Lovers of the winter season know well that it is during this period that the most sublime shows in the world we live in come to life. They do it above and below us, they do it when the snow falls and envelops the neighborhoods and streets of the city in a candid embrace. It also happens at the hands of man, when he builds sculptures and entire cities of ice with that snow, such as the Harbin Festival.
And then there is the sound, which joins these extraordinary visions, and which contributes to the creation of a sensory experience out of the ordinary. In fact, in Norway, the most unique and extraordinary festival in the world takes place every year, the one that stages the sounds of ice. Let’s find out together.
Its name is Ice Music Festival and it is an absolutely unmissable event for all lovers of winter magic. Every year, in fact, in the evocative setting of the frozen lake in Bergsjøstølen a unique and particular concert is held because the melodies that guests can listen to are reproduced exclusively by ice instruments.
There are horns, percussion, and cellos, as well as harps and guitar, all made exclusively from blocks of ice to which the strings are then added. Musicians are called to use their hands with skill and wisdom to reproduce the unusual and extraordinary sound of ice.
The auditory show is always different, a discovery to be discovered at every concert. The sound produced by ice instruments, in fact, can vary according to the thickness of the block and the temperature of that particular period.
Musicians are invited to go on a stage that is created every year by designers and experts in the sector. This year the task of completing the artistic project was entrusted to Petter Bergerud, professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Music and Design in Bergen, and to his students.
The concerts were held inside igloos made using only and exclusively the snow collected in recent weeks. The frozen walls help to enhance the delicate sounds coming from the frozen instruments.
To discover the history of this new and wonderful concert we must take a step back in time and more precisely to the 2000s. On 11 February of that year, in fact, the composer and percussionist Terje Isungset staged his extraordinary concert inside a frozen waterfall in Lillehammer, Norway, playing with instruments made from natural materials such as stone and wood.
From that performance, the idea of giving life to a music festival was developed to exploit all the sonic capabilities of ice. In 2006, the world’s first Ice Music Festival was established in Geilo and immediately attracted the attention of people and travelers from all over the world.
Thus, enriched with conferences, events, and theme parks, which vary from year to year, the Festival has reached its 17th edition. This year Ice Music Festival Norway was held in Bergsjøstølen from 4 to 6 February, this will be the perfect opportunity to also address topics related to climate change.