People make all kinds of 'cool' things out of ice- Ranging from frozen aquariums to ice hotels. But, Norwegian-born musician and composer Terje Isungset, has found a truly unique way to use ice - Carving it into musical instruments that can actually be played.
Born in Geilo, Norway, Terje grew up in a family of musicians, so it was not surprising that he followed their footsteps. However, he turned out to be a very creative percussionist who shunned normal musical instruments. Instead, he made his own, using natural things like arctic birch, granite and slate. Over the years, out of all the natural materials his favorite medium of choice has become ice - Not just any ice, but one frozen from pure glacier water, so that he can create rather surreal-looking transparent instruments.
Terje first came up with the idea, when he was asked to compose and perform a piece that incorporated the sound of the water that was falling beneath a frozen waterfall, for the 2000 Lilehammer Winter Festival. Both the audience and the artist enjoyed the simple music that emerged from these instruments so much, that Terje was hooked.
Today, his unusual instruments have become so famous that he has been invited to perform all over the world. Terje says that while instruments made from ice are somewhat limiting in terms of the music he can play, they are also more exciting. That's because no two instruments are the same and, since they start to melt as they get used, he cannot practice with them either. Hence, he never really knows how his compositions are going to sound.
While Terje specializes in carving out percussion instruments like chimes and xylophones, he has also carved up a guitar, harp, trumpet and even a fiddle! Now, if we could just combine all of them, it would make for a very 'cool' rock band! To read more about this talented musician and hear more of his instruments go to http://home.online.no/~isungz.
Resources :odditycentral.com,guardian.co,uk, wired.co.uk