The Dock New Song Commission: Songs of Remembrance
About Maija Sofia
Maija Sofia Makela is an artist from rural Galway who works through music, text, performance, and archival research. She is a graduate of Trinity College and a recipient of the 2020 Next Generation Award from the Arts Council of Ireland. Her debut album 'Bath Time', a collection of songs exploring female experiences and shadow histories throughout art, literature and folklore was released in November 2019 through Trapped Animal Records and was nominated for the RTE Choice Award Irish Album of the Year. It centred on electric guitar and voice with additional harp, analogue synth and more experimental instrumentation and was described in the Sunday Times as "quietly breathtaking [...] the arrival of a unique new voice." In 2020 she has performed in the National Concert Hall, Vicar Street and for Other Voices' online Courage series.
Background to the commission
This year 2020 was to be a year of promise. The start of a new decade always brings hope, but it has instead brought a turn in all our lives. It has been a year about distancing in many ways. Bringing to mind losses and remembrance of those who have died and who have not been mourned in our traditional ways. Those in our close community of artists whom we should remember, the peacemaker John Hume, artist Janet Mullarney, the writer Eugene McCabe, the poet Eavan Bolan, musicians and carriers of traditions Mary Mc Partlan and Ben Lennon from Leitrim. And those who are closest and dearest to us. Despite all the concerns the year has brought, in terms of racial and political tension, disturbing and rapid environmental shifts and the everyday concern for the health of our friends, neighbours and communities. This year is a chance for us to reset, rethink and we hope will bring opportunity for change. Can if offer us a chance to be better connectors, more fully mindful of our own and others identities, care and celebration of difference and diversity, love and protection of the living earth? With the ideas of remembrance and our natural environment, and in particular trees in mind, The Dock has commissioned new songs and music that respond to the conditions of all our lives at the moment.