Behind the piano: Mjorn

A while back I introduced you to the track Golden milk by the composer Mjorn, and today it’s time for Mjorn to take over Behind the piano! Let’s get to know it all!

What’s your real name?
Miron Nabokov (no relation to the famous writer)

How did you come up with your artist name?
It was a game of rearranging sound to create something close enough to my own name and nature, but also with enough room to claim it’s not exactly myself for creative freedom.

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am originally from a small village in Chelyabinsk, central Russia, but currently live in the Hague, the Netherlands. Drawing inspiration from both locations, naturally.

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started learning the piano when I was 6, but never became a decent player, so I see myself more as a composer and a producer rather than a performer. I also know my way around a guitar but can’t do anything spectacular with it.

Tell us about how you started playing music.
I used to have a love-hate relationship with the piano. I started playing it in primary music school, when I was 6. I hated the formal education and would have left the school if my parents hadn’t insisted. Only closer to the end of that education did I start to truly appreciate music and the range of expression piano allowed. Since then, I was taking small steps towards making music, but it took me quite a while, almost 10 years since graduation.

How long have you been making piano music?
For a year now, I’d say. With all the electronic possibilities, it’s the piano that I start composing with, and often end up with the piano in the centre of any new piece.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
That was quite a struggle altogether. For years I thought that I can’t go further because of the lack of proper equipment, software, playing skills or theory, but slowly continued to work towards creating my own music. Eventually I accumulated enough knowledge to produce something I was happy with, and since then I couldn’t find joy in doing anything else.

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Not strictly piano genre, but I can’t get enough of Brambles, Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds. They are the main parts of my artistic compass.

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
I always have a certain earworm my hands would automatically play whenever I touch the keys. Normally it’s a piece I would be working on that time, and it has been a while since I played somebody else’s music.

What rules (in making music) need to be broken?
It’s more of a production unspoken rule of being in the studio 24/7 and dedicating all your time to your own material. Get outside, record in the field, talk to people, go to parties, listen to other people’s music. Never limit your sources of inspiration.

How do you record your music?
I still have no funds to afford recording in a studio, and for now all of my chips are on music-making, so everything I do I do myself.

What’s your take on sampled instruments?
They are the great equalizers in the sense that you can do everything by yourself in your room now. Making music has never been so democratic, and I personally would rather use a high-quality sample library than go through pains and trials of recording an acoustic instrument.

The last question is asked by my 6 -year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
They are coming from all the love and excitement I feel for the world and the people dear to me. The sounds are produced by tiny people hitting strings with tiny hammers, of course.

Thank you very much for this Miron!

For more information, please check out the following links:
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify