Design

Tim Linhart’s Amazing ‘ICEstrument’ Orchestra

by Tod Perry

March 10, 2017

Tibetan Buddhists have a tradition of making elaborate artwork out of colored sand and, upon its completion, blowing it all into a river. The ritual is to show their belief in the transitory nature of life. On the other side of the world, a man in Sweden has created another form of temporary art by making music out of ice. Twenty years ago, Tim Linhart made his first “ICEstrument” on a snowy mountaintop and his obsession led him to create an entire frozen orchestra and chamber hall. 

In Lulea, Sweden, Linhart has made his own igloo concert hall where musicians perform with string and percussion instruments made of ice. One of the major problems with conducting an ice orchestra is that the instruments eventually fall out of tune due to body heat from the performers and audience. This has led Linhart to create a unique venting system in his ice theater that filters the body heat out of the igloo.

Linhart’s ice instruments have a beautiful sound that play on our deep connection to water. “The ice instrument is made of frozen water, we’re made of melted water. And that physical connection opens the door for a spiritual connection,” he says in the above video. Linhart believes that his unique artistic endeavor may eventually touch people across the world. “The definition of magic for me is unbelievable, but happening,” he says. “And I think that in the long run is the kaboom possibility for ice music to, really, affect the world.”

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Tim Linhart’s Amazing ‘ICEstrument’ Orchestra