Maija Sofia is a musician and writer from rural Galway of mixed Irish, Finnish and Turkish-Cypriot heritage. Her critically acclaimed debut album Bath Time, a collection of songs exploring the female experience throughout art, history and folklore was released in November 2019 to unanimous praise and shortlisted for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

On Saturday 11th of December, Maija will take part in Treaty: Songs in the National Concert Hall, a unique event which sees leading Irish songwriters - Lisa O'Neill, Gemma Dunleavy, John Spillane, Karan Casey, Duke Special, Jonathan Nangle, Crash Ensemble and special guest Christy Moore - perform new works inspired by the Treaty Debates and related themes.

We asked Maija for her cultural picks...

FILM

I recently watched Sisters with Transistors, Lisa Rovner’s documentary about early female pioneers of electronic music. Covering people like Delia Derbyshire and the 1920s theremin player Clara Rockmore, and then Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos and more, I found it deeply inspiring!

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

MUSIC

I’m very much looking forward to the new Cate le Bon album, and two artists who made albums I loved this year have been Lael Neale and Mega Bog. As for an Irish artist I love, I urge you to listen to Katie Kim immediately if you haven’t already.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

BOOK

I recently read Keeping the House by Tice Cin which was excellent, it was the first book I’ve ever come across about the Turkish-Cypriot diaspora, so I enjoyed that familiar representation. Mostly I’ve been reading poems lately, I’ve gone all the way back to Sappho, who is the earliest example of a female songwriter we have, I think! Her fragmentary poems and lyrics that have survived continually leave me awestruck. I loved Jess McKinney’s recent pamphlet Weeding, and Eva Griffin is another Dublin-based poet I can’t recommend enough.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

THEATRE

I never really go to the theatre! I’d like to! Maybe someone reading this can recommend a new play to me.

TV

I don’t watch TV, committing to a series is too stressful!

GIG

I’m playing with my band on the 9th of December in the Workman's Club which will be my first live Dublin show in 2 years, but aside from my own shows, I’m looking forward to loads of what Foggy Notions have booked next year; I’ve already got tickets for Cate le Bon, Grouper, Aldous Harding, Einsturzende Neubaten and Tirzah - how exciting!

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

ART

I'm a huge fan of the painter Salvatore of Lucan, the way he creates a kind of weird domestic magical-realism, his paintings are full of empathy and humour. He has an absolutely stunning piece in the National Gallery at the moment that just won the Zurich Portrait Prize and I urge you to go and look at it.

TECH

Do Yoga with Adrienne videos on YouTube count?

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

THE NEXT BIG THING...

The harpist Meabh McKenna, she’s deep in experiments at the moment, and on the cusp of greatness!

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Maija Sofia performs at Treaty: Songs at the National Concert Hall on Saturday, December 11th, alongside Lisa O'Neill, Gemma Dunleavy, John Spillane, Karan Casey, Duke Special, Jonathan Nangle & Crash Ensemble, Adrian Crowley, Ailbhe Reddy, The Darkling Air and special guest Christy Moore - find out more here.

Pic: Brian Teeling