Welcome to Luleå’s coolest winter event. By combining Swedish Lapland’s climate with beautiful music, the town now has a meeting point for townspeople and a major attraction for visitors from all around.

Editor’s note: Ice Music has been cancelled, for the time being, there are no concerts scheduled for 2017.

Every weekend until April, beautiful sounds have come from the high mounds of snow at Gülzauudden. “We offer a fantastic experience. When you step into the concert auditorium you are suddenly in a magic place. Your toes might get a little bit cold, but you grow warm inside. People can’t believe it’s true,” says Tim Linhart, founder of Ice Music.”

Tim, who started life in New Mexico, USA, has been working as an ice artist for 30 years. Since he began to build ice instruments at the end of the 1990s it has, in his own words, completely taken over his life. Tim designs both concert halls and instruments. It takes about two months to finish the 20 ice instruments. The collection includes different string instruments, guitars, drums, xylophones and mandolins. Tim is constantly constructing new types of instruments.

Tim Linhart creating one his ICEstruments. Photo by Karin Åberg.

Please note!
Ice music is not open winter season 2017. For more information, visit icemusic.se. Since there are no concerts scheduled for the time being, you can check out the Ice Music YouTube-channel for icy tunes.

“My personal favourite is the Rolandophone. It is a special instrument and really “groovy”. We also make flutes with a lifespan of 5 minutes. It’s a lot of work for a little music, but it’s worth it when you hear them being played. There is a spiritual connection between musicians and their instruments,” says Tim.

The concert auditorium also demands lots of work and planning. The auditorium is an instrument in its own right, with two acoustic chambers which allow the sound to spread between the smooth ice walls. Between these two chambers, musicians stand every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and perform different sorts of music. Sometimes it is a classical music concert, other times pop or rock music.

“This is the est pile of snow ever in Luleå. When you see it, it’s difficult to imagine what is waiting inside,” says Karin Åberg, information and marketing manager at Ice Music. We want to be able to offer something for everyone. That is why we keep ticket prices down. A while ago we got an enquiry from a Brazilian bossa nova musician wanting to come here and play,” says Karin.

In Brazil in particular, interest in Ice Music has been keen. Earlier in the year there was a spot on prime-time television about the ice music. It was on one of the most popular TV programmes in Brazil. And Tim and Karin have had visits from reporters and TV teams from channels that include CNN, MSN, Spiegel, Gizmodo, DR1 and Mashable.

The finished result carries each and every icy tune.

“We’re more famous internationally than in Sweden. Already this winter we’ve had visitors from South Africa, Great Britain, France, Germany and several other countries. If international interest increases we might have to build a bigger auditorium. The one we have today seats 160 people,” says Karin. Because of the body heat from all the visitors, the auditorium has been built with a ventilation hole in the ceiling. Otherwise, all the instruments would melt.

“Ice is a changeable material and everything is part of cycle. That means among other things that we have to tune the instruments more often than ordinary instruments. Our instruments have to be stored in the right way and they need to be protected from the musicians’ body heat and the air they breathe out,” says Tim.

In addition to putting on concerts, Ice Music offers weddings in a unique setting, with live music on ice instruments. “The concert auditorium is ideal for wedding ceremonies. Music and weddings do belong together. On their wedding day, people are open to something imaginative and romantic,” Tim concludes.

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