July 29, 2020
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Terje Isungset

The musician talks about his discovery of ice as a musical instrument and its signature sounds

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Terje Isungset
Terje Isungset

How did you come across ice music?

I have used different elements­—stones, wood, metal, bells. In 1999 I was asked to perform in a frozen waterfall, and I decided to use all elements there—even ice!

Do you think ice music fits into the traditional music industry?

Yes, the music industry is one of the most dynamic industries, and there are lots of options for dealing with ice music.

Your favourite song in ice music?

It is a song called A Glimpse of Light.

How different are sounds produced by ice instruments?

Like all others they blow, hit, scratch, but are more fragile. Ice instruments produce a melody that is truly yours.

What are your views on Indian classical music?

I greatly respect traditional Indian music. No other country has so many well-educated traditional musicians.

Do you think Indian sounds can be produced by your instruments?

With ice music we don’t try to copy other/existing instruments and sounds. We try to let the ice speak. Yet, it is possible to make some indian instruments, but they will sound different from the traditional ones.

The best live audience you’ve had?

I have many nice memories from Canada, US, Australia, Russia, UK, and Japan.

What problems do you face in creating and using these instruments?

They melt, break easily, are hard to make and it’s difficult to find good-sounding ice!

The future for this kind of music?

It looks great; we get offers to play all over the world and I am coming to India next month!

Your first memories as an ice musician.

When I heard the sounds of ice chimes the first time. Late December 1999. It was fantastic!

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