What an amazing 3 days of ice music performances and ice art - right in the very heart of Geilo, in the newly built public arena.
We all found out what a 'Talatut' is and Arve Henriksen certainly disappointed and rose to the challenge of playing the dual horned tubular monster that Bill Covitz had lovingly created. Arve also released his latest double album 'Chron + Cosmic Creation' on stage - surely an album release in temperatures of -18c is a world first?
Terje Isungset (aka the ice music polymath) continued to push ice music's seemingly limitless rhythm and timbre. Accompanied by Buskerud folk hero Eilif Gundersen on a brand new ice horn, Terje was in his collaborative element across the festival, culminating in a sublime ice orchestra ensemble during the Midnight Concert.
Sidsel Walstad's hugely ambitious ice harp took a turn for the worse and 'blew up'. Friday night's performance went without hitch and the ice harp sounded incredible. So impressed with the harp's musical song, Sidsel decided to continue to refine and tune the instrument on Saturday morning. After an hour of tweaking, Sidsel left for a coffee and Bill arrived to start blowing the snow off all the ice instruments on the stage - BOOM - the ice literally exploded!
Once the shock had subsided and it was established no-one was injured - Bill, Sidsel and Helder started to analysed what had happened. The general conclusion was that the estimated 200 tonnes of pressure on each harp string was simply too much loading for the ice harp's ice frame. After the initial desperation and disappointment (the ice harp took 4 people 3 days to construct) - Bill, Sidsel, Helder & Ben Spencer got back to work and created a simpler and smaller harp, just in time for Saturday night's performances.
The mighty Anders Aasberg went for the world's first Hallingkast and Svante & Katarina Henryson played another storming set with Svante playing a brand new ice cello. Katarina's voice was as superb as ever and the audience readily agreed that they'd never heard a Joni Mitchell cover played during a driving blizzard and -18c!
Svante finished his final show at 1am on Sunday morning by calling the spirit of Jimi Hendrix and going into full-on Pete Townsend mode...
The Bill Covitz Show was another huge success. After an introduction describing the range of specialist tools at his disposal, Bill went ahead with 2014 mystery sculpture - a flying eagle coming into land on its prey. Jaws dropped around the arena, as Bill completed the whole design within 25 minutes without breaking sweat.
Anna Maria Friman and Lena Nymark completed the stellar roll-call of musicians in 2014. Anna and Lena's voices are utterly sublime and although starkly different in tone and projection, they both possess a hypnotic quality that acts as a perfect counterpoint to the weighty but 'glass-like' ring of ice. A very ecstatic audience.
Forest of Sounds
The 3 visiting Estonian sculptors - Leena Kuutmaa, Elo Liiv & Mari Hiiemäe created a magnificent backdrop to the stage wall. Standing over 4 meters tall, the 7 imposing snow towers happily greeted Geilo townsfolk and winter visitors alike. Bets are on to see how long those towers will take to melt away this spring...
It seemed like half the world's TV, radio and print media descended on the Ice Music Festival in 2014. The ice carving and snow stage building teams had their work cut out with constant interviews and comment. A good selection of the media crews also went out into the wilds of local mountains and frozen lakes to document an ice harvest. An overview of these articles, reports and coverage will follow next week.