This just might be the coolest piece of news you’ll hear today. And probably the most pun-filled, too.
If Metallica thought they were braving the cold by playing a one-off show in Antarctica last year, they’ve just been upstaged.
There’s a new music micro-trend emerging from Scanadanavia that takes chillwave to a whole new literal level and reminds us of the answer to OutKast’s famous question: ‘What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold’, or in this case, bands playing instruments made out of ice.
In the Swedish town of Luleå, a venue called The ICEhouse hosts a series of live shows where local bands are invited to come and play on frozen H20 instruments made by ice sculptor, Tim Linhart.
The 53-year-old’s creations, which he has personally bestowed with the brilliantly terrible pun ‘ICEstruments’, range from guitars, bass, cellos, xylophones and violins. Each piece is handmade, with Linhart typically starting by carving the ice body before adding strings and fret boards. They stay in tune as long as they’re kept below 10°C, so they get re-frozen after each use to make sure they haven’t melted from breathing. “You might think the sound on a normal instrument is perfectly clear until you hear an ice instrument.” – Tim Linhart
The instruments are visual masterpieces, made with an incredible level of detail, and the clever use of inbuilt LED lights sees them glowing with the colours of the rainbow when picked up and played. Most importantly, however, they actually sound good.
“My personal interest in this is to make it real music, not just clinking and dinking on a bunch of hanging ice cubes,” he said in an interview with CNN.
According to Linhart, the frozen ice picks up every vibration from the music, making it a truly spine-tingling experience for the listener.
“You might think the sound on a normal instrument is perfectly clear until you hear an ice instrument and go, ‘Ah ha!’,” he said. “The clarity is crystal.”
Meanwhile, if it wasn’t already cold enough for the bands, the venue itself is basically an igloo with the temperatures within its icy walls resting at a chilly -5°C. The concert hall fits around 170 punters, who are told to wear at least three layers of warm clothing before entering. In other words, this is the only music event in the world where it’s socially acceptable, and encouraged, to wear a onesie.
Listen to a indie band Whiteroom cover Avicii’s ‘Hey Brother’ on Linhart’s ice orchestra below. It’s enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.