Acoustic instruments we think of largely in wood, string, gut, metal. Terje Isungset has spent decades making music out of ice.

Here’s a great introduction from May 2019:

A recording from May the 2nd 2019 at Spitsbergen/Svalbard.
All of the video and the sounds/music are recorded in 10 degrees below celsius, at location – under the friendly midnight sun of Spitsbergen. It has been an honor to collaborate with Greenpeace for giving focus to “our” oceans, and try to find a way of saving the unique life there.
Many people have worked on this project. Thanks a lot to master ice carver Bill Covitz, thanks to the musicians Andreas Hesselberg Hatzikiriakidis, Åshild Brunvoll and Maria Dahlin. Thanks to all of the team at the Greenpeace boat – the people who are trying to make a change. Respect.

Please do remember:
We do need Nature.
The Nature do not need us.

Terje Isungset: composer, ice music concept & idea.
Bill Covitz: ice carver.
Dale of Norway: clothes.
Broen studio/Anders Bjelland: mix.
Duper studio: mastering.
All Ice Records – Norway.

To listen to the song: go to iTunes/Spotify etc.
Also check out the annual Ice Music festival Norway!

And yes, this ensemble travels. Here’s more explanation:

The composer is busy now, too, working on new glacier recordings:

For more of this sort of sound, you can also check out the album label he runs, All Ice Music.

The instruments to me are already stunning – and a sense of how transformative materiality can be in instruments generally, however you compose the results. (I’d be up for lots of experimental takes on this notion…)

Thanks to @antiquedigital today for the story suggestion.

Photo at top: Emile Holba /