Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ice Music

If you are like those of us living in the Midwest, you’re probably suffering the pains of winter. You know the gusting winds, driving snowstorms and subzero temperatures? Well, one Norwegian is trying to make the best of this wintry mix by playing instruments made of ice.

That’s right, ice.

Norwegian musician, composer and percussionist Terje Isungset has been creating music for years but it wasn’t until he was commissioned to compose and play in a frozen waterfall during the 2000 Lillehammer Olympics that he first gained notoriety for creating music with ice. Then, in 2006, Isungset founded the world’s first ice music festival with instruments—harp, guitar, drums and fiddle, just to name a few—made from 600 year old glacial ice.

In talking about his musical adventures with ice, Isungset said:

“The instruments are made from top quality ice. It must be free of any air bubbles. The instruments are carved using saws and knives. So far these instruments have been created and recorded: Iceofon, Ice Harp, Ice Horn, Ice trumpet, Ice percussion, Ice bass drum carved from one block of ice. In addition, all stands, supports and tables are also made from ice. Only the bass drum pedal, fish line for suspension, and the strings on the Ice Harp are made from materials other than pure frozen water.”

This month, Isungset is bringing his talents to the Geilo Ice Music Festival. After that he plans to take his unique music on the road with an Ice Music Tour that will make stops in Germany, India, Australia, England and France with plans to visit the U.S. in 2012.

If you would like to learn more about Terje Isungset, the Geilo Ice Music Festival or the Ice Music tour, visit, or

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