An Orchestra of Ice at Norway’s Music Festival

The melting melodies received a warm welcome from international audiences at the 10th Ice Music Festival


From 5th to 8th February, the remote town of Geilo which thrives in the Hallingdal valley transformed into the setting for the annual outdoor Ice Music Festival. The rural location attracts visitors to its soaring mountainous landscape, including the awe-inspiring Hallingskarvet Plateau; acted as a naturally picturesque backdrop for the festivities.

Norwegian composer Terje Isungset initially conceived of the idea to bring together a band of musicians back in 2005 to perform for music lovers in a unique and refreshing way. Isungset has established himself in the genres of jazz and traditional Scandinavian music. “Crafting his own instruments from Norwegian natural elements such as arctic birch, granite, slate, sheep bells and even ice, he is highly recommended to those sensible to the poetry and simplicity of sounds. “Timbres” and “colours” are central in Terje Isungset’s music and compositions.”

Isungset is known for his transgressive vision and ingenuity, which is echoed in the use of iced instruments featured on the tracks of his latest album Meditations. Those who attended the festival were treated to a showcase of instruments carved from ice, including a xylophone (‘iceofon’), a trumpet (‘icehorn’) and frozen chimes (‘isringle’). “I think it’s a great honour to have the possibility of making music on the most important resource in the world. Where I live in Bergen, in Norway, the cities there are on a hill on both sides. I often walk to the top of the hill and then I can listen to the city. You can make a choice. You can see this as noise and you can see this as music.”

The dates for the 11th Ice Music Festival have been announced and will return to Geilo from 21st to 24th January 2016.