from Arktis Arktis!

Duration ca 11 minutes


I spent the summer 1999 on an icebreaker, following the Swedish Polar Expedition ”Tundra Northwest” up to the north of Canada.

The nature, the light, the variable weather and the experience of being on an icebreaker up in The High Arctic was intense and overwhelming.

The feelings and experience of this fantastic icy world has to be expressed in some way.

Breaking the Ice is the first part of a longer piece/cycle, named ARKTIS ARKTIS! for orchestra (Arktis = The Arctic). What we usually call icy sounds in music had nothing to do with the ice I met; it was powerful, could look very different, not always white, but yellow, turquoise, very strong. It was sometimes very hard to force, even for the most powerful icebreaker of Canada. Talking about moving mountains, the ice is capable.


The orchestra in Breaking the Ice is placed with the first and second violins opposite to each other. Also the winds are placed a bit uncommon; one of each wind instrument of one side of the strings, the same on the other side.


This piece is not trying to describe the Arctic, but to express my feelings and experience of being there. Staying out in the wild nature makes you learn something about yourself, about being a human, and…
to make progress you must dare to break the ice!


Karin Rehnqvist



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