Amazing organ

The music you will hear in the video is that of the "Stalacpipe Organ" -- a regular organ whose pipes are made of stalactites which are sounded by being struck with rubber mallets. The organ is found in the Luray Caverns in Virginia, U.S.A. and, according to,  was "created in the 1950s by Leland W. Sprinkle. Supposedly, he got the idea when his son Robert struck his head on a stalactite, producing a musical tone! Sprinkle spent over 3 years finding and shaving stalactites to produce specific notes - all in all, the stalactites he chose are distributed over 3.5 acres of the caverns."

[Image: LurayOrgan.jpg]

Video of the Stalacpipe Organ

I've been there, those caverns are amazing!
That is AMAZING!!! I have never heard of this organ before and I am seriously blown away.
Another gorgeous organ -- how haunting! I came across this via Mirabilis (a great blog), which had a link to a site about an organ that is played by the sea (man, how I love the sea!). About the Sea Organ: 

The Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first pipe organ that is played by the sea. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 pipes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds.

This masterpiece of acoustics and architecture was created by expert Dalmatian stone carvers and architect Nikola Basic in 2005, who recently received the European Prize for Urban Public Space for this project. Many tourists come to listen to this unique aerophone, and enjoy unforgettable sunsets with a view of nearby islands. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock said that the most beautiful sunset in the world can be seen from precisely this spot on the Zadar quay. That was how he described it after his visit to Zadar, a visit he remembered throughout his life by the meeting of the sinking sun and the sea.

The Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is seventy meters long with thirty-five organ pipes built under the concrete. The pipes are located so that the sea water and wind movements produce sounds that are heard by passers by so that it achieves a communication with nature and promotes a unity of architecture and environment. As sea forces and energies are unpredictable in terms of tides and winds, this organ offers never-ending concert of numerous music variations in which the performer is nature itself.

Each organ pipe is blown by a column of air, pushed in turn by a column of wave-moved water, through a plastic tube immersed into the water. The pipes' sound emanates to the surroundings through apertures in the vertical planes of the uppermost stairs. The 7 successive groups of pipes are alternately tuned to two musically cognate chords of the diatonic major scale. The outcome of played tones and/or chords is a function of random time and space distribution of the wave energy to particular organ pipes.

In this part of Croatia the prevailing musical tradition is the spontaneous four-voice male singing, with melodies and chords conforming to the diatonic major scale. The 5 pipes of each section are arranged in 1.5 meter spacings.

A listener, standing or sitting on a chosen point on the scalinade, should be able to hear 5 to 7 pipes. Thus, whole five-pipe sections are tuned to one chord. The citizens of Zadar are extremely proud of the first organ driven by the sea waves ever to be constructed. This installation, absolutely unique in the world, was designed to let people enjoy the point where the medieval town of Zadar embraces the Adriatic.


Listen to the Sea Organ (mp3)

Good news for my fellow Americans: we don't have to go to Croatia to hear an organ played by the sea; there's one in San Fran. From Roadtrip America:
Quote:At the eastern edge of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, a tiny spit of land juts into the bay. If you walk out to the end, you can see San Francisco's skyline on one side and the Golden Gate Bridge on the other.

The view alone is worth a journey, but the little peninsula offers more than scenery. It's also the home of a San Francisco wonder, the Wave Organ.

The Wave Organ is a work of environmental art created by Peter Richards and George Gonzales in 1986. Peter is Artist-In-Residence at the
Exploratorium, San Francisco's hands-on science museum. He agreed to meet us at the Wave Organ and introduce us to its mysteries.

"It's best at high tide," he said. "Unfortunately, high tide is at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. You better bring caffeine."

We found some bagels on the way, and we met in the parking lot before dawn. David Kirby, who first told us about the Wave Organ, was there, too, and so were Henry Murray, Colin Donahue, and Kerry Runcie, a film crew from a British television show. We all squeezed inside the Phoenix, and Peter told us about his work over coffee.

"I do environmental sculpture," he said. "I'm sort of a cross between a landscape architect and a sculptor.

"Someone made a recording of the sounds made by water going in and out of a concrete dock in Sydney, Australia. I'd been wanting to add an audible component to my art, and that tape gave me the idea for the Wave Organ."

The sun broke the horizon, and a perfectly clear sky greeted us as we climbed out of the Phoenix and headed out to the end of the spit.

"When were the Phoenicians in San Francisco?" asked Henry suddenly. He was looking at a big granite column capital, and a cornice that looked like it fell off a Greek temple.

"The whole thing is constructed from stones that came from an old Gold Rush-era cemetery north of the city," explained Peter. "It was moved to make way for a housing development, and the stones were brought here."

Sticking up like periscopes among the carved granite blocks were over a dozen listening tubes. We tried them all, and then took turns in the 'stereo booth,' where the sounds from the pipes emanate from three sides.

Peter explained how he and George, with support from the Exploratorium and hundreds of volunteers, had made a model, excavated the site, and installed the PVC tubes to create the organ. The result is a masterpiece of physics, engineering and design.

And the sound? It's like listening to the world's largest sea shell. It's like distant drums, muffled cymbals, quiet thunder. The variety is endless, and the sounds of the pipes are punctuated by the cries of gulls and the barks of sea lions. The sounds of ships' horns drift across the bay, and little waves slap against the stones.

We sat and listened as the sun rose over the bay. The Wave Organ's music is a symphony of land and sea, complex, subtle, powerful, hypnotic.

Peter had brought trash bags with him, and when we left, he was sweeping the steps. "I always find litter here," he said, "To me it means that people come here and enjoy it. That's what it's for."

The Wave Organ is art at its best, well worth a journey anytime, even an hour before sunrise.


Getting there:
The Wave Organ is at the end of Yacht Road, past the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, California.
Click here for a MapPoint map.

It's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the music never stops!
For more information,
visit the Exploratorium online.
With the title of "Amazing organ", I was scared of opening the thread.
Wow. I wish I could actually see them for real...

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