Astrid reflects around the second gathering of Borealis Ung Komponist

Astrid Solberg | Photo: Thor Brødreskift

In mid October the four participants of Borealis Ung Komponist met up for the second gathering, together with the ensemble TABULA RASA, which they are writing music for. The mentor for the second workshop was visual artist, composer, musician and performance artist Camille Norment

One of this year’s participants is Astrid Solberg. Her compositions balance conceptually on the edges of performance art and instrumental theatre. Power structures and feminism in music and art is of great interest to Astrid, in addition to internet culture, mental health and dogs. Her recent work is focused around video, choreography and visual elements in different forms, often presented through satire and humour.

More space for thought

Astrid reflects around the second gathering of Borealis Ung Komponist 2022!

Astrid Solberg | Photo: Thor Brødreskift

In mid October the four participants of Borealis Ung Komponist met up for the second gathering, together with the ensemble TABULA RASA, which they are writing music for. The mentor for the second workshop was visual artist, composer, musician and performance artist Camille Norment.

We asked Astrid Solberg to paint us a picture of how the process has been so far!

Astrid: For the second gathering our ideas and sketches had become more specific to what we wanted to test out. I tested an idea where the choir creates sound for a video, which both works as instruction for the ensemble and as a visual element for the audience. Last time I worked with found ASMR videos, but this time I had recorded my own video material more suited to the idea. I am so impressed with the ensemble’s ability to swap between different methods and approaches, both with my project and the other composers’ ideas!

Camille was also an incredible mentor. She made me realise that I don’t need to know everything before diving in. The most important thing at this stage is to test out as much as possible, and to work physically with the material – and then the puzzle pieces can fall into place a bit later. There was a feeling of landing a bit during this gathering. I managed to let go of some of the performance anxiety and better let myself keep focused!

What might have made the biggest impression on me is how inspired I get by being present with the other composers’ projects. On surface level we seem like four very different composers, so I assumed our processes would feel more individual. But to follow the other’s progress has given direct inspiration to my own ideas, and this has enriched the workshops so much.

Also to get time together feels really good. I’m used to never having enough time to change much when I finally meet the musicians. Now we see flaws simply as a pointer towards what to develop further towards the next workshop! The other thing is the fact that time makes us get comfortable with each other, which always makes the collaboration easier.

Until the next gathering at the end of November I will be working on sound recordings from the ensemble. I hope to find a balance between challenging the musicians to create the sounds that I have already imagined, and to properly utilise their individual knowledge. From this material I will do a selection, and an attempt to assemble a draft for the final piece. And hopefully this will turn out great when we suddenly arrive at the time of performance during Borealis 2022!

Astrid’s compositions balance conceptually on the edges of performance art and instrumental theatre. Power structures and feminism in music and art is of great interest to Astrid, in addition to internet culture, mental health and dogs. Her recent work is focused around video, choreography and visual elements in different forms, often presented through satire and humour.

Join in on exciting happenings with Marshall Trammell in Bergen!

Feeling at Home
Join us in the search for pictures that you think represents feeling at home and welcome in Bergen! It’s simpel to take part: meet at the library cafe entrance. Here you can meet us and Marshall, roam around the library and take a picture of an image you find in a library book with your phone and share it with us and Marshall!

WHEN:
Monday October 18th 11.00–13.00 (read more about the event HERE)
Tuesday October 19th 11.00–13.00 (read more about the event HERE)
(Tuesday October 19th 16.30–18.30: special event for Borealis volunteers)
WHERE: Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek, Strømgaten 6

CONCERT WITH MARSHALL 
Come see Marshall perform with his drums at Victoria on Thursday! During the same event there will also be a concert by Bergen’s saxophone genius Kjetil Møster, the drummer Dag Erik Knedal Andersen and British bass legend John Edwards. 

WHEN: Thursday October 21st 20.00–20.30 (read about the event HERE
WHERE: Victoria Cafe & Pub, Kong Oscars gate 29

IMPROVISATION WORKSHOP
Marshall is leading two improvisation workshops at the culture house Wrap on the 23rd and 24th of October! Marshall is preparing a new work for our 2022 festival, and will as part of the process be leading a workshop on improvisation strategies and remapping instruments based on his own performance practice.

WHEN:
Saturday 23rd of October 13.00–16.00 : Improvisation with all instruments (read more about the event HERE)
Sunday 24th of October 13.00–16.00 : Improvisation with drums and percussion (read more about the event HERE)
WHERE: Culture house Wrap, Møllendalsveien 58

The workshop will be lead in English
Register by sending an email to : abigael@borealisfestival.no

BOREALIS LISTENING CLUB
Marshall is our guest during this month’s Listening Club, where he will pick out some tracks that we will listen to together with listening host Peter Meanwell. There will also be another taste experiment, this time chocolate and chili, and soy sauce caramel ice cream from Hallaisen!

WHEN: Wednesday October 27th 20.00–22.00 (read more about the event HERE)
WHERE: Studio 207, Strandgaten 207 and ONLINE


Join in on developing a piece for Borealis 2023 with Alwynne Pritchard!

Composer and performer Alwynne Pritchard is looking for people to help her develop a sound installation and performance which she is writing for BIT20 Ensemble, and which will premiere during Borealis 2023! The first part of the development is happening now in October: Sunday 17th and Thursday 28th. The first day will happen outdoors, and the second day will take place in the Grieghallen. Are you interested, or want to know more? No prior skills required!
Contact Alwynne on alwynne.pritchard@gmail.com

Alwynne Pritchard is known for her impactful scenic performances, and has been artistic director both for Borealis and BIT20 Ensemble. She started the musical theatre company Neither Nor in 2015 with her partner Thorolf Thuestad, and has graced stages in Norway, France, Italy, Germany and UK.

Safe or not?

Photo: Johanne Karlsrud

Going to a concert, club, performance or exhibiton should feel good for everyone. The Norwegian advocacy association Balansekunst (the art of balance) who work to promote gender equality and diversity in the arts, is collaborating with the City of Bergen and a diverse set of music organisations across town, including Borealis, to investigate people’s experiences of feeling safe or unsafe in the city’s cultural venues. If you live in Bergen do consider filling out this questionnaire, so we can all do better. 

First Programme Release Borealis 2022

Several major projects planned for 2021 were put on hold when the pandemic hit but as the fog eases here in Norway these exciting artistic visions can finally be realised. Borealis announces five major projects commissioned for the 2022 festival from Norwegian and international composers, improvisers, sound artists, musicians and set designers! Borealis 2022 takes place 16–20 March in Bergen, Norway in various venues across the city and will offer everything from concerts, installations, performances, workshops, talks, radio, film, hot club nights and icy baths – this time without the pandemic’s restrictions and uncertainty

Mirsaeed tells us about the first gathering with Borealis Ung Komponist 2022!

From the left: Astrid Solberg, Peder Niilas Tårnesvik, Johan Sara Jr, Karoline Wallace, Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah 
Photo: Thor Brødreskift

Borealis Ung Komponist 2022 started in the first week of September, and the four composers met for the first time together with the ensemble they’re creating music for, as well as their mentors both physically and on screen. The participants had four intense days together – one kick-off day to start the project and three workshop days together with the first mentor, Johan Sara Jr and TABULA RASA

Composer and santur player Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah is one of this year’s participants. His interest in different genres has led him to study both classical and jazz music, as well as classical music from his home country Iran. Mirsaeed is a newly graduate from Norwegian Academy of Music and is starting his journey as a composer by participating in the Borealis Ung Komponist program.

On different pages in the same book

Mirsaeed tells us about the first workshop with Borealis Ung Komponist 2022!

From the left: Astrid Solberg, Peder Niilas Tårnesvik, Johan Sara Jr, Karoline Wallace, Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah 
Photo: Thor Brødreskift

Borealis Ung Komponist 2022 started in the first week of September, and the four composers met for the first time together with the ensemble they’re creating music for, as well as their mentors both physically and on screen. The participants had four intense days together – one to kick off the project and three workshop days together with the first mentor, Johan Sara Jr and TABULA RASA

Composer and santur player Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah is one of this year’s participants. His interest in different genres has led him to study both classical and jazz music, as well as classical music from his home country Iran. Mirsaeed is a newly graduate from Norwegian Academy of Music and is starting his journey as a composer by participating in the Borealis Ung Komponist program. Read his reflection about the first gathering: 

Mirsaeed Hosseiny Panah | Photo: Thor Brødreskift

It’s been so great to get to know everyone, and it’s truly a luxury to get to know  the ensemble before composing for them. I know the mentor Harpreet Bansal a bit from before since she has worked with a Persian musician I know, but I didn’t know the others, and it was a surprise to see how varied our backgrounds were!

I’ve already gotten so many new ideas from the other composers through this first workshop – ideas that I would not have thought of by myself but that I can now test out in my own way. We have all had constructive and interesting feedback for each other, about how to execute our ideas. We have also talked a lot about diversity with Johan Sara Jr, and about his Sami background and perspectives. Our differences feel like the strengths each of us bring to the collaboration – you could say we are on different pages but in the same book! Despite our differences I feel a connection between us, with our intersecting references and our shared motivations. 

Since we just started, none of us know where our pieces will end up, but I got to test out some of the ideas that I’ve been considering. I got to work with microtonality with the ensemble, where I mainly use my Persian perspective but also draw from traditional and contemporary ways of thinking, as well as elements from the jazz mindset on how to work with atmosphere through tonality. This was the first time I worked on microtonality with non-Persian vocalists. I also made the ensemble explore the musical quality of letters with me, by breaking down the composition of sounds and elements that make up a letter, and see where the differences are actually created. It really feels like a privilege to get to know the ensemble’s personalities and strengths, because I get to compose way more specifically just for them. I can utilise each of their specific talents and maybe push their abilities and the general possibilities even further. 

It was almost funny how fast the time went – it felt like five minutes, and I’m so thankful we’ll get to work together over such a long time period! Now I’ll go back home to Oslo where I will continue working on the composition by myself, but with my head filled with new impulses! 

Borealis at Ultima

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17 September Borealis participates in the symposium Islands On The Move at Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival together with lots of amazing national and international collaegues.

«We cant wait to collectively look at the challenges ahead and find the best solutions and good ideas to how we can, and should , manouvre into the future.» Tine Rude, Managing Director at Borealis.