A Moving Sound Logo

"A Moving Sound is one of the most original outfits working in the world music arena today”.

--Tom Pryor, National Geographic

2015 US Tour - Happening Now!

A Moving Sound (Sheng Don聲動) from Taiwan, has slowly but surely been establishing itself as one of the world’s most unique and artistic expressions of music from the Far East. A Moving Sound performed this past July at one of Europe's most respected music festivals, Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, (where Sting performed later the same evening). Paleo 's artistic director Jacques Monnier said simply “A Moving Sound was absolutely brilliant". The group has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered, The Discovery Channel and is frequently programmed on BBC Radio 3.

This year's US tour includes co-founders Mia Hsieh (vocal and dance), Scott Prairie (zhong ruan and bass guitar) and musicians I-Tung Pan (zhong ruan), Yu-Jui Chung (erhu) and Wei-Hsu Liao percussion.

A Moving Sound will perform at festivals, museums and universities across the U.S., culminating the tour at the state of the art REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts theater) which The Huffington Post describes as "the gold standard of the avante garde in LA".

2015 US Tour Schedule

  • Sept 29  North Michigan University 7:30pm, Kaufman Auditorium More Info

  • Oct  2   Detroit Institute of Art 7:00pm and 8:30 (2 sets), free with museum admission More Info

  • Oct 4  Illinois University Urbana-Champaign 2:00pm, Spurlock Museum, free More Info

  • Oct 8 Williams College MA 7:00pm, 62 Center for Theater and Dance, Adams Memorial Theater, free More Info

  • Oct 11  Queens Museum NY 3:00pm, free with museum admission More Info

  • Oct 14   University of North Carolina  Asheville 7:00pm,  Lipinsky Auditorium More Info

  • Oct 16  LEAF festival  Asheville, North Carolina 9:15pm, Eden Hall More Info

  • Oct 18  REDCAT LA   Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts Theater 7:00pm More Info


2015 European Tour


July 23  Paléo Festival

July 25   Underneath the Stars Festival

July 26  Warwick Folk Festival

Aug 1    Bardentreffen Festival

About A Moving Sound


Fusing traditional influences with a global sensibility, award winning ensemble A Moving Sound (Sheng Don聲動) from Taiwan, built a worldwide following through their joyous mix of original music and dance.  

Featuring the distinctive timbres of the erhu (Chinese fiddle) and zhong ruan (lute), and the transcendent vocals of Mia Hsieh, A Moving Sound has devised a unique and compelling style that is all their own – a Taiwanese whirlwind that veers between the meditative and the exuberant with irrepressible spirit.   

A Moving Sound has been featured on BBC Radio 3, National Public Radio in the U.S., and on The Discovery Channel.  They have performed in twenty countries including The Kennedy Center, W.O.M.A.D. (picked as a festival highlight by London Financial Times) and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.   

A Moving Sound was sponsored by The National Committee for US-China Relations for a residency program at George Washington University. They have also performed and taught at Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, University of Massachusetts and many other respected universities, festivals and art centers around the world. A Moving Sound's music is distributed internationally through the respected US record label Motema Music. http://motema.com/artists/    

A few Selected Reviews:   

"A Moving Sound is one of the most original outfits working in the world music arena today.” Tom Pryor, music supervisor for National Geographic online music   

"one of the few groups offering truly creative music from Asia." Marco Werman, BBC Public Radio International    

“A Moving Sound was absolutely brilliant!” Jacques Monnier, Paléo Festival artistic director Nyon, Switzerland Regarding performance at Paleo on July 23, 2015   


“they draw on ancient culture not to recreate a copy of history but to  rediscover the timeless, universal expression of life.”   Songlines Magazine CD Review  ( 3 out of 4 stars) Alexandra Petropoulos  

“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.” Theodore Levin, noted ethnomusicologist and Professor of Music, Dartmouth College, U.S.   

 “an exciting development in the progression of both traditional and contemporary Chinese music…..joyous, evocative and enchanting.” The New York Public Theater   


“Chicago’s reaction to A Moving Sound was a joy to see.”   Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago World Music Festival  

A Moving Sound band


Workshop and Residency

A Moving Sound can offer a range of activities and experiences for local community and students. The type and duration of events can be determined through a discussion of your needs. There are several basic elements included in the residency and they are outlined below.

Please note that the workshops and lecture demonstration are normally done as part of a program that includes a concert. It is difficult to come into an area (especially if a flight is involved) for just one outreach program without a concert

1. Concert

(80 min) 

A set of original song compositions using traditional Taiwanese/Chinese instruments inspired by music found in Taiwan. A Moving Sound’s concert offers pieces based on Taiwanese folk, aboriginal music and classical Chinese musical styles. Our main vocalist sings in four dialects including archaic Chinese Nanguan singing with roots from the 7th century in China. Several pieces also include dance.

2. Concert for Schools K-12&

(60 to 90 min)

These concerts are designed for a younger audience and so there is more talking and explanation than a theater show. We select more interactive pieces from our repertoire to create an experience that is both educational and very fun for younger audiences. Students will learn a phrase in Taiwanese “come lets rush to the market” that they will shout out during the song, and will be clapping, moving and singing in other songs.

3. Dancing Tai-chi workshop

(1-2 hrs, or on going class)

Join international presenter and performer Mia Hsieh for her unique blend of Tai Chi and quiet dance. Enjoy this rare opportunity to explore simple dance and movement using concepts such as contraction (Yin) and expansion (Yang), spiralling, rotating, loosening and softening.

You will be guided to explore your own internal flow of Chi, and to cultivate the experience of moving this energy into space through interaction with others. This is a joyful opportunity to listen to and observe the body’s inner voice, and to move with the wonderful balance of an inward and outward flow of chi. The format is perfect for all levels of movement ability.

4. Lecture-demonstration on Taiwanese culture and musical instruments for general audiences or local schools K-12

(60 to 90 min with 4 to 5 facilitators)

This lecture-demonstration is co-facilitated by AMS directors Mia and Scott with help from AMS members who demonstrate their instruments using traditional pieces. A discussion of Taiwanese culture and customs is interspersed with video from a wonderful program created for The Discovery Channel by Lonely Planet which features A Moving Sound. General knowledge about Taiwan is brought to light with beautiful footage of floating lanterns and interesting cultural traditions ranging from food to temple ceremonies. This is a more intimate environment than the school concert and affords the opportunity for students to ask questions.

5. Lecture-demonstration on Taiwanese culture and instruments for Music or Ethnomusicology Department

(60 to 90 min with 4 to 5 facilitators)

This lecture-demonstration goes in to depth concerning the history of the traditional instruments played by A Moving Sound’s musicians such as erhu, zhong ruan and Chinese percussion. We also discuss the technical and programmatic differences between music from the Far East, which is often designed to a company a theatrical production, compared to Western music which is composed as an entity in and of itself.

※ TECH NEEDS for Lecture-demonstration on Taiwanese culture and instruments

DVD player and screen for audience to see

need PA with 5 vocal mics, 4 instrument mics

stands for all

2 or 3 monitors 

※ TECH NEEDS for Tai Chi and Dance

Suitable floor for movement for participants

For larger audiences a headset mic is needed and 1 instrument mic + stand

Press and Reviews

[Selected European reviews]

Jacques Monnier, Paléo Festival artistic director Nyon, Switzerland

Regarding performance at Paleo on July 23, 2015

 “A Moving Sound was absolutely brilliant”

Marco Werman, BBC Public Radio International 

AMS is "one of the few groups offering truly creative music from Asia"

The Financial Times, London 8/18/2012

 CD Review A Moving Sound: A Moving Sound By David Honigmann (4 out 5 stars)   

“This Taiwanese group offers gorgeous music!

The Taiwanese group (with sole American member Scott Prairie, a classically-trained musician, composing the music) set Mia Hsieh’s singing against the keening of the erhu, an astonishingly versatile two-stringed fiddle. The resulting music hovers somewhere between folk-rock and Chinoiserie, and the musical palette is gorgeous, including the duel between two ruans (Chinese guitars) on “The First Thunder Of Spring”.......A WOMAD highlight for Sunday"

The Guardian, CD Review,   Robin Denselow 13/7/2012 

 “It succeeds largely because of Mia Hsieh's cool and drifting vocal work …..”

Lucy Duran on BBC Radio 3’s  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"

Songlines Magazine Oct 2012  ( 3 out of 4 stars) Alexandra Petropoulos

“they (A Moving Sound) claim that they draw on ancient culture not to recreate a copy of history but to “rediscover the timeless, universal expression of life”. Their self-titled album achieves exactly this, creating something ageless that is not a repetition but rather grows from it.”

“It is the balancing between worlds - East and West - past and present that makes A Moving Sound such an enjoyable album.”

Artist Description from WOMAD site


Cross-continental experimentalism from Taiwan 

With New Labour, Tony Blair famously tried to sidestep traditional notions of left and right politics by inventing his 'third way', an ideology that - although it was effectively a re-badging of good old-fashioned centrism - aimed to do things differently. Taiwanese musical collection A Moving Sound (or Sheng Don as they're known back home) have constructed their own third way. Their art is no respect-heavy replication of traditions, nor does it pander to Western pop sensibilities. It goes off in its own direction somewhere in between. Although rooted in the performance traditions of the Far East, the group's sound also boasts an open-ended sense of inquisitiveness and experimentation. At times it sounds like a Taipei take on prog; at other times it evokes shades of an Oriental Fairport Convention. As Chris Heim from Global Rhythm magazine put it, the group's creations are "not quite pop, nor folk, nor art music - but a little bit of both". (Biography written by Nige 2012)

[Selected US reviews]

Tom Pryor music supervisor for National Geographic.com

"A Moving Sound is one of the most original outfits working in the world music arena today, an inspired marriage of Taiwanese traditional sounds and Western experimentation that forges an important new musical dialogue.

Theodore Levin, Professor of Music, Dartmouth College, USA

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.”

Great Performances, Nashville Scene Critic's Pick

Taipei-based group A Moving Sound blends musical traditions from Taiwan, China and other Asian countries, and the result is unique and often haunting. Singer Mia Hsieh has a dreamy, almost hypnotic voice, and her accompanying musicians are every bit as intriguing — in fact, it might be worth the price of admission just to see someone play the bowed, two-string Chinese instrument known as an erhu, which sounds like an otherworldly combination of violin, theremin and human voice. (You’ve likely heard it in traditional Chinese music used in film and TV scores, and may have mistaken it at times for a singer.) A Moving Sound kicks off this year’s Great Performances series at Vanderbilt


Megan Romer,  GrassRoots Festival, Ithaca NY 

 “A Moving Sound brought an exciting and authentic taste of the East to our event.  Our festival goers were enthralled by the music, the costumes, and especially Mia Hsieh's mesmerizing dancing and ethereal vocals.  On top of that, the group was easygoing and professional, and really made a connection with our audience and staff.”

Tamara Turner, CD Baby  ( 5 out of 5 stars)

Giving a stunning performance at the annual World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Seville, Spain in October 2006, A Moving Sound demonstrated their ability to transfix their audience with a mesmerizing integration of Chinese tradition and contemporary folk. Driven by a high-spirited, unrestrained passion for celebrating the exquisite properties of dissonance wrapped thoughtfully within properly-earned dramatic tension, they combine multiple harmonic languages, drawing from the pentatonic basis of Chinese music but not allowing the music to be limited by its implications. This dynamic group maximizes the haunting and often brittle, sharp melodic quality of traditional Chinese music, such as the cry of the erhu, giving it good reason to converse with acoustic guitar and other “Western” folk predispositions. This blending of the two stylistic vocabularies integrates all elements so naturally and gracefully that the lines between the genres and centuries of time are transparent and permeable. Nothing short of visionary, their music is not only brave but humble, challenging the voices of their chosen instruments all the while respecting the inherent nature of each one, in order to allow it to be what it is, regardless of exceptional, musically-ambitious stretching.

Global Rhythm Magazine FEB 07 CD REVIEW  Chris Heim

”…… blends Eastern and Western instruments, traditional and modern sources and influences from China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and India and other stopping points along the Silk Road. ……delicately balanced between many worlds, Songs Beyond Words provides both an entryway into eastern music and artful expression of the universal human condition.”

The New York Public Theater

 “an exciting development in the progression of both traditional and contemporary Chinese music…..joyous, evocative and enchanting”

Brian Keigher, Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Chicago World Music Festival

 “Chicago’s reaction to A Moving Sound was a joy to see”

(Full Quote)

"On behalf of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, it was a rare treat to have A Moving Sound perform for the City of Chicago. They were showcased in three completely different settings during their stay for the seventh annual Chicago World Music Festival. At the first, a local music club, they were overwhelmingly received playing on a double bill with French band, Nouvelle Vague. The second was an afternoon outdoor county fair with a family environment. Again, A Moving Sound seemed to move and win over the crowd. For their third and final performance they shined for a packed, 300 seat traditional theater style setting. They had the audience captured. The wonderfully positive response of the audience was a fitting goodbye for our musical guests. Chicago's reaction to A Moving Sound was a joy to see"

Gobalquerque World Music Festival,  New Mexico audience responses

( we picked these two because we really were touched)

“I have been attending Gobalquerque with friends for several years, and it is by far the best music experience in the city of Albuquerque, and possibly the state of New Mexico.  This year’s event was filled with exceptional performers, but one group stood out for me and my husband.  Mia, the lead singer and dancer in A Moving Sound provides an elegant visual to compliment her vocal talent.  The group creates a synergistic energy with the audience from the onset, capturing their attention throughout their performance.  The have created a seamless blend of old world culture fused with a contemporary presentation.  When we went to the table after the show to purchase a CD they were so warm and welcoming, and we had a nice personal conversation with Scott and Mia. They both have such good energy, and are a joy to be near.  I hope you can provide them with another opportunity to return to perform in Albuquerque or Santa Fe soon.”

"My wife and I really enjoyed seeing A Moving Sound! Your group 
produces such a good energy and I can tell you really enjoy what you do and want to share it. I don't see or feel that very often and it connects at a spiritual level parallel to and enhancing the musical  experience.

I also enjoyed hearing about your culture during the Global Fiesta on Saturday afternoon and could easily have listened for another hour.  I've never seen musicians willing to let members of the audience try playing their instruments. In so doing, your group really connected at a personal level to those interested.
We bought all the CDs and DVDs available at the festival and will enjoy them for years to come.  I hope your travels bring you back to Albuquerque some day - A Moving  Sound was a jewel of Globalquerque Festival"

Selected Past Performances

Melbourne International Arts Festival, Australia

Nelson Arts Festival, New Zealand

Dunedin Arts Festival, New Zealand

Colours of Ostrava Festival/ Ostrava, CZ 

Pohoda Festival/ Trencin, Slovakia

Les Aubes Musicales/ Geneva, Switzerland

Masala Festival / Hanover, Germany

Tübingen University, Heidelberg University/ Germany

Dunedin Festival, NZ 

Nelson Festival, NZ 

Melbourne Festival, AU

Madison World music festival, US

Humanitas World Music Festival(Washington State University), US

The Kennedy Center, Washington DC, US

Globalquerque World Music Festival, New Mexico, US

Northern Arizona State University, Arizona, US 

Great Performances at Vanderbilt Univ. Series, Tennessee, US 

George Washington University, Washington DC, US 

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, New York, US 

Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, US 


WOMAD BBC Radio3 stage, England 

Itinerari Festival, Trento Italy 


Small World Festival, Toronto, Canada

Towson University, Towson MD US 

University of CAL at Berkely, CSU, Monterey Bay World Theater, US 

STADT Contemporary Arts Center, Munich Germany               

Shanghai World Exposition, China

RichMix Arts Center, London, England

Satellit Café, Paris, France 2010 

World Village Festival, Helsinki, Finland 

Festival of Cultural Diversity, Costellon Spain 


Culture Del Mondo, Cuneo, Italy 

Fest Der Kulturen, Augsburg, Germany


Dunya Festival, Netherlands 

Global Sound Healing Conference, LA, US


Grand Performances, Los Angeles , US

Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada

The Rubin Museum, New York City, US

Ollin Kan Festival, Mexico City, Mexico

The Quebec City Festival, Canada

Grassroots Festival, Ithaca NY, US

Chicago World Music Festival , US


WOMEX, Music Exposition, Spain

MOFFOM Festival, Prague, CZ

The New York Public Theater, US

Technical Requirements

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