Hail, Maniacs! Hope y'all had a weird holiday. I sure did - I visited the Museum of Jurassic Technology and bought an album of music made out of cave rock formations. But I'll get to all that later. First some announcements:
I won't be posting as much anymore, once a week probably. When I started this here web-log, there really weren't any other strange-music blogs. There was Basic Hip, which posted vintage vinyl (not necessarily strange), Comfort Stand, a net-label that featured some outsider-music and...that was about it. And now? Well, just check my links. I still think there's a place for M4M, though.
But to make up for the fewer amount of posts, I'll start adding pictures like everyone else. Deal?
I also won't be able to host songs indefinitely. Dodgy mp3 sites have been linking directly to me, generating thousands of hits in a brief period, which lead to my host shutting me down Christmas Eve (er, Merry Christmas to you, too, guys...), which lead to me removing all my mp3s. I'll still re-up tracks by your request, they just won't be up forever.
ANYWAY. The Great StalacPipe Organ, "The World's Largest Musical Instrument," is why we're all here today so let's get to it. Put on your lantern helmet and repel with me down into Luray Caverns, Virginia, where an engineer named Leland Sprinkle noticed that striking the cave's rock formations produced musical tones. So, in 1954, he conceived of an organ with little hammers that strike a hollow rock when the organ's keys are depressed. It's quite musical, though with a limited sonic palette. Rather then the usual pipe organ bombast, the Stalacpipe Organ is quiet, ghostly. The reverberating splashes of dripping water in the background sounds like sporadic electronic percussion, adding to the ambient feel.
Organist Monte Maxwell recorded a cd in 2001 called "Midnight in the Caverns" full of popular, classical, gospel, and patriotic standards played on the Organ, which you can only get at the Cavern's gift shop. Or at the gift shop of Los Angeles' legendary Museum of Jurassic Technology. The Museum is a must-visit if you're in LA, a moodily-lit series of winding hallways and strange displays that more resembles a Victorian cabinet of curiosities, or even one of P.T Barnum's exhibits, then any modern history or science museum.
Monte Maxwell: "Amazing Grace"
Older recordings can be heard here (the original 365 Project), and Week 15 of Tape Findings.