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photo by Emile Holba

The Sound of Ice


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 frozen blocks of water. The chill, three day event always coincides with the first full moon in January.

What is it All About?

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 instrument shows of a similar “cool” nature Isungset orchestrated, such as the Lillehammer Winter Festival in 1999 and for Norway’s renowned Ice Hotel.

carving musical instruments from ice

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 (tuba constructed of frozen H2O) will be making its debut at the show.

What is Required to Perform Ice Music?

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 frozen instruments produce, and the instruments inevitably melt as they are played. Also, they can break at any moment – raising the stakes!

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.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Europe during the winter or during the peak tourist season (the summer months), Auto Europe’s low rates are sure to be music to your ears. The great thing about Europe is there are interesting festivals, cool cultural traditions and amazing historic sites around every turn no matter what time of year you plan to visit. Start planning your trip today by reading more articles on our travel blog or by getting a quote on an international car rental in your destination of choice.

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One Response to The Sound of Ice

  1. silver price says:

    In addition to making several other instruments for musicians around the world he also created an ice throne for the Princess of Norway from 600 year old glacier ice!

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