Members of "A Moving Sound" posing in a field

A Moving Sound

March 31, 2023 | Polsky Theatre

Past Event

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

Featuring the distinctive timbres of the erhu (fiddle) and zhong ruan (lute), and the transcendent vocals of Mia Hsieh, A Moving Sound has devised a unique and compelling style 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, NPR’s “All Things Considered” and The Discovery Channel. 

A Moving Sound has performed at festivals, universities, art centers and museums in 23 countries throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Central America and Asia. They have performed at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, WOMAD in England, WOMEX in Spain and The Kennedy Center, Grand Performances and Redcat Theater in Los Angeles, and Great Performances at Vanderbilt University. They have appeared at festivals such as the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Chicago World Music Festival and the respected Paleo Music Festival in Switzerland.

A Moving Sound designs residency programs specializing in Taiwanese culture, dance and music, which they have conducted for many universities and communities around the world, including a five-college consortium in Massachusetts.

A Moving Sound is co-directed by Mia Hsieh (vocals, dance) and Scott Prairie (zhong ruan, bass guitar). They are joined in the ensemble by Sho-u Ray (erhu), Chih-Ling Chen (zhong ruan) and Yu-Hsin Chen (percussion).

Mia Hsieh draws creative inspiration from her roots in Asian culture, as well as an assimilation of experimental and improvisational art forms. Her vocal influences range from ethnic to experimental music. For many of the compositions, she performs using her own created language; chanting, speaking and singing with a deep emotion that reaches beyond words. In other pieces, she reinterprets ancient dialects and creates theatrical landscapes for her vocals and dance. She studied with Meredith Monk and Lynn Book in New York City on a Fulbright scholarship and has collaborated with visual artists, film directors, fashion designers and created several of her own interdisciplinary pieces. Hsieh also leads voice and dance and tai chi workshops internationally, which guides participants into creativity and self-exploration.

Scott Prairie lived in New York City before moving to Taiwan in December of 2001. He has a diverse artistic background drawing from his studies in music, visual art and psychology. He was trained as a conservatory French horn player at Carnegie-Mellon University, and later developed his own compositional style using classical, ethnic, experimental and pop music forms. He performed in many of New York City's centers for creative art, including The Kitchen and The Knitting Factory, and his music has been featured in theatrical productions in the United States and Taiwan.