Donna Maya

Transferring airwaves into music


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!

keep in touch

Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin


„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)


Latest releases:
Kopfüber soli-sampler for Sea​-​Watch
ɹǝqüɟdoʞkopfüber, 2019

Please buy this sampler to support humanity and solidarity: Migration is a human right and sea rescue is not a crime!


Baby, I Can Drive My Car
Gudrun Gut

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


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


Donna Mayas live concerts are based on audio samples she recorded in vacant and dissused places in the former metropolis Detroit: The sound of the world’s tallest train station, the atmosphere of the Ford factory, the echoing sound of the once-magnificent Michigan theater, that is used as a parking deck today. Intimate sounds. Resonances. Acoustic patina. For each place a composition. Donna Maya plays the theremin combined with computer, Ableton Push, as well as synthesizer and signal processors to design the unique sound of her theremin.

Watch a live recording –>



Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin
Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin
Donna MayaUrban Electro mit Theremin



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


seawatch soli sampler


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


Love Is Winning

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


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


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)



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



Booking-Email: booking (at)


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