Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit February 12, 2013 - 7:24 am

Cool ice-jazz musician plays Iqaluit Feb. 19

Norway's Terje Isungset creates music on instruments made of ice

Norway's Terje Isungset plays an ice horn during a concert — one of the many ice instruments he uses during his ice music performances. (PHOTO COURTESY OF T. ISUNGSET)
Norway's Terje Isungset plays an ice horn during a concert — one of the many ice instruments he uses during his ice music performances. (PHOTO COURTESY OF T. ISUNGSET)

There’s a lot you can do with blocks of ice — like make music.

And, if you live in Iqaluit, you’ll want to see world-renowned percussionist and ice-musician Terje Isungset from Norway showcase his unique form of ice music Feb. 19.

During this concert, Isungset plans to play ice instruments, crafted with pieces of ice from around Nunavut’s capital.

To prepare for the performance, Isunget’s “ice assistant” will help carve the instruments out of four-foot and six-foot-tall ice blocks, producing, among other instruments, a horn-sicle, a bass drum and an “icofone.”

Isunget is coming to Iqaluit as part of Alianait arts festival’s 2013 concert series, which starts with Isunget’s ice music concert, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Inuksuk High School.

Isungset, who first started playing on ice instruments in 1999, now puts on an annual “Ice Music Festival” in Geilo, Norway. Since 2007, he has also toured Norway, Japan and other international venues, such as glaciers (you can watch him perform on a YouTube video).

Wherever he goes, Isunget travels light: his instruments — which include ice chimes, harps, guitars, an iceridoo, an ice udu, and an ice fiddle — are all made on site.

“Isungset has developed his own musical universe by using pure frozen water from the lake or river to carve his own instruments. The beauty of ice,” his website says.

The Alianait 2013 concert series also includes:

Sinuupa, performing music from his latest release Culture Shock. Born and raised in and around Kuujjuaq, Etua Snowball a.k.a. Sinuupa first picked up a guitar at age 15. Snowball, who released his third album, Culture Shock, last year, received an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for Best Rock CD of 2012;

Elisapie Isaac, with her Travelling Love and full band on May 25. “Isaac needs no introduction to Iqaluit. She has throngs of diehard fans who will be thrilled to see her again. Last here in 2011, Elisapie returns with her latest release Travelling Love, music that explores the duality between sensitive woman and ferocious spirit that lives within Elisapie Isaac,” Alianait executive director Heather Daley said;

Beatrice Deer, on June 7. Award-winning Deer, who comes from Quaqtaq, Nunavik, now lives in Montreal. Deer’s most recent CD was a Christmas album, released in November 2010.

• Rose Cousins, Halifax’s “irresistible find,” on Nov. 2. An award-winning singer-songwriter, Cousin’s music is “rooted in authenticity and conviction of voice,” Alianait says. “You will feel as though Cousins sings for you, about your life. Her third album “We Have Made a Spark” has been described as “stunningly beautiful,” Daley said.

A sixth Alianait concert will be announced later in the year.

Subscription series and tickets to the ice music concert go on sale Feb. 11 at Arctic Ventures.

Series buyers will save more than 30 per cent off advance ticket prices.

Concerts will take place either at Inuksuk High School or Nakasuk Elementary School. Elders and children, 12 and under, who are accompanied by an adult, can get in for free.

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