▶Mae Karthauser is a British songwriter with a rich, acrobatic voice and a distinctive circusesque piano style. Raised in a musical family and one of seven children, she began learning piano, violin and singing as a child, before going on to study at Dartington College of Arts and California Institute of the Arts in LA. Her training began classically, but quickly spread to music spanning Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Africa, North India and Java as well as in jazz, folk and more popular modern styles.
She has performed her songs in France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and California and experiments often with contemporary circus - she has played whilst harnessed off the edge of BBC Television studios, dangling from the side of an old English fire engine and whilst flying tandem over the French alps in a paraglider. Mae has worked with circus companies such as Svalbard Company Sweden and The Flying Frenchies (her music appears on the film "Petit Bus Rouge"). She has recorded three albums and performs alone and with "The Midnight Fairground" band.
Her songs are populated by wayward characters both human and animal and leap playfully between story and fantasy and hard social questions, asking for what is faithful in a world of mirrors. Inspired by the likes of Lhasa de Sela, The Do, Zulya, Kate Bush, Regina Spektor, Whiskey Moon Face, Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom.
“Her engaging bohemian style emerges in fairytale songs which suggest the rhythmic romp of the carousel, the sights the sounds the smells of the carnival… Populated by wayward characters and Eastern European and gypsy klezmer vibes”
Western Morning News
"Dancing on the highwire, without a safety net"
Bob Harris, BBC
"A twilight world, caught between candyfloss sweetness and an altogether sharper undertone ***"
“From her bright red keyboard she deftly sculpts compelling narratives into disarmingly catchy songs that only she could have conjured” The Canteen, Bristol
A collection of vibrant circus-esque songs that tell vivid stories of wayward characters both human and animal. Song and music are coupled with a distinctive twist of humour and eccentrically woven anecdotes (on topics as wide as resident ladybirds, the violent homeless, and literature for 8-10-year-olds). Sometimes shows have come wildly embellished, dressed with magical theatrical elements and audience participation to create another world in which the boundaries of performer and spectator are miraculously blended…
Whether alone, or surrounded by a troupe of anything up to ten musicians, dancers, acrobats and clowns, Maehas audiences nestled playfully in the palm of her hand, as she strokes each one of them gently on the head, grinning like a badly behaved child in the chocolate aisle.