A group of Siberian percussionists have become an internet hit with an exhibition of ice drumming on frozen Lake Baikal.
In minus 20C, they found by pure chance that the one metre thick ice has a distinctive and haunting rhythm all of its own, reported the Siberian Times.
‘I felt like we were playing on the drums that Nature has left out for us, alone under the sun on the frozen waters of the world’s most magnificent lake,’ said Irkutsk architect Natalya Vlasevskaya, 31, a mother-of-one and organiser of Etnobit percussion group.
No one knows exactly what creates the unique sound – whether it’s the shallow depth at the site (5m) or the unique shape of the ice flakes – but the ice drums at this spot 50m offshore don’t occur anywhere else on the lake. Even the drummers can’t explain.
• And some fascinating information on the lake:
Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia’, its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.