Ice Music Festival

Ice Music Festival
Photo: icemusicfestival.no
Norway’s Ice Music Festival is probably one of the most original and unique music festivals in the world. Here musicians perform music exclusively on instruments made from naturally harvested ice. The festival is held in the town of Geilo, one of the most famous and popular ski resorts in Norway. It is one of the highlights of the winter season.

The Ice Music Festival was conceived by the Norwegian percussionist and composer Terje Isungset. He started his musical career as a classical jazz musician, but his experience and interest in Scandinavian traditional music led him to pushing the boundaries of conventional music. Isungset began to craft his own instruments from various natural materials available in Norway such as arctic birch, slate, granite, sheep bells and even ice.

Isungset started to experiment with ice instruments in 1999 at the Lillehammer Winter Festival. He was commissioned to perform a concert in a frozen waterfall. The work was composed for vocals, trumpet, nature percussion and ice. Later that year he was asked to make more ice music for the Ice Hotel in Sweden. He came up with the idea of organizing an ice music festival in 2005. Isungset organized the first festival with the help of the Director of Tourism for Geilo Pål Medhus, the inaugural edition was held in 2006.

The Ice Music Festival is a unique musical and artistic project and the only event of its kind in the world. At this festival the stage, all scenery and musical instruments are made from ice and snow naturally harvested around Gailo. By the way, Gailo was chosen as the festival location for several reasons. Firstly, it is a popular ski resort with good infrastructure. Secondly, it is located halfway between Norway’s largest cities, Oslo and Bergen. Thirdly, it is Isungset’s home town.

Every year, renowned Norwegian and international musicians come to Gailo at Isungset’s invitation and amaze the spectators with breathtaking performances on ice instruments. Past performers include well-known Scandinavian musicians such as Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Anders Jormin (bass), Helge Norbakken (drums), and others. Vocalists also participate in the festival because the unusual acoustics of ice and snow scenery allows them to experiment with the sound and technique. The Ice Music Festival is a unique celebration of collaborative expression which brings a unique experience to everyone involved.

Ice Music Festival

Photo: icemusicfestival.no



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