Anna Morottaja, student 2016-2017 and 2019-2020

Playing and singing together were the greatest moments of my student year. Playing in a band was in the teaching programme from beginning to end, and we experienced plenty of successes and joy from doing things together. We also got to learn about instruments that were new to us. Another significant course was the singing lessons, i.e. using the voice. From lesson one onwards, I experienced revelations and learned to know my voice better.

World’s first livđe album

Also, the Láhppon luođi/livđe ozus (Looking for the lost yoik/livđe) course and learning about my family’s livđes were important. I already knew before my studies at the music academy in 2016–2017 about the existence of my family’s traditional music. Having learned about the topic during my studies, I was surprised to see how many of my family’s livđes there were! At the latest when drawing my musical family tree, I understood that the tradition was very close to me: my grandfather and at least his sisters, brothers and mother all livđed. I never met my grandfather on my father’s side, but I have sort of learned to know him through livđes. Getting familiar with the tradition at Sámi Music Academy was certainly one source of inspiration when I made my first livđe album in the summer of 2019. I understood that I had to make that album because my family had so strongly borne this tradition in the past.

Opening doors to the past

In my opinion, traditional music contains the aesthetics of art and a plethora of information. For example, the lyrics contain Sámi philosophy. They show what was considered important in the past and what was thought about many matters. The yoiks and livđes of my already deceased relatives keep a door open to the past. It is as if I was going through an old photo album. Of course, traditional music also brings people together. Livđe was on the main stage of the 2019 Ijahis idja. Inari Sámi children and adults heard a half-hour gig in their own language, including spoken parts in Inari Sámi. This has great importance to the audience.

Useful teaching

I utilise the teachings received in Utsjoki in many ways. My year of studies strengthened my self-confidence and laid the foundation for making my first album, for instance. I plan to make another album with livđe with other livđers. I have thought about musicians who have studied at Sámi Music Academy being involved. During the first year at the music academy, we also established plenty of relationships with the Sámi music world. It is valuable to have people you know whom you can ask for advice and help.


Sámi Music Academy's student stories