Winnipeg New Music Festival will start next weekend

Winnipeg New Music Festival will start next weekend, Iryna Chyrkova

Winnipeg is looking forward to the start of one of the most anticipated events of this winter - Winnipeg New Music Festival.

This festival will be remembered by residents of the city for long because they will be able to enjoy the musical creations of the famous Norwegian musician, Terje Isungset, who plays ice musical instruments. He deigns his ice instruments himself and gives concerts in a specially constructed open-air audience.

"It'll be a really beautiful performance," said Peter Hargraves, a Winnipeg architect.

Hargraves and Luca Roncoroni, an architect from Norway, specialize in creating ice musical instruments. Hargraves explained that all of them were created from 50 cm thick ice blocks taken near the Forks.

"It's beautiful clear ice that comes out of the Red River," he said.

Luca Roncoroni is well-known to all Winnipeg residents as he comes to this city for about 20 years in a raw in winter and takes part in the annual warming hut competition. He never saw the river in the summer, only in photographs. Every year Winnipeggers are surprised how from such muddy river water, which they see during the warm seasons, such crystal clear ice blocks are obtained.

"During the freezing process all the sediment kind of sinks towards the bottom, so they don't get trapped in the ice block," he explained. "It is really, very beautiful ice."

The architect, who also made a big contribution to the Icehotel in Sweden, explained that he likes working only with natural ice.

"It's a very dynamic material … when you work with ice and snow you can't control every single detail because it's a material that's so alive and it's changing so fast. I like the fact that we kind of lose a little bit of the control that we normally would like to have," he said.

An open-air audience can accommodate up to 500 people during the festival. On Sunday, students from the University of Manitoba have already begun construction work.

The festival will last until February 1. 

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Winnipeg New Music Festival ice musical instruments Terje Isungset
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