Donna Maya

Transferring airwaves into music

ABOUT ME

Hi, my name is Donna Maya.
I am a theremin player and sound artist from Berlin and love to perform and produce experimental urban electro.

Since I make electronic music with synthesizers, computers, MIDI controllers and studio technology, I am confronted with gender stereotypes. Because of that, I see my art as a contribution to the political dialogue and demand for a diverse society without sexism, racism and discrimination, worldwide. From past to present, the musical work of female artists is less appreciated and often overlooked, especially when they compose with technical means and operate in a supposedly male reserved domain. Therefore, I am engaged to create structures that offer equal opportunities and support female artists and increase their visibility.

being a female musician is not enough

When I released my first vinyl album in 1998 under the name of my former dj and producer collective called „Die Patinnen Teil 2“, I was shocked by the reaction of the press. The focus of the media was not on the music, but on our gender, that two women produce electronic music. It culminated in an article of the renowned newspaper „Süddeutsche Zeitung“ with the serious headline: „Attack on the traditionally male domain music“ („Angriff auf das Männerding Musik“). It suddenly became clear to me that it is not enough to be a female musician who makes music and it does not matter how well I would do it. It’s about exclusion from a structurally male-dominated business. This strongly sensitized me to change something.

where I got my skills

Now I wanted to learn everything that had to do with studio technology – and became a trained sound engineer. After the diploma I was curious to know more about which tricks and techniques famous producers work with. So I grabbed my suitcase and moved to New York. I got an audio magazine with a list of all big studios in the city. I introduced myself to the biggest one at Times Square – and got a job there as an audio engineer assistant. At Unique Recording I worked together with Run DMC, Coolio, Easy Mo Bee, Tricky, Leni Stern and Joe Lynn Turner. Really enjoyed the time. But because the studio was booked 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, I had to work so much that I did not have time to make music myself. Therefore, after a year, I decided to go back to Germany.

discovering the theremin

With my new insights I went into my studio, started to produce tracks and began to perform live as a solo artist. Whereas I used to play drums and synthesizer in different bands, I was now moving sliders and knobs. Somehow I missed the direct contact to the music, or better to say, to be able to express myself playing live. Until one day I saw a picture of a theremin, the first electronic instrument, as well as the only musical instrument that is played without touching it. I knew right away: that’s the interface I was looking for. So I immediately bought a theremin and one week later I used it in a concert.

making a change

In my music I often explore socialpolitical issues and injustice, as for „lost spaces“, where I focused on disappearing spots. The term also represents all musical work of female musicians that is not heard or ignored. I work with self-recorded audio samples to create sound sculptures combined with beats. With my theremin I figuratively wander through the sound spaces and tell stories. The music is accompanied by atmospherically alienated images and video sequences. With my audio-visual concerts I would like to rouse and wake up my audience to force a public debate about that we all miss a lot if we exclude 50% of the music creators, namely the female artists. I want to create a greater awareness of this problem, so that barriers and misogynist structures will be reduced. My aim is to establish a new normality to achieve a representative gender balance, equally valued appreciation of female musicians and equal opportunities for everyone!

Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin

Press

„The music part of the night was kicked-off by Donna Maya, a Berlin-based musician and the first Abelton certified trainer. She got the crowd moving with her live show …“
DJ Broadcast

Live concert history

Donna Maya was invited to play at

  • Sea Watch soli tour (Germany)
  • Sonar (Barcelona)
  • Transmediale (Berlin)
  • Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich)
  • Berlin Atonal (Berlin)
  • female:pressure Perspectives Festival (Berlin)
  • Sonoras III festival (Valencia)
  • Khidi (Tiflis)

MUSIC

Latest releases:

JUST OUT!!!

Alien Swamp
baze.djunkiii & Donna Maya

Tribe’n’Bass? Tech’n’Bass? Drum’n’Tech? Whatever you might call it, is a quite trip, a journey into the unknown and unexplored.
For their conjunctional studio effort that is „Alien Swamp“ we see Hamburg’s baze.djunkiii and Berlin-based Donna Maya draw influences from spiralling TribeTekno and the freeform approach of the teknival scene, pay homage to their love for advanced, experimental Drum’n’Bass and fuse these elements with a stripped down high tech vibe somewhat reminiscent of early Minimal Techno coming out of Motor City Detroit. Imagine all these bits falling together at breakneck speed and with a well psychedelic notion and you’ll be captivated by one of the most unique dancefloor cuts from a space-exploring future, the electroid soundtrack for illegal raves taking place under the two suns of life-bearing exoplanets in binary star systems far far away.

7″ vinyl, limited edition of 200 copies, FREEBREAKZ.FWD, 2020

Bandcamp

Repetition Catches Chaos
Mila Chiral

Donna Maya Remix
Further remixes by Lady Maru, Adolfina Fuck and [U.G.O.]
EP, Dead Groovy Music, 2020

Beatport

Intoxication
[U.G.O.], Zephixx

Donna Maya Remix
The Amazons Remixes by INCL REMIXES, TOXIC D.N.A, E LA LUNA, LINA RESPEN & BENN X, MISS ADK, LADY MARU, MILA CHIRAL, IMA VIKK, KATARINA OHALLORAN, DONTTOXIQUE, DEMAH. MAYA (DE), DEYSA, WARDITA, XANHANDA,[U.G.O.]
Album, Underground Roads Records, 2020

Beatport

Selected music productions and compositions:

  • Soundtrack contribution for „kurz und schmerzlos“ by Fatih Akin
  • „Blickfang/Blickfänger“, poetry-dance-performance with Anja Weber and Anne Duden, drei D poesie Festival, Uferstudios, Berlin
  • Official jingle „AfD wegbassen“, Berlin
  • „Crossfade“ & „Philharmonic Phunk“,  compositions for Kammerphilharmonie and dj, Hannover

LIVE PROGRAM & VIDEO

Donna Maya records soundscapes of places that, from her personal perspective, deserve special attention. She experiments with the recordings and transforms them into sound sculptures combined with electronic beats. With her theremin, she musically walks through these artificial-acoustic worlds and tells stories that create imaginary pictures  – urban electronics.

Watch a live recording –>

 

 

Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin
Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin

Releases

Alien Swamp

baze.djunkiii & Donna Maya
Remix by Donna Maya
7″ Vinyl, FWD / FBFWD001, 2020

Bandcamp

Repetition Catches Chaos

Mila Chiral
Remix by Donna Maya
Dead Groovy Music, 2020

Beatport

Intoxication

[U.G.O.], Zephixx
Remix by Donna Maya
Underground Roads Records, 2020

Beatport

Never Expect

TAM TAM Skybar Compilation
V.A.
Vinyl album + digital, Z Common Ground, 2019

Bandcamp

GudrunGut-Moment-Remix-155

Baby, I Can Drive My Car

Gudrun Gut
Remix by Donna Maya, Dasha Rush, Pilocka Krach, Elisa Metz, Maria Basel (aka Rio), Paul Frick, T.Raumschmiere
EP, Monika Enterprise, 2019

Bandcamp

seawatch soli sampler

Care!

Kopfüber Solisampler für Sea​-​Watch
V.A. with Donna Maya, André Winter, Armando Kroma, Breger, Dubwidth, Egomorph, Hc Kurtz, Heerhorst, Intaktogene, Lampé, Mehia, Mila Chiral, Nelson Bell, Nicorus, Not Demure, O/Y, Ohdus & Kindred, Shannon Davin & Chathura, TiM TASTE, Vakabular, Wardita
Album, ɹǝqüɟdoʞkopfüber, 2019
Bandcamp

loveiswinning

Love Is Winning

Natalie Beridze / TBA
Remixes by Donna Maya, Lightning Jules, Nikakoi, Thomas Fehlmann
EP, Monika Enterprise, 2016
Bandcamp
Beatport

nomads3

Sonic Shadows

Nomads in Sound Volume 3
East–West Future Dub & Dubstep by Uzul (FRA), Késhava (EE), Mutamassik (ITA/US) PhOniAndFlOrE (FRA), Bass Trolls (SWE), Apurva (IN), Bass-Ul-Ulema Sound (BA), Hab (SWE) und Ombudsman (SWE)
Album, Meerkat Recordings, 2012
Bandcamp

radia-logo

Delias Darling

A radio piece made by female:pressure artists for RadialX 2010
V.A. mit Caro Snatch (Manchester; UK), Elecric Indigo (Wien; A), Manami N (Berlin; D), Xyramat (Hamburg; D), Scifi Sol (Portland; USA), Gavannas (Stockholm; S), Strict Status (Manchester; UK) and Dona Maya (Berlin; D)

female-pressure

Foreshadows

Donna Maya (DJ Da Cut) + Video from Ella Esque
female:pressure DVD 1, V.A.
open:sounds, 2008,
Free Video

partytime2

CONCERT BOOKING


Agency:
Stern-Booking
Booking-Email: booking (at) donnamaya.de

CONTACT

Please write us at web1(at)donnamaya(dot)de