“Water also makes a sound” this is what the Norwegian musicians proved in the skiing resort of Geilo 9 years ago. Soon after this, the professional musicians from all over the world joined the Norwegians. We are really curious: how did they make the water sound in such a beautiful way? First of all, it was necessary to go to the frozen lake in order to get some ice.
Such an interesting solution of making music instruments from ice has a deep meaning. Its movers, the pioneers of music named Terje Isungset and Pal K Medhus attempt to focus society‘s attention on one of the most important natural resources – water. The underlying reason of such a move is the lack of still water in some parts of the world. For instance, people in India and Africa even die from thirst! The Ice Music Festival has become a unique event, reminding us to be efficient in terms of using these 3% of planet‘s still water. At the same time, it is a miracle of ice giving birth to the magical sound…
This year, in the middle of January, the festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. For already 10 years, during the first full moon in Geile you are able to listen to glacial harps, guitars, horns, xylophones (the set of wooden bars struck by mallets) and kalimba (the thumb piano). This festival was the place where the first world‘s ice reed orchestra took part! The sounds of ice instruments are not worse than ones of usual instruments. Only the duration of the concert and the way of playing are a bit different and can be influenced by weather conditions that most of the time are unpredictable.
Musicians claim that the ice instruments must be kept wearing gloves. Otherwise, they would start melting and in general it would be much harder to play the instrument. This is why the shows are short and the performers have to plan how long they want their show to last. The other important aspect is that the instruments are created a few hours before the show. The water of Geilo’s lake is the best source in terms of its location and eventually creates the astonishing sounds of nature. After the instruments are made, it is necessary to make sure they did not start melting or losing their shape before the show.
The colder it is, the easier it is to maintain the instruments unaffected. However, the musicians do not play if there is a nip in the air. That way, their lips would simply stick to the reed. To avoid such a problem the Ice Music Festival is held in the cave of ice located indoors. This is how the name of the festival remains original and creates a mystical mood. Those who have participated in the festival say that it is a remarkable tune of nature and music or even the world‘s most unique musical event.
Those who are willing to visit the festival can find the information about the programme, arrival etc. in Norwegian or English here: http://www.icemusicfestival.no/. Already been there? Then we are more than eager to ask the following question: what is your impression on it?