Swedish musician makes instruments from ice
An orchestra of ‘ICEstruments’ is making an impact in Lapland
Based in Luleå in northern Sweden, Tim Linhart, an ice artist and musician, has created an orchestra of instruments made from ice. His ‘ICEstruments’ include a violin, viola, cello, double bass, banjo, mandolin, guitar, drums and xylophone.
An igloo ‘ICE Concert Hall’ has been specially constructed to provide good acoustics and it has a ventilation system for removing the warmth generated by the audience of 170 people. This is vitally important because, if the temperature rises above -5 degrees centigrade, there is a risk that the instruments can melt.
Some of the instruments have to be suspended from the ceiling to avoid the body heat of the performers. And even the breath from a musician can cause an instrument to have to be re-tuned after a performance.
The 53-year-old musician, who moved to Sweden 10 years ago, carves the ICEstruments by hand before adding strings and frets. During the performance the instruments are lit-up in spectacular glowing colours which represent the northern lights.
This is not the first time a musician has constructed ice instruments. The Norwegian-based composer Terje Isungset, who records on the ECM label, has enthralled audiences with his bizarre ice instrument inventions.
Photos: Graeme Richardson