We had a chat to one of the four participants in this year’s edition of our mentor programme Borealis Ung Komponist – Hilde Annine Hasselberg.

Read the interview!

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.

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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!

Deadline 7th of October

We’re looking for interns that want experience with the different aspects of making a festival. We are looking for interns that will work closely with the different department heads in Communication, Production, Transport and Logistics and Volunteer Coordination. As an intern you will be asked to work a minimum of 15 hours a week, and during the whole 5 days in March. You will work in teams, but also have responsibility for small and big tasks and get valuable experience with producing a festival. Interns from previous years have also been more likely to get hired as part of the festival team. We offer a small fee for our interns, but do not cover travel or accomodation. We can adjust starting time based on the applicant.

Borealis is a flexible organisation and have the opportunity to adjust the the intern positions based on the applicant’s skills and wishes. Therefore it is important to be clear about which areas you are interested in working in in the application – maybe we have the perfect intern position for you!

Examples of working areas:

Communication and delegate internship

We are looking for: a person with strong language skills (both in Norwegian and English), someone who likes to write, likes to work with social media, is focused on details, structured, outgoing, and who’s not afraid of speaking in public.

In this intern postion you will be working closly with the Head of Communication. There will be a focus on the programme book and presenting the festival to the press and audience. You have to be interested in working with text and translation between Norwegian and English, be presise and structured and be able to express yourself in both languages. This intern will also have a bigger responsibility for Borealis’ delegate programme. The intern will follow the programme from first delegate invitation to the last delegate leaves Bergen after the festival and will be the contact person for the delegates while they’re in town. We need an independent, organised and outgoing person for this internship.


Vi ser etter: en person med organisatoriske og tekniske ferdigheter, som er praktisk anlagt, ikke redd for å ta i et tak, fokusert, strukturert, visjonær, løsningsorientert, og som tåler høyt stressnivå.

Vi søker praktikanter som ønsker å få innsikt i den praktiske og tekniske delen av festivalproduksjonen, og som vil jobbe tett med vår produsent, i tillegg til å få egne selvstendige mindre prosjekter. Vi søker her etter praktikanter som har god teknisk forståelse, gode datakunnskaper og praktisk sans, i tillegg til å være strukturert og like utfordringer. Kjennskap til noter og tidligere produsenterfaring kan være en fordel, men er ingen forutsetning.

Transport- og logistikkpraktikant

Vi ser etter: en person som er over gjennomsnittet god på excel, detaljfokusert, god på å ha oversikt, glad i å lage system.

Vi søker etter en praktikant som elsker excel og som har et øye for detaljer. I arbeidet med transport og logistikk har man kontroll på reiserutene, og timeplanen til over 60 artister. Man jobber tett med produksjonsteamet for å få oversikt over hvor artister, mat og ulikt utstyr trenger å være til enhver tid, og vil være på jobb under hele festivalen, i tett logistikkansvarlige.


Vi ser etter: en menneskekjenner, en som ikke redd for å snakke i forsamlinger, en motiverende og positiv person, en som ikke er redd for å sette seg inn i nye systemer og som har gode organiseringsferdigheter.

Frivilligarbeid handler mye om å rekruttere arbeidskraft fra ulike miljøer. Her må man bruke kreativiteten og sine sosiale ferdigheter til å få folk interessert i å jobbe som frivillig for festivalen. Du vil reise ut til ulike institusjoner for å rekruttere direkte via stands, eller egne informasjonsmøter, og sørge for at frivilligbehovene til festivalen dekkes.

Ønsket oppstart:

Som praktikant forplikter du deg til å jobbe minimum 15 timer i uken, og under hele festivalen i mars. Du vil jobbe tett sammen med festivalstaben, og er direkte tilknyttet en leder i festivalteamet. Du vil få selvstendig ansvar for større og mindre oppgaver underveis, og får verdifull erfaring innen festivalavvikling og kulturarbeid. Flere tidligere praktikanter har senere fått jobb i vår festivalstab.   Vi tilbyr et mindre honorar til våre praktikanter, men bidrar ikke til reise og opphold. Ønsket oppstart varierer ut i fra arbeidsområde, og tilpasses også de rette søkerne.

Praktisk informasjon:

– Kontakt daglig leder Tine Rude på tine@borealisfestival.no om du har spørsmål.

– Send en kort søknad og beskriv dine kvalifikasjoner, kompetanse og kapasitet, samt motivasjon.

– Legg ved CV og skriv også gjerne om dine musikkinteresser og hvorfor du har lyst til å være en del av Borealis-teamet.

– Personer med minoritetsbakgrunn oppfordres til å søke.

– Arbeidsspråk i Borealis er norsk og engelsk, og søker må beherske et av disse godt både muntlig og skriftlig, og gjerne andre språk i tillegg.

Søknad sendes til tine@borealisfestival.no. Frist mandag 7. oktober kl. 12:00.

Borealis 2020 is closer than you think! 

For our first programme release we present a new commission in collaboration with The Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance – Carte Blanche. We’ve brought together some of the most dynamic and visionary artists in Norway to merge experimental pop and contemporary dance, for Borealis 2020. The duo Smerz – Henriette Motzfeldt and Catharina Stoltenberg – have recieved high acclaim for their two albums Okey (2017) and Have Fun (2018), making addictive and experimental pop music that imagines the sound of the future. For the commission Øy they will be working together with Carte Blanche dancer Ole Martin Meland as choreographer. Together they find inspiration in horror, Russian hooligans, chamber music and muscles. Written for seven Carte Blanche dancers the music will be performed live by Smerz. 

We’re kicking off a new season with our Borealis Listening Club on the 27th of August! We’ve got two new twists to this season’s club gatherings: Musician Vilde Tuv will be joining Borealis’ Artistic Director, Peter Meanwell, as our new listening host this season and we’re introducing themes for each gathering to give each one a different focus, and to make it easier for you to suggest music that we can listen to togheter. Have suggestions? Send them to blc@borealisfestival.no!

The first guest this season joining Vilde and Peter on our very comfortable sofa is Borealis Ung Komponist participant, composer and producer for the concert series Avgarde; Aslak Bjørge Hermstad! The theme this time is “Music for Voice”. Join us!

*About Borealis Listening Club
Borealis Listening Club (BLC) is Borealis – en festival for eksperimentell musikk’s monthly get-together where we eat popcorn and listen to and talk about music. BLC is open for everyone, from the first time listener to the seasoned musiciologist, and it’s all about sharing time as adventurous listeners – to make space for listening and talking about music. The club takes place every last Tuesday of the month in the beautiful Hordaland Kunstsenter, Klosteret 17 – which also happens to be where our office is.
The events are free.

Sunday the 18th of August Borealis – a festival for experimental music brings Mexican vocalist Carmina Escobar up to Bergen’s main attraction, Fløyen, to add a little something extra to the traditional Norwegian Sunday hike. Carmina is an internationally renowned composer, performance artist and singer and visited Bergen earlier this year for Borealis 2019. She made a deep impression on the Borealis audience with her intimate and beautiful performance at that other iconic Bergen spot; Nordnes Sjøbad. This Sunday you’ll find her on Fløyen from 12pm onwards. This is not a traditional concert, but a series of sonic interventions that will take place in the area around the Fløibane Station and playground.

Welcome to a Sunday hike with a twist!

This coming Saturday Bergen Kunsthall starts their season with the yearly one-night-festival: Poekhali! Several of the city’s music organisations, including Borealis, are pitching in with programmes that will wake up any lazy summer body. We grabbed the opportunity to bring Mexican vocalist Carmina Escobar backto Bergen, and can’t wait to see her embody the Aztec goddess Coatlicue in her performance installation, Insatiable Monster on Saturday night! Free for all Borealis Listening Club members – names on list in the door.

We broke a record in the amount of people applying to our mentor programme Borealis Ung Komponist this year. We’re extremly happy to see the growing interest in this programme. A big thank you to everyone who applied!

The lucky four that get to take part in the third edition of the mentor programme have been selected and we can’t wait to see these strong voices develop over the course the autumn and winter!

Their mentors are Carmina Escobar (MX), Elaine Mitchener (UK), Therese B. Ulvo (NO) and Øyvind Torvund (NO).

The participants of Borealis Ung Komponist 19/20 are:

 Aslak Bjørge Hermstad

Foto: Kristoffer Øen

Aslak is a composer and has his Bachelor in Composition from the Grieg Academy at the University of Bergen. His background is as a punk – and later classic – guitarist. He loves to explore and collect inspiration from different kinds of expressions and has a deep interest in the social and political sides of music. 

Eva Pfitzenmaier

Foto: Klara Sofie Ludvigsen

Eva was born and raised in Germany and studied at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. She moved to Bergen 10 years ago. Eva’s work is genre-crossing and multidisciplinary as a vocalist, performer, composer and when she works with text. Her music is inspired by both contemporary, and electronic music, alternative pop and traditional music from all over the world.

Hilde Annine Hasselberg

Foto: Øystein Grutle Haara

Hilde is a classical soprano and a graduate of the Grieg Academy at the University of Bergen. She also added on to her classical training by studying live electronics at the Norwegian Academy of Music. This is also where she started composing. Hilde has collaborated with Transitteateret – Bergen, BIT20 Ensemble and Borealis and has a long track record as an active participant in the new music scene in Bergen, both as a singer, composer and as part of staged performances.

Steinar Yggeseth

Steinar is a composer and has his education from the Norwegian Academy of Music. He often works with sonic relations, and his pieces develop somwhere in between timbre and tone. He often uses elements of improvisation in his pieces, either in the process or incorporated as part of the performance. Steinar’s has composed for both larger ensembles and smaller intimate spheres.

Borealis 2019 – so many new ideas, fresh musical experiences, alternative conversations, important encounters and fun moments. We spent 5 days wandering the city of Bergen filling our heads and hearts with stories that the mainstream do not tell. Here’s 5 days in under 6 minutes – we hope to see you in Bergen next year: 4–8 March 2020

Tine Rude and Peter Meanwell (2019). Photo: Thor Brødreskift

We’re very happy to announce that Peter Meanwell has accepted to stay on for another 4-year term as artistic director of Borealis – a festival for experimental music in Bergen – and will lead the artistic work of the festival until 2024. Meanwell came into the organisation in 2014, the same year as Managing Director Tine Rude. Since then they have produced 5 successful festivals together. Rude’s position was made permanent in 2016, and the strong leader team will continue their work to strengthen Borealis’ postition both internationally and nationally.

“I’m delighted to keep working with Borealis as we develop the festival as a space for adventurous listeners and critical enquiry. It’s been a total joy to work with composers, artists and musicians from near and far as we commission work, instigate projects, and have open conversations together. To see that the audience has responded positively to a festival that is artistically rigorous and values gender equity and diverse voices in its programming is very exciting and I hope that in the next few years we can continue to make Borealis a space that everyone feels they can take part in. Working in Bergen, with the excellent Borealis team and our collaborators across the city, I’m looking forward to a future presenting more projects that push the boundaries of how we listen together.”
Peter Meanwell – Artistic Director, Borealis