Musical instruments sculpted from ice? In the small ski resort town of Geilo, Norway, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the creativity and imagination that the annual Ice Music Festival brings this region each New Year. Even the stage is constructed from snow and ice. The chill, three day event always coincides with the first full moon in January.
Terje Isungset , a renowned composer and percussionist, is the mastermind behind the festival. Geilo is the musician’s hometown, and his first Ice Concert was held here in 2006. The Ice Music Festival is a vision that transpired from previous Ice Instrument shows Isungset orchestrated, such as the Lillehammer Winter Festival in 1999 and for Norway’s renowned Ice Hotel.
Each instrument originates from a block of ice that has been cut from a natural source, like a local river or lake. Past frozen musical creations include the ice harp, ice fiddle, ice guitar and several other ingenious pieces. This year, the tubice (ice tuba) will be making its debut at the show.
Performers need to be extremely resilient in order to pull off a successful Ice Music Festival. The weather can be as unpredictable the instruments themselves. Musicians need to be able to acclimate to the ever changing tone the ice reverberates. The ice inevitably melts as the instruments are played and they can break.
Geilo’s upcoming Ice Music Festival will take place January 24th through the 27th, 2013. With a rental car in Oslo, you can tour Norway’s breathtaking countryside and catch a wintery themed festival like this one.