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
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
“A Moving Sound was absolutely brilliant”
Jacques Monnier, Paléo Festival artistic director Nyon, Switzerland
AMS performed at Paleo on July 23, 2015
AMS is "one of the few groups offering truly creative music from Asia"
Marco Werman, BBC Public Radio International
“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"
CD Review By David Honigmann (4 out 5 stars)
The Financial Times, London
“their musical ability was outstanding …… a variety of unusual instruments being played with such skill…..so entertaining for our audience that they gave them a standing ovation.”
Dick Dixon, Festival Director, Warwick Folk Festival
AMS performed at Warwick on July 26, 2015
“It succeeds largely because of Mia Hsieh's cool and drifting vocal work …..”
The Guardian, CD Review, Robin Denselow
“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"
Lucy Duran on BBC Radio 3’s World Routes
“They 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.”
Songlines Magazine ( 3 out of 4 stars) Alexandra Petropoulos
"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.”
Tom Pryor music supervisor for National Geographic.com
“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, Professor of Music, Dartmouth College, USA
“enthralling, engaging performance which seamlessly mixed timeless music from the heart of Taiwanese culture with a contemporary flair….audience members young and older were captivated by the colorful, vigorous, and technically accomplished music and dance. A Moving Sound is a musical plum blossom gift from Taiwan: evocatively beautiful, with a strong, resilient core.”
Lauren Pratt, Producer of Music, REDCAT ( Roy and Edna Disney, Cal Arts Theater, Los Angeles)
AMS performed at REDCAT on Oct 18, 2015
“A Moving Sound far surpassed my expectations both as performers and people. Their performance was one of the most powerful and entertaining concerts I’ve seen in some time. They are consummate musicians, engaging performers and a great pleasure to bring to our community. People in town are still talking about their concert a month later, which is high praise indeed.”
Daniel Truckey, Coordinator, Northern Nights, Northern Michigan University
AMS performed at NMU on Sept 29, 2015
"…. their music transports the listener to a timeless, location-less space …. A gorgeous combination of cultural traditions, innovation and artistic composition, their live show and ability to read and respond to the audience is superb…… stretches ears and minds just enough to make you feel like you've learned and listened to something new,
while being grounded in universal human emotion, altogether, it taps deeply into your soul."
Correne Anderson Program Coordinator, Cultural Events & Special Academic Programs, University of North Carolina, Asheville
AMS performed at UNC on Oct 14, 2015
"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."
Great Performances, Nashville Scene Critic's Pick — JACK SILVERMAN
“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.”
Megan Romer, GrassRoots Festival, Ithaca NY
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.
Tamara Turner, CD Baby ( 5 out of 5 stars)
”…… 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.”
Global Rhythm Magazine CD REVIEW Chris Heim
“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”
Brian Keigher, Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Chicago World Music Festival
(Full Chicago 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"
"one of the most joyous musical experiences that I have had the pleasure to program. The ensemble infused the space with a heart-warming, love-filled vibe that truly rocked our souls"
Willis Johnson, Galapagos Art Space, New York City
Gobalquerque World Music Festival, New Mexico audience responses
“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"