Ice instruments melt musical boundaries in Italian Alps

Feb 03, 2019 288

In the Passo Paradiso winter sports station at an altitude of 2,600 metres (8,500 feet), instruments still at times spontaneously implode due to the brittleness of the ice, but less frequently. And when they do, it’s not altogether a lost cause. “Then you know you’re as close to the edge of ice music as you can get,” Linhart said.

Here, the artist has built a violin, viola, timpani drum set, xylophone, double bass, mandolin, cello and even his own invention, the giant Rolandophone, a huge percussion pipe instrument, all from ice. After moulding front and back plates, Linhart uses a white-ice mix of water and snow to build the instrument’s walls, around a metal backbone, over which the strings are stretched and tightened.

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