• In minus 20C, they play one metre thick ice which has a distinctive sound
  • The 25 million year old lake is the deepest and oldest in the world
  • Released musical potential of ice when a member of the group fell on it
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.

The 25 million year old lake, which freezes in winter, is the deepest and oldest in the world.

The group use the frozen waves of the lake to make an unusual, evocative melody - but they realised the musical potential of Baikal only after the wife of one of their drummer's fell over walking 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?'' said Natalya.

The group went back to the exact spot to record their remarkable percussion recital.

'I will always remember the first feeling,' said Natalya.

'You see your hand touching the ice, you hear the sound, but your mind just can't take it in.

'You cannot believe that, yes, this beautiful clear sound is indeed produced by ice. '

She said some people accused them of faking the remarkable ice music, but it was genuine.

'Some people with several musical educations came to say that we were just fooling people, and it was all made up, which is not true,' she said.

'Still, I understand precisely why not everyone could believe it was for real.

'When I first realised Baikal's musical potential I, too, well remember the feeling on overwhelming excitement and joy - but also disbelief.'

Their performance was made in March on the frozen waters close to the popular tourist island of Olkhon.

Evidently, the sound is not the same at other places on the ice-bound lake.

'People later asked us how we found the spot where different bits of ice sounded so much in harmony with each other,' she said.

'The answer is, I don't know. This is just how was.

'This is perhaps what I mean by saying about it being the wonder of Nature, that all we had to do was to discover that place, get there, and start playing.

'Everything else was ready, arranged for the most perfect harmonious sound.'