Talkback: Mörmaid

Artist & Producer Live Sollid
By William Stokes

Photo: Guro Sommer

Norwegian artist and producer Live Sollid began her musical journey in the world of jazz, but is now exploring the outer reaches of progressive electronica and experimental pop, with a palette of otherworldly vocal manipulations, lush soundscapes and deft experiments with beats in Ableton. For Mörmaid, it’s all part of the same, vibrant ecosystem. “Jazz vocals and improvised music are the base of what I do,” she explains. “It’s always been a part of it, particularly when I talk about production.”

At the moment I can’t stop listening to

This maybe isn’t going to be the most exciting answer: I recently had this long period where I actually didn’t listen to that much music. Instead I’ve listened mostly to podcasts! The stuff that I keep going back to includes people like Jon Hopkins, also Kelly Lee Owens. Her album Inner Song is one of my favourite albums. I’ve got this Spotify playlist where I gather all of my favourite electronic music. Also, lately, I’ve been listening to this band called Giant Swan. I think the two first tracks on their self‑titled album are actually my favourite tracks: ‘55 Year Old Daughter’ and ‘Pandaemonium’. But I also love their latest EP, Fantasy Food.

The project I’m most proud of

I want to say my first EP, which I did all by myself. It was during the first lockdown that I finished it. I recorded, produced and mixed it on my own. And I felt really good about having done all of that myself. I felt like I got the mixes to a really good place. In the beginning, it was really hard to have any motivation at all, to do anything. So I just got into this mindset of, ‘OK, f**k it, I’m gonna do something. I have the songs.’ I just felt, ‘Wow, my ears can do this! I can mix, and it sounds good.’ I was referencing it next to other stuff and I was really happy with it. So that’s something I felt really, really good about.

Also on my recent EP, the track I’m most happy about is a song called ‘Punish’. Because it’s a really simple idea, but it works really well, I think! The song title actually just came from the [Soundtoys] Decapitator plug‑in, which has a ‘Punish’ button! I was like, ‘Punish! Oh, OK, I’m gonna play with that word a bit, and then stick it in a lyric,’ and it is really simple! And of course, all of the stems basically have the Decapitator on them. I use it all the time!

The first thing I look for in a studio

Oh, good question. I think, if there is a synth rack, I like looking at what’s there. I’m really interested in synths and I want to learn more about them, because I feel like I’m just like touching the surface. So I think that’s the first thing. I’m like, ‘Ooh, what’s this? What’s that? What does this thing do?’ I have a [Dave Smith Instruments] Prophet‑12 and a [Teenage Engineering] OP‑1. Those are my two. I feel like I still have a lot to learn, at least about the Prophet because it’s such a huge beast. The OP‑1 is really fun. I feel like it really has a character; you can just hear if someone has used one, even though it has a lot of different sounds, it’s got this kind of wacky character.

The person I would consider my...

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Published September 2023