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A MOVING SOUND & ETHEL – The Wheel of Life

Written by on July 10, 2024

23rd August 2024 sees the release of The Wheel of Life – the new album from globally recognized world music ensemble A Moving Sound from Taiwan, and New York based Grammy-winning string quartet ETHEL.

The Wheel of Life is a wildly post-modern, deeply touching, cross-genre experience of stories-within-music. The album showcases a joy for creative experimentation and a penchant for dismantling boundaries.

In the realm of musical storytelling, A Moving Sound has a compelling grace. For over two decades, their touching compositions, intertwined with singer Mia Hsieh’s evocative vocals, have carried audiences on transcendent voyages, receiving global acclaim.

Two years ago, a bright and bold vision unfurled on the horizon — an idea that would transform selected A Moving Sound compositions, infusing them with the rich beauty of Western classical strings. It was a spark of inspiration, agift from the gods of music. After many serendipitous turns, it led them to ETHEL, trailblazers of the concert music landscape, a pairing that seemed destined by the fates. Both ensembles share a joy for bold experimentation, a penchant for dismantling boundaries, and an unyielding dedication to crafting music that tugs at the heartstrings. From this beautiful collision of creative forces emerges The Wheel of Life.

The Wheel of Life loosely borrows its concept from traditional Buddhist origins, yet dances to the song of its own muse. In this album’s unique narrative, The Wheel of Life is a metaphor for our soul’s journey: descending from ethereal realms, arriving on Earth, navigating life’s twists and turns from birth’s dawn to death’s embrace, and ultimately finding our way back home. It is a circle or cycle whose logic is beyond comprehension, a tapestry woven by the fingers of magicians and the verses of mystical poets.

“A Moving Sound is one of the few groups offering truly creative music from Asia”
– BBC Public Radio

A Moving Sound has been featured on BBC Radio 3, NPR, and on The Discovery Channel. They have performed and taught in twenty countries including The Kennedy Center, W.O.M.A.D. (picked as a festival highlight by The London Financial Times) and the Melbourne International Arts Festival. “One of the few groups offering truly creative music from Asia” – BBC Public Radio International.

“ETHEL are extraordinarily skilled, passionate musicians.”
– The New York Times

ETHEL is a Grammy-winning New York based string quartet that was co-founded in 1998 by Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; Todd Reynolds, violin; and Mary Rowell, violin. Unlike most string quartets, Ethel plays with amplification and integrates improvisation into its performances. “Extraordinarily skilled, passionate musicians.” – The New York Times

The Wheel of Life’s eight songs each represent a transformative experience, a crucible for personal evolution. At the heart of this alchemical process burns the sacred flame of creativity, the alchemy behind the sublime harmony of A Moving Sound and ETHEL.


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