The broad spectre of musical activity, the versitality in his production and his interest in working with amateurs and young musicians, can be explained by the fact that Aagaard-Nilsen regard composing as a kind social activity. "The composers (and artists in general) play an important role in the society as a guide to experiences".
His contact with the contemporary music scene in Bergen resulted in commissions from the Norwegian section of ISCM, the BIT 20 Ensemble and festivals like Borealis (Bergen International Contemporary Music Festival) and the International Festival of Bergen (Festspillene).
From the work The Fourth Angel (for Trumpet and Sinfonietta), which he commenced in 1992 (recorded by Bodø Sinfonietta in 2002), a line of development goes though the 90s, in which the form endeavours to express both a narrative and a visual aspect in an attempt to reach a music with an impulsive and communicative appearance.
From 1998 (Crossing Lines) the music tends to get more complex and multi-layered as you can explore in works like Aubade (2002/03), Cantilena III (2006), Blue Phrases (2007) and The Season of Blue Lights (2008/09), premiered by BIT20/Baldur Brönniman.
In 2012, Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Lindberg premiered the commissioned orchestral work, Boreas Sings. The second piece about the northern wind Boreas, Boreas Blows, was premiered in Stormen, Bodø, in November 2014.