whose strings I: maya baglien

one of my favorite things is working with the strings of other musicians. when I handle their much-loved strings I can get a sense for the soul and style of the player, and the pieces that the strings might want to become now that they have found themselves with me. there is much that passes from person to string as the musicians compose, perform, record, and play around with the six, or seven, or twelve strings of their instrument. 

I want to share with you some of the artists whose strings I have been using of late, and will continue to post about the strings I use and the hands that played as I create new pieces with different artists' strings. sometimes the pieces I make with the strings will become a signature collection, and other times they will find their way into a variety of pieces, but no matter what, the strings carry the stories and sense of the person who strummed and plucked them.

string feature: maya baglien

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maya baglien performs in and around minneapolis as a solo musician under the name maya elena. her music is part folk part blues part rock and jam, but is truly a beast of its own. with her strong vocal leads and experimentation with instrumentation -- she plays guitar, mandolin, hand drums, bass, and uke, and has featured tabla percussion in her live acts -- maya crafts a sound that is both moody and warm.


tell me about your guitar(s). 

I usually rock a martin 12-string acoustic with a fishman pickup -- it plays beautifully with phosphor bronze strings, like butter. I am definitely borrowing my father's fender strat, which has been awesome to run through a loop pedal. I'm also rocking' an a-body denver mandolin. 

what inspires you when you sit down with your guitar?

when I sit down to write or just jam, it's frequently external factors -- lighting, instruments available to me, new pedals or technology, being in nature or jamming with friends. I try to listen to and interpret what is happening around me, and capture it with sound.

what are you listening to right now?

oh man, a whole lotta andrew bird for adventuring. he's a classically trained violinist who writes more contemporary, ambient, but still melodic tunes. he's from chicago. I'm also really into TAUK, they're strictly instrumental. I'd never felt such a strong connection at a live show than when I saw them at the cabooze. super nice folks!

what else are you into right now?

lately I've been super busy with music, and taking over booking at harriet brewing with james loney. on the weekends I'm a makeup artist and hair stylist. I regularly get down with a paint brush, too.

do you have any shows coming up?

I'm playing this awesome private show at a mansion off of lasalle, should be a really cool evening. I play every first monday of the month at the nicollet, and will be playing at the om dome at revival music festival in 2016 at harmony park. I'm often jamming with friends at the driftwood, and sit in with folks at harriet brewing. I'm a sucker for moto-i open mic night too. 

maya gave me a whole bag full of strings that I have already begun working with -- below are a few of the pieces I've created with them so far. thanks for reading, and you can check out maya's music here