Sweden’s Orchestra of Ice

  • Tim Linhart of New Mexico is the founder of the show.

    Tim Linhart of New Mexico is the founder of the show.

  • It takes one week of handcrafting the ice to create an instrument.

    It takes one week of handcrafting the ice to create an instrument.

  • The concert venue hits minus 5 degrees Celsius and can accommodate 170 spectators.

    The concert venue hits minus 5 degrees Celsius and can accommodate 170 spectators.

  • The music selection varies from classical to folk music.

    The music selection varies from classical to folk music.

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Along with the usual tribulations of readying an orchestra for performance, consider Ice Music’s quandary. Just a few degrees warmer can destroy the fragile instruments of the all-ice ensemble performing in Sweden at minus 5 degrees Celsius. The instruments, crafted by American ice carver Tim Linhart, are made in a six-week period in his backyard in Luleå, northern Sweden just beneath the Arctic Circle. The city’s freezing temperatures provide the ideal surrounds for such a performance, also housing one of the world’s first ice hotels. Though incredibly delicate and damageable even from a musician’s warm breath, the instruments produce a sound not much different from those of wooden parts. Linhart even insists the sound produced is richer than those of traditional instruments as wood absorbs the vibrations from the strings and dampens the sound. Fans must trek to the Ice Music igloo auditorium in a nature park outside Luleå that seats 170 in freezing temperatures to catch a show. The musical line-up includes everything from classical arrangements to folk music employing a violin, cello, drums, guitar, bass guitar, and even a banjo. Performances are on every weekend from now until April 6 priced from US$15.

For more information, visit Ice Music.

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