Borealis Ung Komponist is a mentor programme for versatile music creators who are in the starting phase of developing as a composer, or who wants to further develop their skills to write music for others. Borealis work to promote a wide range of voices and role models – and want the future of experimental music to be characterised by many different perspectives. The programme has no upper age limit, and the participants of the mentor programme are remunerated.

Read more about the 2022/23 participants, mentors and ensemble further down.

Borealis is a festival for experimental music, which also has activity throughout the year. The festival has existed since 2004 and presents ground-breaking experimental music and art from Bergen, Norway and around the world. Borealis Ung Komponist was first organised in 2017 and is one of Borealis’ most important initiatives throughout the year. 20 music creators have “graduated” from the mentor programme and have gone on to create their own recognised projects in the field of contemporary music, but also in jazz and performing arts. The mentor programme has contributed to a richer and more vibrant music scene in Western Norway, but also nationally, by raising new voices in the field of experimental music. It aims to stimulate more inovation and exchange of experience, and to encourage budding composers to step forward and take their place. Borealis Ung Komponist also aims to provide professional competence to the new generation of Norwegian composers. Borealis wants to continue this important work of finding and shaping the next generation of music creators with a penchant for experimenting with sound and sees that there is a need to increase the width of representation on the programme. The festival has long focused and worked hard to represent the society it exists in, both on, in front of and behind stage, by making conscious choices on gender balance and ethnic diversity in its programme.

Borealis Ung Komponist is an arena for development where you as a music creator and your musical ideas are taken seriously. You must be prepared for, and want to, challenge yourself, and be willing to work both in groups and independently. It is important and expected that each participant has progression between each workshop. Participants can also use the mentors in these intermediate phases to get help to move forward. The framework for the workshops is always set in advance, and you get timetables and information well in advance. Nevertheless, some flexibility is given so that the participants themselves can shape how they want to work and structure their time with the mentors and the ensemble. It is a priority to create a good group dynamic and emphasis is placed on common meal breaks and time for conversations, so that the participants get to know each other, the ensemble, and the mentors well. This contributes to a relaxed atmosphere and creates a space where ideas and concepts can develop in a good way.

Borealis Ung Komponist is supported by Arts Council Norway & the City of Bergen.

THE PARTICIPANTS

Photo: Rasmus Lagerberg Vik

Eline Rafteseth is a bass player and composer from Vestnes in Møre and Romsdal, living in Bergen. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz from the Grieg Academy in Bergen and runs the band Shakai. In 2016, Shakai toured with The Future of Norwegian Jazz and played the festival for new talent, Vill Vill Vest. In 2018, the quintet released their debut album, which was recorded and produced by the renowned producer Jørgen Træen in Duper Studio and mastered by Iver Sandøy. Eline is also active with the newly established trios NH3 and Quorum Trio. In April 2022, Quorum Trio won Jazz i Sikte in Bergen, granting them a spot at Nattjazz, one of the biggest jazz festivals in Norway. A record of this performance will be released in 2023. Eline also runs Playdate – a well-established concert series for improvised music based at Landmark in Bergen Kunsthall.

Photo: selfie

Guoste Tamulynaite is an Oslo-based artist from Lithuania, educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music. As a performer and composer Guoste is interested in exploring the complexity of individual things, such as a sound, a movement, or an object. Her work can be described as minimalist and surreal, often without an underlying narrative, but still with very clear references which give the audience the opportunity to interpret and add their own associations. Guoste is concerned with treating all elements as equal when she activates more than just sound. She likes to make her own costumes and scenography for her performances. She also loves cats and cake. 

Photo: Pip Rowson

Luke Drozd is an artist and cultural producer originally from the UK, based in Bergen. His work explores historical, folkloric and speculative narratives through collage, collecting and collaborative improvisation. The results are multi-disciplinary artistic works including sculpture, print, performance and sound. Audio and sound has become an increasingly integral part of his work, with voice, language and found or collected sounds forming key elements. These works are sometimes produced under the moniker of Misery Bacon, or as one half of the ‘spoken-weird’ duo Reet Maff’l alongside artist and musician Andy Abbott. He is also the host of the experimental music radio show Thunks & Thuds on Bergen’s Vers Libre community radio platform and co-runs experimental music label Bloxham Tapes. He is currently working on a new 40-minute sound composition, developed during a residency at BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts, which will form part of an upcoming exhibition in 2022 at Bergen Kjøtt.

Photo: Sindre Deschington

Susanne Xin is a Norwegian-Vietnamese artist, pianist and music educator. Her compositions are often cross disciplinary, and are based on a spesific theme or method. At the moment, her artistic journey has turned her gaze inwards, and she often uses her many identities as an entry point into various preliminary projects:
“I am from a minority background and I’m a woman, I’m queer and my parents are refugees from the Vietnam War. There is a lot of material coming from these perspectives, and I find it incredibly exciting to set the tone for these memories and stories in various artistic forms ”.
Susanne is currently a member of TekstLab’s Incubator programme, and has composed a documentary and interdisciplinary solo performance that combines music with movement and text. Susanne has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Pedagogy with piano as her main instrument from the Norwegian Academy of Music, and is currently studying medicine at the University of Oslo.

THE MENTORS

Photo: Herman Dreyer

Camille Norment is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist, composer, and performer whose art and performance works are exhibited and performed worldwide. Cultural psychoacoustics is both an aesthetic and conceptual framework for much of her practice – the investigation of socio-cultural phenomena through the sonic as a force over the body, mind, and society. Composing artworks – through recorded sound, sculpture and installation, drawing, and live performance – she applies this concept towards the creation of critical artworks that are preoccupied with the way in which context, form, space, and the body of the viewer create experiences that are both somatic and cognitive. Camille represented Norway in the 56th Venice Biennial of Art (2015), with a three-part solo project that included a large-scale sound and sculptural installation, a publication series, and a sonic performance series. Camille had a background of dance and music before completing her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Art History at the University of Michigan, Honors College. She completed both her Masters of Fine Art and a second Masters in Interactive Telecommunications at New York University, and she is a Whitney Independent Study Program Fellow. Parallel to her artistic career, Camille has worked as a researcher at the renowned Interval Research multimedia think tank in Silicon Valley, and as Professor of Art at Malmö University. 

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Photo: Inga Margrete Aas

Lo Kristenson creates music where expressions of resistance, harshness and clumsiness co-exist with fragile delicacy and vulnerability. In her creative practice Lo seeks to challenge her own ways of working in collective musical practices. The foundational structures for her music lie in the personal meetings between composer and musician. Among the ensembles that she has collaborated with are the Norwegian duo Vilde & Inga, danish collective Damkapellet, Malvakvartetten, Kvinnoorkestern and Allegria. As a sound artist Lo has collaborated with Annika Liljedahl, where sculptures of insects meet insect sounds that our human ear normally cannot perceive.
Lo is a 2018 graduate of the Master’s Programme in Composition from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm where she studied for, among others, Karin Rehnqvist. Her work has been presented at established platforms such as the art gallery Artipelag (SE), Norrlandsoperan, the festivals Sound of Stockholm, Only Connect (NO) and KLANG festival (DK).

“It’s a privilege to be invited into the creative process of other composers. There was a time when I’d not sign up for any masterclass or open seminars because I was terrified that my innermost being would be criticised. But, I’ve had som great mentors that took their time, listened and somehow understood where I was going with my quirky ideas.” Lo Kristenson

Webpage

Photo: Dimitri Djuric

Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund has played guitar in rock and improvising groups alongside regular musical studies in Oslo and Berlin. His music assembles disparate materials and inconsistent attitudes: sounds from rock or from everyday life or nature occurring in chamber music, simplicity in a complex context, improvisation coexisting with exact notation, music combined with film or projections, and seriousness in counterpoint with humour. Øyvind was nominated for Nordic Council Music Prize in 2016, and won his second Norwegian Grammy in the category Contemporary together with BIT20 Ensemble in 2020 for The Exotica Album, released on the label Hubro.

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THE ENSEMBLE
YrrY

Owen Weaver, Carmen Bovéda, Mari Galambos Grue & Håkon Skjæret (Photo: Evan Monroe Chapman, Håkon Leinan, Ada Miko, Koka Nikoladze)

YrrY combines two of the world’s oldest means of making music – voice and percussion – in new and surprising ways. For this iteration of Borealis Ung Komponist they join forces with cellist Carmen Bóveda to form a quartet. Together they explore acoustic, electronic and physical possibilities in improvised and newly composed music. Vocalist Mari Galambos Grue specialises in contemporary and early music, focusing on the ability of the voice to express feeling and identity. Percussionists Håkon Skjæret and Owen Weaver share a passion for new music and unconventional instruments, also working together in Bergen’s BIT20 Ensemble as performers and educators. Carmen Bovéda is a cellist and founder of the string quartet Rosella which aims to renew classical music and support experimental projects. She has also played and collaborated with renowned artists such as Aurora, Gabrielle and DePresno. 

Mari Galambos Grue: Lyrical coloratura soprano – clear and high pitched voice, that can do fast runs and big leaps with ease. Register from a–d3. Register fra a–d3. Voice gets weaker in lower registers. Except for that Mari is open to testing out different things with her voice and is used to singing both acousticly and using a microphone.
Håkon Skjæret: Versatile, classicly trained percussionist. Will be playing the vibrophone for this iteration of Borealis Ung Komponist. Regiest f–f3. With or without engine + any other objects used for preparation of the instrument.
Owen Weaver: Educated in both classical and rythmical percussion and has a lot of experience with the drum set in contemporary music settings in addition to genres such as jazz, rock, hip-hop and experiemental. For Borealis Ung Komponist the drum kit can be used rythmically, meldocally or in atmospheric ways. Or in ways no one has ever heard it be used before…
Carmen Bovéda: Carmen is a very flexible cellist and is as comfortable doing classical and contemporary music as she is playing pop music.

Previous participants, mentors and ensembles