A group of Norwegian musicians entertained crowds in Iqaluit this week with instruments made of ice.

Volunteers set out over a week ago to begin cutting ice with chainsaws.

But there was a bit of a hitch, said volunteer Daniel Osborne.

"We've found that all the ice in the lakes is quite badly fractured because of the very low temperatures that you get up here," he said.

The project requires freshwater ice but it's also preferred that the blocks are transparent and without cracks.

That means cutting blocks up to two metres long from a lake that's frozen solid, and there's no guarantee that the ice blocks will hold the essential musical qualities.

Terje Isungset, the ice musician behind the show, said each potential ice instrument needs to be tested.

"It's depending on winter, how it freezes, the ice should be as clear, or transparent, as possible. But if I see a piece of ice I cannot tell you that it will sound. I need to check it."

Isungset and his crew started carving the instruments Monday night and completed the task Tuesday, just in time for their Iqaluit concert.