Magda Mayas - piano, clavinet, composition
Magda Mayas, born 1979, is a pianist and composer living in Berlin. Over the past 20 years she developed a vocabulary utilizing both the inside as well as the exterior parts of the piano, using amplification, preparations and objects that become extensions of the instrument itself. Mayas explores textural, linear sound collage, and has developed a set of techniques that draw on the history of prepared and inside piano vocabulary, but are highly individualized and expand the language for internal piano music making. Alongside the piano, Mayas performs on a Clavinet/Pianet, an electric piano from the 60s with strings and metal chimes, where she engages with noise and more visceral sound material, equally extending the instrumental sound palette using extended techniques and devices. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Since 2019, she is the program coordinator and teaches improvisation at Luzern University of applied Sciences and Arts.
Mayas performs internationally solo and in collaboration with a large number of musicians and composers. Current projects are "Spill", a duo with drummer Tony Buck, a duo with Christine Abdelnour (sax) and "Great Waitress", a trio with Monika Brooks (acc) and Laura Altman (cl). She is a member of the Splitter Orchester Berlin.
Magda Mayas has performed and toured in Europe, the USA, Australia, Mexico and Lebanon and collaborated with many leading figures in improvisation and composers such as John Butcher, George Lewis, Andy Moor, Eddie Prévost, Phill Niblock, Zeena Parkins, Fred Frith, Hamid Drake, Joelle Leandre, Paul Lovens, Ikue Mori, Ken Vandermark, Okkyung Lee, Nic Collins, Elliot Sharp, Maja Ratkje and Chris Corsano.
She has performed at festivals and exhibitions such as Maerz Musik (2012,2015), Documenta (2012), the Berlin Biennale (2014) or Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2015).
Magda Mayas was awarded a residency at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles in 2016 and at the Montalvo Arts Centre, USA in 2017 and 2019. She co curated the Festival “Music Unlimited” in Wels, Austria, in 2019 together with Kazu Uchihashi and Joe McPhee. Additionally, she has been producing radio pieces for ABC Australia and Deutschlandradio Kultur and released over 30 CDS to date.
“..Magda Mayas has expanded the language for internal piano music making”
Peter Margasak, Downbeat Magazine, 2010
"...it's hard to believe that it's a recording of solo piano music. Mayas' training as a classical musician has helped her develop a highly attuned sense of touch for the keyboard, which is still in evidence but now extends to the percussive treatment of strings, arresting control of attack and resonance, and the real-time orchestration of timbres…she's developed an approach to the piano that grapples with the entire instrument, from strings to soundboard, keys to frame…" Michael Rosenstein - Paris transatlantic magazine
"It is one of the widest and deepest adventures into the sonic heart of the piano, including its entire cardiovascular system attached to it.(...) It is so powerful that it's captivating."
"Put together, it's an exhilarating sonic brew: after her introductory drones disperse, the music flies with cartoon-like velocity. Metrically intricate, brittle patterns ricochet against the
instrument casing like it's a pinball machine, strings twanging together like the expressive tuning of a blues guitarist. Towards the finish, keyboard harmonies get more empathically struck – Mayas began with the future and has worked back to the instrument we already know." Phillip Clark, The Wire
Magda Mayas by Peter Gannushkin