Discover Artsits That Joined The 11th IMAs: A Moving Sound
DESCRIBE YOUR GENRE: Asian World Fusion
CATEGORY ENTERED: World Beat and Design, Album Art / Photography
SONGS SUBMITTED: Silk Road
ALBUM SUBMITTED: A Moving Sound
LABEL Name OR Self-Released: Motema
PLEASE LIST THE ARTISTS FEATURED ON THIS RELEASE.
Mia Hsieh/ vocal
Scott Prairie/ zhong ruan, bass guitar, gong, vocal
Zheng-Jun Wu/ percussion, erhu, flute
Tang-Hsuan Lo/ erhu
Hua-Zhou Hsieh/ guitar, zhong ruan
Hsin-Hai Yang/ suona horn song #1
Han-Sheng Hsyu/ sheng flute song #4
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BAND NAME? WERE THERE ANY CONTENDERS? Mia (the vocalist) came up with the name first in Chinese, which sounds like “Sheng Don,” with the English translation being “A Moving Sound.” At first Mia wasn’t sure if it was good, but Scott thought it was without a doubt the right name, liking the multiple meanings of the word “moving”…both movement and emotionally touching.
DESCRIBE YOUR LATEST RELEASE. These songs do something which is not very common; they use traditional Chinese instruments and melodic ideas found in Taiwan/China to create new compositions. Though this type of re-creation from traditional sources is part of the musical evolution in many cultures, Ie: African and Latin music, it has not happened often in Chinese music. Certainly this comes from the marriage of cultures and creative energies between the band…but it’s also a fortuitous happening of Scott landing in Taiwan just at the time when the place was bursting open and hungry for new creative possibilities. Taiwan is a very unusual place in terms of how smart and enthusiastic and ready to try new things the people are. So the creative expression of the songs came from all of this.
DID YOU USE ANY UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR EFFECTS? We use the “erhu” which is a vertically held and bowed instrument like a violin but has no soundboard, also a Chinese guitar called “zhong ruan.” We use other instruments that are very unusual, one called the “sheng” which is like a portable pipe organ and the “satar” (not sitar). It’s like an “erhu” with a long neck but it has sympathetic strings like a sitar which creates a very haunting sound.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT TO THE 11TH IMAS? Our super creative record label, Motéma submitted our music.
WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE? WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? It really depends where we are. When we are doing a festival next to a pig farm in rural Taiwan, we have grandma’s and kids and everyone from the village. When we play in New York City we have those interested in Taiwanese and Chinese music, or experimental music or anyone who’s heard about us. At world music festivals it’s the musically adventurous, at folk festivals it’s the folk audiences. I think generally we attract the curious and we seem to be a magnet for those hungry for some earthy spiritual vibe.
HAVE YOU EVER HUNG OUT WITH ONE OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES? WHAT’S THE STORY? While still living in New York City, Scott recorded a CD with Wharton Tiers, producer of Sonic Youth, and got to be in the studio where they made a lot of their music and guitarist Marc Ribot played on the CD. Scott also used to lived in Dayton, OH where the drummer from “Guided by Voices” was in his first band for awhile.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? It was pretty cool being interviewed and featured on National Public Radio and the feedback we got from that.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST/CRAZIEST TOUR STORY? Doing a show at Olin kan festival in Mexico City and getting a standing ovation from 12,000 people. Scott wore a wrestling mask during the encore song that was given to him by a guy in an earlier show that day. Immediately after the first show, the band had to race on a bus through the streets of Mexico City to make the starting time for the big show on the main stage.
ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU WISH YOU WROTE? Leonard Cohen, “Love Itself”
WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU LISTENING TO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? Galaxy 500, Kora played by a Belgian monk named Jacques Burtin, Huun Huur Tu, Bright Eyes
NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING. We are inviting a bunch of jazz artists from the Motema label, like trombonist Dennis Rollins, to a Jazz festival in Taiwan.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS…transforming
HOW CAN FANS FOLLOW YOU?
A Moving Sound on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/home.php?clk_loc=5#!/amovingsound.taiwan
Our page on the Motema label:
Our Website: www.amovingsound.com