Fri, Sep 24, 2010 - Page 14 News List

MUSIC: Grooving with new cultures

By David Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER


A Moving Sound (聲動劇場), one of Taiwan’s most prominent world music troupes, is back with a set of new material that will be presented in two separate shows at the Red House Theater (紅樓劇場) tomorrow.

The group, led by co-founders Mia Hsieh (謝韻雅) and her husband, Scott Prairie, recently finished a tour of Europe, which has become an annual destination for them.

Their travels have partly inspired tomorrow’s program, which is being filmed by Public Television Service

(公視) for an upcoming documentary on the band.

“We want to share our world experiences with Taiwanese audiences,” said Hsieh, A Moving Sound’s lead vocalist and dancer, who has chosen and adapted folk songs from Israel, Greece and Tibet for tomorrow’s show.

This is a slightly new angle for a group that has been presenting its original work abroad as a modern twist on traditional Taiwanese musical theater combined with melodies and grooves from Central Asia and India.

Hsieh says they are making a conscious effort to present world music

in Taiwan as a way “to understand different cultures.”

She says what links the Israeli, Greek and Tibetan songs is their “spirituality” and a yearning “to connect with the universe.”

She hopes Taiwanese audiences will see that “even [with people] from other cultures, we are actually all together.”

One thing that will remain the same tomorrow is the lively, celebratory mood of A Moving Sound’s concerts. The group often invites a handful of guest performers for its seasonal shows in Taipei. Tomorrow’s guests include flamenco guitarist Camaron de la Vegas and an a capella chorus of six women led by Hsieh.

And audiences tomorrow will not only get a taste of different cultures — they will be learning more about their own.


What: A Moving Sound live in concert

When: Tomorrow at 3pm and 8pm

Where: Red House Theater (紅樓劇場), 10 Chengdu Rd, Taipei City (台北市成都路10號)

Admission: NT$600, available at the door or through

On the Net:

The group plans a special performance of the song Toh De Gong (土地公伯), or “Earth God,” from their latest album, Starshine. Even though the Earth God is one of the most common folk deities, many Taiwanese have “forgotten” its purpose, Hsieh says.

“This song tells us its function. When we worship the Earth God, what offerings do we have to prepare? It talks about the things managed by the Earth God — when you give birth, take an exam, choose a time to build a house — for such things we usually consult the Earth God.”

Hsieh says she wrote the lyrics to this jubilant tune after extensive research, with the aim of “educating” young Taiwanese. “These things are part of tradition, and we’ve practically forgotten about it all,” she said.

But the learning will be fun. Hsieh says to expect a humorous presentation with a guest male rapper decked out

in traditional robes playing the part of the Earth God, as well as a choreographed dance featuring Hsieh and the a capella group.


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