20th January 2016

The New Discipline : a compositional manifesto by Jennifer Walshe

Natacha Diels and Jessie Marino
Natacha Diels and Jessie Marino from Ensemble Pamplemousse.

As part of our 2016 programme, artists such as Object Collection, Natacha Diels and Jessie Marino are presenting works that involve a new use of the body in contemporary composition. We asked Irish composer and artist Jennifer Walshe, whose own works embrace this composed physicality, to write a text reflecting on this way of writing music for our programme book, and what she came back with is a manifesto for a new school of composition, that she calls The New Discipline.

Read the full text here.

In her text she situates these disparate works as the product of a post-MTV, post-internet generation of composition, but also as one that isn’t entirely dismissive of its deeper roots,

“The New Discipline thrives on the inheritance of Dada, Fluxus, Situationism etc but doesn’t allow itself to be written off merely as Dada, Fluxus, Situationism etc. It’s a music being written when Dada, Fluxus, Situationism etc have aged well and are universally respected. It takes these styles for granted, both lovingly and cheekily, in the same way it takes harmony and the electric guitar for granted. As starting points. As places to begin working.”

This is not a purely theoretical manifesto, but one borne from composers getting their hands dirty, as this new music doesn´t come with the same kind of resources as the dance, theatre, film worlds it draws on. At Borealis this year there will be lots of composers who are also performing their own work,

“And always, always, working against the clock, because the disciplines which are drawn from have the luxury of development and rehearsal periods far longer than those commonly found in new music. Then again, the New Discipline relishes the absence of that luxury, of the opportunity to move fast and break things. In this way, it is a practice more than anything else. And the concomitant: the New Discipline is located in the fact of composers being interested and willing to perform, to get their hands dirty, to do it themselves, do it immediately.”

You can read the full text here. 

Experience works which invoke the extra-musical at Borealis 2016.|
We recommend:

Object Collection – It’s All True
Ensemble Pamplemousse 
Jennifer Walshe – AN GLÉACHT 

11th November 2015

The very first Borealis Listening Club!


The Borealis Listening Club was born yesterday evening! The club meet was a huge success with so many people actively participating. We ate popcorn whilst listening to experimental sound worlds, shared some music and ideas, and so many were unafraid of voicing opinions about the music we experienced.

Club members were also able to get free tickets for upcoming new music concerts in Bergen. This will be the first of many special offers for our club members!

So, if you want to join the club watch for updates on our mailing list and facebook group where we will post some of the music we experienced last night as well as details about our next listening club on the 8th of December! If you have any questions/ suggestions for music we can listen to,  you can contact the club directly claudia@borealisfestival.no

28th October 2015

Come and Listen!

We would like to invite you to our new and exciting Borealis Listening Club! Together we´ll explore experimental sound-worlds new and old, through listening together, watching short films and performing experimental pieces. Every month at Hordaland Kunstsenter there´ll be our trademark Borealis popcorn, and listening club is open for everybody from the first time listener to the seasoned musicologist from the smallest to the oldest and wisest.

Every second Tuesday of the month, from November to February 2016, we’ll be here at the Hordaland Kunstsenter cafe, to share thoughts and experience in making, working and listening to music.

Sign up to the Borealis Listening Club group on Facebook and our mailing list to be sure to receive information and reminders of upcoming events, and if you still have any questions, don’t be shy and contact Claudia Cox.

16th October 2015

Borealis is looking for new interns!

Borealis is a festival for experimental music that lasts for 5 days each March in Bergen, Norway. We are a small team that grows bigger as the festival approaches and we are now looking for interns who want to gain experience in all aspects of putting on a festival!

We are looking for people to start before Christmas and be able to commit to around 15 hours a week, although we can be flexible for the right people. You will be working alongside the Artistic Director and Managing Director of the festival, but you will also be asked to run and develop projects on your own, and you’ll gain valuable experience in all aspects of making a festival and cultural work in general. We offer a small stipend to each intern, but can’t contribute to accommodation or travel costs.

We are seeking people who are interested in new and experimental music in all its forms, and have a passion for communicating this music to a wider audience. We want people who will take good care of both our artists and our audience. There´s always lots to do at a festival, and you´ll get experience working on things like: press, communications and social media; working on a production from the first idea, through its development to its performance (and the de-rig!); and you will meet artists, musicians and composers, and work with logistics and planning. The most important thing is that you want to be part of a team that shapes a fantastic festival in March 2016.

For questions contact Managing Director Tine Rude, and to apply send a short email outlining your skills, musical interests and why you want to be part of the Borealis team to tine@borealisfestival.no // 95 90 53 76.

Applications close on the 1st November.

13th October 2015

Thank you!

Sofia Jernberg & Ingar Zach

Thank you to everyone who came and made a very “koselig” event last Saturday. We had a great talk with the composer Sigurd Fischer Olsen and Sofia Jernberg about the piece he is writing for her and BIT20 Ensemble that will have its World Premiere at Borealis 2016.

Short after, Sofia did an amazing improvised performance with the percussionist Ingar Zach.

Here you can listen again to the conversation and also check out some of the pictures of the amazing night we had!

_MG_8591(S) _MG_8597 _MG_8611(s) _MG_8613(s)








All photos Magnus Håland Sunde

1st October 2015

Composer and Singer – 10th October

How does a new work come in to being? What does the composer actually do between getting a commission and us hearing the piece? Do the musicians even get a say in what happens? Fresh out of a workshop with BIT20 Ensemble, Norwegian composer Sigurd Fischer Olsen will be in conversation with vocalist Sofia Jernberg about a new piece they will premiere at Borealis in March 2016. They´ll be talking about the piece´s conception, from development to realisation, and the ups and downs on route to the concert hall.

We couldn’t miss the opportunity to have the amazing vocal talent of Sofia Jernberg in Bergen and not hear her voice. Equally happy on the opera stage, with free jazz players, or writing her own music, Sofia´s voice is a uniquely versatile instrument. Tonight she´ll be performing a first time collaboration with another multi-talented player, Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach, whose dynamic solo sets and work with bands Dans les arbres, Huntsville and Mural (amongst others), brings new meaning to a simple percussion set up.


Presented in collaboration with BIT20 Ensemble

Doors – and the bar, opens at 19.30.
The conversation starts at 20.00 in the café and the concert takes place in the gallery.
Free entrance.


8th September 2015

New office!

Borealis has been welcomed in to the HKS family. Find us upstairs at the Hordaland Kunstsenter, Monday and Tuesday give us a call, Wednesday to Friday the gallery and cafe are open to the public so just come up and say hello! We´re busy planning Borealis 2016, it´s going to be great!

29th August 2015

The Subjective Frequency Transducer – 28. august

The Subjective Frequency Transducer

What an amazing evening! Thanks to all of you who took part in Borealis’ event for Landmarks opening of the season.
After a performance by Stine Janvin Motland, some of the audience even got to try the amazing machine for themselves.

_MG_6959 _MG_6960 _MG_6977 _MG_6982 _MG_6985 _MG_6991












All photos Magnus Håland Sunde.

And here you can hear an interview with Stine about the project:


Intervju: Stine Janvin Motland – “The Subjective Frequency Transducer” by Egg På Studentradioen I Bergen on Mixcloud


9th March 2015

The Sounds of Bergen

Miniature Bergen-tiltshift

There is always sound. It is constantly around us. Some of those sounds grab our attention more than others. Borealis Festival is all about different sounds and the roles they (can) play.

We live in a time where we focus more and more on vision, both in and out of home. We watch all our screens, optimise our interior and dance with fashion. We orient by the mountains, look where we walk for safety or aesthetics. Those all are beautiful things. But what happens when you stop for a second and treat your ears, is pretty amazing.

Every place on earth has specific sounds that are always there. They give character to the city.

Here are ten sounds which we think give character to Bergen! We have two festival passes to give away to whoever is most accurate!

Send your answers to rick@borealisfestival.no
We will announce a winner on Wednesday afternoon.

Tip: be as specific as possible.

7th March 2015

Cassettes and Stones: part wild horses mane on both sides

Get inside the heads of idiosyncratic duo part wild horses mane on both sides, as they develop a new work for Borealis on residency at Bergen Kunsthall. From rocks to broken reverb boxes, their installation performances teeter on the edge of falling apart, embracing the fragile energy of stepping in to the unknown.
Landmark, 13th of march 2015

Video by Karoline Finnema

5th March 2015

Postcard from Kirkenes!


Lucy Railton and Russell Haswell present their latest collaboration that exploits the languages of contemporary instrumental music and hybrid analogue/digital synthesis. For this new commission developed on residency in the Barents region, Borealis and Landmark are excited to join forces with Dark Ecology (2014-2017), a project highlighting the border zone between Northern Norway and Russia around the Arctic Circle, organised by Sonic Acts and Hilde Methi.
Borealis caught up with them during their residency to find out what they have been up to.
14. mars, 22:30, Landmark

22nd February 2015

Brådypt (or in the deep end)

Artistic Director Peter Meanwell invites you to join this year’s Borealis from the bottom of the empty swimming pool in Sentralbadet. The festival takes place in Bergen from 11th to 15th of March.

Music by Sons of Kemet – Going Home

9th January 2015

In Conversation: Daniela Cascella

Writer and curator Daniela Cascella talks to Borealis artistic director Peter Meanwell about sound writing strategies, Italian murder stories and her project Writing Sound 2, which opened at www.lydgalleriet.no on 20th November 2014.