Hilde Annine Hasselberg is one of the participants in this year’s round of the mentor programme Borealis Ung Komponist. We checked in to see how she’s doing, and get to know her a bit better.
How are you, and what are you up to these days?
I’m good! I think! There’s a lot happening these days. I just started a new job as a vocal coach in a music school in Kvam (1 hour outside Bergen), I’m also involved in a super exciting and ambitious school project with BIT20 Ensemble in addition to lots of other future projects that I’m planning.
You’re participating in round three of our Mentor Programme Borealis Ung Komponist – how does it feel?
Amazing! And overwhelming and scary and inspiring and motivating! I’m so grateful to be given this opportunity. I feel really priviledged! The composer in my head has never been so excited as after the first gathering with one of our mentors Carmina Escobar. I mean, you can’t be anything but inspired when you get to work with such wonderful mentors, great musicians from ensemble Yrry, lovely co-composers, and last but not least the amazing Borealis Team. I know this can all come across as a bit over the top – but I mean it! At the same time it’s very challenging. Sometimes I’m scared I won’t make it, or that it will just turn out bad! I don’t really think it will, though. I’m hoping to create something good. Or at least something very me!
When do you compose? And what do you need to make it happen?
I feel like I compose almost all the time. The piece I’m working on is always with me in the back of my head. Mornings or evenings are the best time for me to sit down and get things done. In the middle of the day I’m useless. I find it hard to work from home these days, so I’ve started going to my “office” in Sangsenteret i Bergen to compose. To be able to get into the working mode I have to have everything I need available. And I really mean EVERYTHING! Missing an eraser, for example, can be super distracting. I always make coffee or tea when I sit down to work and most of the time it ends up getting cold, because I forget to drink it.
You’re a singer yourself, classicly trained, and have been part of several theater productions and performed a lot. How does it feel to not be the one on stage this time?
It’s a big change! There’s a big difference in being a part of someone else’s creative process as a singer, and being the “boss” of the process. But I’ve always been curious about these creative processes and I feel like that’s also why I wanted to start my own. It’s also very interesting to give up the performer role. I’ve never written music for anyone but myself before.
And the the big question; what are you listening to these days?
More than I have listened to in a long time! One of the good things about going to Kvam twice a week is that you get to listen to lots of music. I feel like my taste is a bit all over the place. Looking at my playlist history from the last weeks I’ve listened among others to Bergen based Building Instruments, Hudson Mohawke, Susanne Sundfør, the soundtrack of the Disney film “Vaiana”, Elton John, Shostakovich and Stein Urheim. Haha!