Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Wonder: Making Music with Ice

The instruments, they don't belong to me. They belong to nature.
~ Terje Isungset

Jazz and Scandinavian music innovator Terje Isungset is a percussionist who also hand-makes and plays instruments created from glaciers in Norway and elsewhere that are thousands of years old. He began working with and creating music from ice in 1999. He released his first recording, Iceman, in 2002.*

The unique and beautiful music produced by carved ice is a wonder. Just listen to this excerpt from the 45th Ice Music Festival held in 2010, where Isungset and his group performed under harsh conditions in a cave fashioned from a glacier near the site where the Iceman Otzi was found. The instruments, which  include a gorgeous harp, a drum, and a horn, the ice for the latter made from ice from a glacier in South Tyrol, Italy.

In this video, Isungset talks about the challenges of music-making on ice:


* Hear excerpts from the album Iceman here. Note the additional selections in the sidebar.

There is much to explore on Isungset's Website, where you also will find a number of sound samples and ice music videos.

All-Ice Records is an independent music company founded by Isungset in 2005. At the site, you will find information about the ice harp, ice horn, ice trumpet, ice didgeridoo, ice guitar, ice fiddle, and other instruments made from ice; the artists; and recordings available for purchase.

In "Meet the Icicle Orchestra", the Guardian interviews Isungset about the instruments he makes. As he notes, they represent the ultimate in recycled products. (The video also is available on YouTube.)

Terje Isungset on MySpace also includes samples of ice music.

Terje Isungset on Vimeo

Terje Isungset will be participating in the Kennedy Center's "Nordic Cool 2013" in Washington, D.C.

1 comment:

Hannah Stephenson said...

Whoa and wow. I was wondering what I heard that sounded like an electric guitar. So freaking cool, although their fingers must be frozen!