of the human condition.” And Theodore C. Levin, the noted Dartmouth University ethnomusicologist who was the first Executive Director for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and the producer of the groundbreaking Smithsonian Folkways Music of Central Asia series, describes their work in these words:  A Moving Sound courageously weaves together the multiple and disparate cultural strands that make Taiwan a unique source of contemporary world music. Virtuosic performances on plucked and bowed instruments, Chinese percussion, Tibetan singing bowls, and the evocative vocal sounds and movement of Mia Hsieh come together in a performance that is at once joyous and contemplative.”

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