--- By Claire Tyrell Translated by
In describing A Moving Sound, people
have used "avant garde", "spiritual"
and "experimental". But, quite simply their
performance at the Red Theatre was one of the most stirring
and exciting I have seen in a long time.
Scott Prairie hails from America and
Mia Hsieh from Taiwan, and the two met while studying
in New York. The relationship sparked a creativity seemingly
hard to rival. Add people with expertise on the flute,
Erhu (traditional Chinese instrument played with a bow),
JongRan (Chinese guitar), and a selection of African
and Middle Eastern drums and percussion to the mix,
and you certainly have a sound that moves.
Performing a selection from their new
album, the band has really embraced the vast array of
sounds hailing from the East. The Indian-influenced
"Ganesh" is a stunning pairing of flute and
Mia's voice, which possesses a purity and intensity
that you follow wherever she wishes to lead. The Chinese
instruments come into their own in "Silk Road",
as I was transported to the vast sands of Central Asia,
reaching a state of near nirvana. Then, bang, you're
back in the markets of Taiwan with the energy-packed
The performance is also visually stimulating, drawing
on Mia's skills in dance, the Taichi fan and even a
guest trapeze artist!
"Little Universe", released three years ago,
was a compelling blend of uplifting indie pop, vocal
improvisation, spoken word, and offerings inspired by
world rhythms, all combined effortlessly.
Meanwhile having further explored the musical traditions
of Taiwan and Central/Eastern Asia, the new album (due
for release this month--details on website) focuses
on these ideas and themes, representing them in new
and unique ways.
While African and Latin beats are often
combined with Western principles, Asian traditions have
been less integrated. Changing this, A Moving Sound
is certainly making waves in the World Music arena.
Bass, JongRan: Scott Prairie
Vocals: Mia Hsieh
Percussion, Flute, Erhu: Cheng-Chun Wu
Erhu: Tang-Hsuan Lo
Guitar, JongRan: Hua-chou Hsieh