Musicians drenched in a sea of ice & colour!

What a special night of world-first ice music instruments, trance inducing melodic grooves and spellbinding improvisation from some of the world's finest composers and players! 

After a worryingly / near panic driven warm day in Geilo creeping around the 0c mark (unheard of in these parts during February) the weather finally chilled down late afternoon, just in time for a roster of tip-top musicians ready to take on the challenge of playing ice music.

In front of a packed Ice Music Festival arena, Arve Henriksen, Trio Medieval (Anna Maria Friman, Berit Opheim, & Linn Andrea Fuglseth), Anders Jormin and Terje Isungset played out a wondrous 45 minutes of folk inspired music. Vocal chants, primeval sounding ice horns and deep bass lines from the world's first ice double bass captivated the audience. Hypnotic stuff.

The second performance(s) of the night called Icelandic Sessions began a 22hrs. Split in two parts with the first half an 'acoustic' solo performance by one of the world's leading Balafon players - on walked a very happy and joyously infectious Mamadou Diabate to play the world's first Ice Balafon. And what an incredible sound Mamadou conjured from his ice instrument! Comparing the temperature difference between his homeland of Burkina Faso and Geilo, Mamadou pushed the limits of the ice Balafon before mother nature's creation finally gave up with a number of bar breakages. 25 minutes of aural heaven. 

For the second half, the festival stepped up a rhythmic gear with Punkt Festival co-founder and live sampling master Jan Bang joining drummer Helge Norbakken (yes, he played ice drums!) Terje Isungset and Ice Udu player Stein Arne Rimehaug. This quartet dug deep into the spirit of Ice Music and had a ball bouncing musical ideas off each other, as if they were in their own private jam session. The bass and tonal range from Stein Arne's Ice Udus syncronising perfectly with Jan's electronic glitch, Helge's percussion and Terje's signature 'communicating with the centre of the earth' Ice Horn sound. Utterly mesmerising.

All photographs captured by Emile Holba.

Ice Music Festival