When temperatures drop and the forecasts fill up with snow, many of us feel irrepressible urges to create.
You’re feeling it, right?
Thoughts of knitting, baking, and holiday decorating …
But when I caught wind of a sonorous story lilting from the frozen waters of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, I realized …
Not all cold weather creativity happens indoors.
Needless to say, the Russians are a hearty breed, and a particular group of intrepid percussionists have not let sub-zero temperatures keep them cooped up inside.
Sergei Purtyan, a member of the Etnobit Percussion Group, discovered themagically melodic potential of the world’s deepest lake when his wife took a tumble on the ice.
Let’s just say, a new form of holiday music was about to be made …
“As she landed on the ice, she made a very musical ‘boooooom’ sound, so nice and deep that her husband, who has a very good ear, said ‘Hold on, what was it? How did you make that noise?’” the group’s founder, Natalya Vlasevskaya, told the Siberian Times: “She laughed, but then got curious, too, and they started touching and drumming on the bits of ice, realizing it was making a melody. He recorded it on the phone, got back to Irkutsk, and let us listen, asking if we might want to go together to the same spot and try and record our ice drumming.”
For some reason, as yet unknown, the specific spot where Purtyan’s wife fell has unique resonance and harmony when thumped, and Etnobit was thrilled to try their hands at ice drumming.
“Never mind that it was a six-hour drive to that particular spot!” Vlasevskaya says.
Ice in other parts of the lake, which reaches depths of 5,387 feet, doesn’t produce the same sounds. The group’s natural masterpiece was recorded with only about 15 feet of water below them.
“You see your hand touching the ice, you hear the sound, but your mind just can’t take it in,” Vlasevskaya explains. “You cannot believe that, yes, this beautiful clear sound is indeed produced by ice.”
It is lovely, as you can hear for yourself in this video: