Borealis Listening Club

Marshall Trammell as guest on BLC in October 2021 | Photo: Thor Brødreskift/Borealis
Peter introducing Niilas on BLC X Nordnes Sjøbad | Photo: Borealis

The Borealis Listening Club (BLC) is a monthly free event that runs from August to March each year and has existed since 2015. BLC is organised on the last Wednesday each month, and gathers all adventurous listeners to simply: listen to music and sound. It’s a space to listen together and talk about music outside of the mainstream, and is open to everyone from first time listeners to seasoned professors. At BLC you’ll hear music and sounds you may never have heard before, and meet people who work with experimental music in many different genres. On the couch to guide you through each gathering is our listening host, Artistic Director Peter Meanwell, sometimes accompanied by a guest – and there’s always fresh popcorn on the tables!

Borealis Listening Club was established in November 2015. The festival wanted to be more present and visible throughout the year and not just a curiosity that appeared for 5 days once a year. Truly inspired by the deeper listening often mentioned in experimental music, we created this club where people can gather, play music, listen and talk together. We also dedicated ourselves to bring musicians and artists as guests to bring new perspectives into the conversations about music, and to create a platform where people can get to know all the exceptional artists working in the experimental field. Some of the previous guests of Borealis Listening Club are Pauline Oliveros, Knut Vaage, Rebecka Ahvenniemi, Freja Bäckman, Smerz, Øyvind Torvund and more. In season 4 we had a new theme for each gathering, manoeuvring our way through themes like Music for Voice and Weird Instruments to Protest, Isolation, Togetherness and Life. For season 5 we invited food enthusiasts from Bergen to create a tiny edible experiment to spice up the listening, and we munched our way through local veggie snacks from chef Aimee Cordeiro at Bien Basar, Soy Sauce Caramel ice cream from Hallaisen, and a garlic bread made in Chinese-Italian hybrid from Hoggorm and  Michelle Zhao behind No Sweet Sour and upcoming restaurant Banzha.