Mentee Maya Shenfeld

Maya Shenfeld and Abigail Toll are the first two mentees of Amplify Berlin, our new creative development program for emerging artists. Together with their mentor Caterina Barbieri they developed their live set which they will present this Thursday on the occasion of the first Amplify showcase in the Club. We are presenting you one track Maya has worked on this month and a short Q&A with her about her time at ACUD. You can read the Interview with Abigail here.

Maya Shenfeld is a Berlin-based composer, sound artist, and guitarist. Her works span from electroacoustic compositions, sound installations and ensemble pieces to performing as a classical, experimental and rock guitarist. In her practice, Shenfeld explores the intersection between modes of musical production used in experimental and popular music. Her interests lie in the embodiment of the listening experience, researching temporality, deep listening, just intonation, and microtonality.

Maya, thanks much for your time! Tell us, what were your expectations when you applied for Amplify?

I was looking forward to working in a professional sound studio, share and exchange thoughts and experiences with a mentor, as well as meet a community of fellow musicians working in the city. I liked the idea of changing my every day, while still being in Berlin, focusing on finalizing a project.

Amplify put together a highly professional studio, working in the space, I had a chance to explore loads of new sounds, synths, experiment with a four-track tape recorder, as well as finish a couple of mixes.

How has your residency gone so far?

There were so many – working long nights at the studio, talking about music with Caterina Barbieri & Shub Roy. Recording feedback with Philipp Hülsenbeck on a Tuesday morning (sorry ACUD cohabitants!). And of course, joining Caterina and Carlo on air at Cashmere Radio on their monthly show Fulman (while sipping the best Italian cocktails in town).

And how was it to work with a mentor? Is there something in particular that you have learned during the residency?

At times composition and production can feel somewhat solitary, you’re very much in your own head. Working solo, things happen like forgetting your initial intention while developing a project, giving up on an idea because there’s no time to make it happen, or getting mixed up between different versions of the same track.

Sharing my work with Caterina, as well as getting to know more about her creative process, has been truly inspiring. We share similar backgrounds, we both started our way as classical guitarists then expanding our practice to composition, electronic music, and production. So I feel very much at home talking about music with her. Apart from learning a variety of mixing and production tricks, I had lots of support and constructive feedback while finalizing my set for Thursday. Things really came together.

What can people expect from you at the showcase concert?

Slow and evolving velvet harmonies, a swiveling spectrum of frequencies, synths, brass, feedback and most importantly, an experience of deep deep listening.

First Amplify Berlin Showcase with Maya, September 27

What are your plans for the future?

Releasing a solo album, playing lots of shows, music, music, music.