Ice Music Workshop

Linked to a concert by Terje Isungset, the Norwegian musician who carves instruments from ice and performs with them all over the world, I was asked by the Royal Northern College of Music to run workshops making ice instruments and playing them. Terje himself was also running workshops at the same time but had wisely elected to form his instruments from birch and wood and other natural components. I found out why later.

I spent weeks making all sorts of ice shapes to test the resonance and finding out why my ice would not resonate. I discovered that it is because it is made from tap water and has bubble in it. I then spent a period trying to eliminate the bubbles from my ice but this also is very difficult. Terje uses ice from the glaciers in Norway, which is very compressed and very alive.

Eventually I made large bell shapes that could be used in a number of ways, and blocks that the children could carve and melt and beat on. These all had to be made in advance so that there was enough materials for the group to work on during the workshop. In the end we made a large variety of interesting sounds and I put these together to make a piece of music, which forms the sound track to my video.

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