When Mr Tim Linhart started making instruments from ice, they were more likely to explode with a bang than produce music – but things have come a long way since then. Today, the 59-year-old United States-born artist is in charge of an ice orchestra of local musicians playing a series of concerts at sub-zero temperatures in a vast, custom-built igloo high in the Italian Alps. In the Passo Paradiso winter sports station at an altitude of 2,600m, instruments at times spontaneously implode due to the brittleness of the ice, but less frequently now. The artist has built a violin, viola, a timpani set, xylophone, double bass, mandolin, cello and even his own invention – the giant Rolandophone – a percussion pipe instrument, all from ice. After moulding front and back plates, Mr Linhart uses a 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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