BIO

Magda Mayas, born 1979, is a pianist 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 is currently undertaking Phd studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden,  investigating instrumental techniques, timbre and spatiality in improvised music performance.

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).

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, Andy Moor, Zeena Parkins, Joelle Leandre, Paul Lovens, Ikue Mori, Phill Niblock, Peter Evans, Andrea Neumann and Axel Dörner. She has performed at festivals and exhibitions such as Maerz Musik (2012,2015), Documenta (2012) or the  Berlin Biennale ( 2014).

She was awarded a residency at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles in 2016 and at the Montalvo Arts Centre, USA in 2017. Additionaly, she has been curating, producing radio pieces for ABC Australia and Deutschlandradio Kultur and released over 20 CDS to date.

CV

Academic Studies

Mayas studied Jazz Piano at “Universität der Künste” Berlin 1999-2001, followed by an "Erasmus" exchange year at the “Conservatorium van Amsterdam” under Misha Mengelberg, 2001.

 

Further Studies and Diploma in Jazz piano performance at “Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler" Berlin under Georg Gräwe, 2002-2004.

 

Since 2015, she is undertaking Phd studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in Music Performance and Interpretation, investigating instrumental techniques, timbre and spatiality in improvised music performance.

 

Performances/Collaborations

 

Mayas performs internationally solo and in collaboration with a large number of musicians and composers.

 

She 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, Andy Moor, Zeena Parkins, Joelle Leandre, Paul Lovens, Ikue Mori, Phill Niblock, Peter Evans, Andrea Neumann and Axel Dörner. She has performed at festivals and exhibitions such as Maerz Musik (2012,2015), Documenta (2012) or the Berlin Biennale ( 2014).

 

Radio Work

 

2013 Documentary for ABC Australia, “Inside Piano”

 the history of playing the piano with extended techniques and modern practitioners today, including research regarding historic keyboard instruments, composers ( Cage, Cowell, Bertoncini) as well as interviews with pianists using extended techniques today (John Tilbury, Anthony Pateras, Reinhold Friedl, Andrea Neumann)

 

2014 Documentary for ABC Australia, “Real Time Music Berlin”

approaches and styles of improvised music, particularly the “Echtzeitmusik” scene in Berlin, interviews with practitioners and curators

 

2014 Feature for Deutschlandradio Kultur, “Dream Machine Beirut”

 

2014 September “Dream Machine Beirut” adapted for ABC Australia

 

2015 sound essay for ABC, Australia, Creative Audio Unit,  “Home is where the heart is”

 

 

 

Curatorial Projects

 

 

Magda Mayas has been curating experimental music events and festivals in Berlin since 2005.

 

As part of her ongoing research, Mayas founded “Tasten-Berliner Klaviertage” festival, running from 2005-2009, during which contemporary and innovative approaches for the piano were presented, (www.tasten.org), featuring pianists and composers such as John Tilbury, Anthony Pateras, Chris Abrahams and Ian Pace.

(with support from “Ernste Musik Projektförderung ” Berliner Senat)

 

 

 

2009

 

artistic director of “Biegungen” together with Clare Cooper, at “ausland”, Berlin including concerts with Andy Moor, Sven Ake Johansson, Annette Krebs, Joe Williamson, Rhodri Davies, Andrea Neumann, David Watson, Christine Abdelnour

 

 

 

2013

 

artistic director of “COMPASS” Festival together with Tony Buck, an exchange between leading Lebanese and Berlin musicians and sound artists.

http://www.ausland-berlin.de/compass

(with support from Goethe Institut and Bezirksamt Pankow Berlin)

 

 

 

 

 

TEACHING

 

 

 

Masterclasses / Artist Talks / Workshops

 

Magda Mayas has been giving workshops and masterclasses at Universities and festivals all over the world.

 

 

 

Europe

 

Musikhögskolan, Malmö, 2010, Workshop on approaches in improvised music with Tony Buck

 

Brno/Czech Republic, „Exposition of New Music Festival“, 2010, Lecture on styles and approaches in improvised music with Tony Buck

 

Lublin/ Poland „John Cage Year 2012“ at the Faculty of Arts MCSU

 

3 day symposium on Cage, the prepared piano, history and modern approaches of inside piano playing

 

 

 

USA

 

Mills College, 2012 lecture and workshop on contemporary improvised music approaches with Tony Buck

 

Wesleyan University 2011 lecture and workshop on contemporary improvised music approaches with Tony Buck

 

University of Berkeley California, 2012, teaching Myra Melfords class on contemporary improvised music approaches with Tony Buck

 

Bard College 2011 concert and lecture on improvised music approaches with Tony Buck

 

Cornell University 2011 concert and lecture on improvised music approaches with Tony Buck

 

 

 

Singapur

 

La Salle College 2013 Approaches in Improvised music, with Tony Buck

 

SOMA, 2014, Prepared and Inside piano in history and modern practice

 

 

 

Australia

 

Brisbane, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

2012, Approaches in Improvised music, with Tony Buck

 

Brisbane, Queensland University of Technology,

2012, Approaches in Improvised music, with Tony Buck

 

Sydney Conservatory,

2012 Solo Recital and artist talk, composition class on inside/prepared piano playing

2015 with Tony Buck on Approaches in Improvised Music

 

 

Monash University Melbourne,

2015, Solo concert and workshop

 

 

 

Musicschool

 

2007 - 2017, co-founder and director of „Neue Musikschule Berlin“, www.neue-musikschule-berlin.de

 

offering instrumental lessons at 10 different schools all over Berlin, as well as interdisciplinary projects, higher education courses and workshops incl teachers and guest artists such as Marc Sabat, Barre Philips, Axel Doerner, Peter Ablinger, Tony Buck and Burkhard Beins.

 

Teaching piano since 2007.