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Sweden's 'coolest' concert: an igloo full of instruments made of ice

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A violinist plays an ice violin. Photo: Linda Snäll
14:38 CET+01:00
A team in Luleå is in the process of putting together a long-running musical event to be performed on instruments made out of ice in what has been touted as the biggest ice concert in an igloo that Sweden has ever seen.
The wheels are in motion in Luleå, northern Sweden, to build an igloo big enough for 160 spectators and to construct enough instruments made of ice to last for three months of frosty music.
 
Due to a slow start to the winter, ice from the local hockey arena has been collected and transported to a nature park just a few minutes walk from the town centre. The transplanted ice will be added to a supply of snow from last year that was buried beneath plastic and bark and saved in anticipation for use to pull off the planned ice concert
 
And the conditions inside the igloo have to be perfect for the show to work.
 
"The ideal temperature is -5C. If it gets too cold, the instruments can shatter. If it gets too warm, they melt," Karin Åberg, spokeswoman at Ice Music, told The Local, adding that the mercury dropped to -20C just one day ago. 
 
Indeed, the first time the the head designer built a guitar it exploded while it was being tuned. 
 
"But that was 15 years ago; he kept the dream alive making instruments that are playable and now they're all going to be on show," Åberg added. 
 
 
The mastermind behind the design is ice sculpting legend Tim Linhart, a New Mexico native who's chipped away at his trade across the world for 30 years.
 
This year's masterpiece is the concert igloo, where every possibility has been accounted for. It even features a hole in the roof that will act as a means of escape for the warm air from spectators' breaths.
 
Similar precautions have to be taken for the violinists, whose breath can melt the body of their instrument. As a result, a plastic guard has to be inserted between the player's mouth and the violin itself.
 
And what about the flautists? How can organizers be sure they won't get attached to their instrument by the night's end?
 
"We don't have any flutes," Åberg responded with a laugh.
 
"They're too hard to tune. We have mostly string instruments, but we also have drums, a xylophone, a new mandolin... you name it."
 

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Guests can expect a range of music "from folk to Lady Gaga" and all spectators are warned to dress warmly.
 
The shows, which cost 290 kronor ($44), will kick off on December 28th and run until April 6th.
 
Or until the sun gets too strong.
 
Oliver Gee
 

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