Last weekend something extraordinary happened in a frozen town in Norway.
Under the first full moon of the year, musicians and onlookers bundled up against the biting cold to witness a spectacle of ice and music.
“Constructed and formed exclusively from naturally harvested ice and snow, the Festival is a tribute to art, the environment and one’s of the world’s most vital resources – water. Frozen water.” 1
For 11 years now, it has brought together musicians to play on one of a kind instruments constructed from ice. From ice horns, to marimbas, to guitars, to cellos, to harps, this extraordinary aural experience is something that has to be heard to be believed.
Convinced you may need to make a trek to Norway in the middle of winter next year? Not sure? Perhaps hearing more of the music and ambiance from the festival will have you booking your tickets. Here’s a stunning video of the concert from Podróże LosWiaheros on YouTube.
The sounds this ice can create have transfixed me! The instruments all sound familiar, but they have a haunting quality that gives them an otherworldly feel.
After hearing a few excerpts, I wanted to know what some of the songs recorded at the festival sounded like. Here is a small selection of songs from the Ice Music Festival that are truly extraordinary! (I particularly like Ice Beauty and Eadni Vuohttu Máná).
Perhaps the next top 40 hit won’t be played on ice instruments, but there is something wonderful about the novelty of an instrument inspiring new ways of creating listening experiences.
Now that we’ve discussed ice instruments, but what about trash instruments? Check this one out:
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- “About.” Ice Music Festival. Ice Music Festival, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016. <http://www.icemusicfestival.no/about/>. ↩
- “Sights and Sounds from Norway’s Annual Ice Music Festival | Mashable.”YouTube. Mashable, 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko_sQ3BHPqQ>. ↩
- “Ice Music Festival 2014 – Geilo, Norway.” YouTube. Podróże LosWiaheros, 23 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpfo7oNS1XY>. ↩