Call for works to UNM AARHUS 2021
(un)common ground

Apply here (individual applicants)

Apply here (group applicants)

Ung Nordisk Musik (UNM) is an annual festival for young composers and sound artists based in any of the Nordic countries. Each Nordic country hosts the festival every five years. In 2021 the festival will be held 16.-22.8. in Aarhus, Denmark.

The theme of the 2021 festival, (un)common ground, suggests both the mutually understood and the rarefied. It encompasses the geographic notion of the nordic region as a shared space amongst the festival’s participants without treating them as a monolithic group, but may also point towards ways of using the public/private local venues in which the festival’s events occur. The common ground is communicative while the uncommon ground is alienating. The common ground implies a sense of equality amongst individuals while the uncommon ground acknowledges the asymmetry of power. In choosing this theme we hope to push composers/sound artists/performers into submitting work that could be easily comprehensible and/or recognizably unusual. The large number of possible interpretations should give artists the freedom to exploit the theme’s vagueness and solicit a diverse array of responses that will help us understand what exactly is our (un)common ground.

In the Finnish call for works, seven participants will be selected to have one of their works performed at the festival. The selected participants are provided with travel and accommodation for the duration of the festival. For group applicants, UNM Finland is prepared to cover the costs for 3-4 participants per group. Alongside concerts, in recent years, the festival program has included workshops, lectures and masterclasses, for instance. An important part of the festival experience is the opportunity to network and meet with other Nordic colleagues.

In the call for works, there is no stylistic criteria. All works including music or sound art will be accepted. For example, contemporary music works,  experimental works, instrumental music or instrument-based works, electronic works, installations, performances, multimedia works and composer-performer-works can be sent to the call. 



A jury of three people will choose the participating works anonymously. The jury will be kept secret until the selection is made public in September 2019. The jury is assembled by an independent expert appointed by UNM Finland. The board members of UNM Finland don’t know the assembly of the jury. 

The application form including all attachments must be sent by June 15th 2020 at 23:59. Late entries and entries failing to meet the requirements listed below will not be considered by the jury. The applications are sent anonymously with a pseudonym. The real name of the applicant cannot be stated anywhere apart from the online application form. Please make sure you substitute your name with your pseudonym everywhere on the application materials. Make sure to remove the metadata from recordings and/or video files!

The festival implements a gender quota. The quota determines the gender-ratio of the participants to 3/4 (3/7 = 42 %). In other words, either 4 male and 3 non-male participants – or vice versa – will be selected for the festival. The participants make their gender known in the application form – male or non-male. After the jury has scored all works, the works will be organised on two seperate lists: one for male applicants and the other for non-male applicants. Group applicants that consist of only male members will be put on the list for male participants and group applicants with at least one non-male member will be put on the list for non-male applicants. 3 works with the most points will be selected from each list. The seventh work will be selected from the list whose fourth work will have received the most points. However, only one work from each participant can be selected. 


Seven composers/sound artists will be chosen to represent Finland at the festival. All applicants born on June 15th 1990 or after are eligible. You can also apply if you are a full-time student on June 15th 2019, and you do not have a previous Master’s degree in music or the arts. 

The applicants must either have Finnish citizenship or be residents in Finland. Citizens or residents of other Nordic countries can apply to their respective call for works in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden. Applicants can apply to represent only one Nordic country, even if they meet the application criteria in several countries. Applicants must therefore choose in which country they apply. If someone applies in several countries, all of their applications will be disqualified.

Participants of the UNM-festival in Tampere 2020 cannot participate in this year’s call for works. They can apply again in the call for the 2022 festival, which will be opened in May 2021.


As mentioned before, there is no stylistic criteria for the applicants’ works. The instrumentation and all technical requirements must be sent through the application form – UNM Denmark will book everything needed for the perfomance of the selected works – the performers, the spaces and technical equipment – based on the works and other details sent my the applicants.. 

You may apply with two works at most (although only one work per applicant can be selected to the festival). The same pseudonym should be used when submitting several works. If a work chosen to the festival has to be withdrawn due to practical reasons, another piece by the applicant may be performed instead, if it is included in the jury’s selection. If this is not possible, the first runner up will be chosen. 

You can apply by filling out a digital application form through which all attachments will be also sent.

Form for individual applicants

Form for group applicants

For more information about the application process, the rules of the call for works, practices and all kinds of questions, please contact:

Leevi Räsänen
(+358) 408099234

Leevi and other members of the board of UNM Finland will be happy to help you in all matters concerning the call for works. However, please do not leave your questions to the last minute!

The applicant commits to sending all materials electronically to the festival organisers if they get chosen. The version of the submitted work selected by the jury will be performed at the festival.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Leevi Räsänen, Aino Tenkanen, Tuomas Kettunen
unmfinland (at)