Great Stalacpipe Organ: Haunting Sounds From Middle Earth

The Great Stalacpipe Organ is located in Luray Caverns in Virginia, USA.  It’s operated by a custom console that produces electric impulses.  The impulses are sent to small rubber mallets that tap ancient stalactites of varying sizes.

The organ was designed and built in 1956 taking Leland W. Sprinkle a little over three years to complete.

Great Stalacpipe Organ

great stalacpipe organ
Photo by Jon Callas

From concept to construction

The original design of the organ/console had many features including a pedal which provided “Harmonics, Reverb and Solo.” But, these features were removed in favor of amplifying every note at a constant level instead. Furthur to the audio, it was simplified for aesthetics.

great stalcpipe organ
Photo by Jon Callas
RELATED: Build a guitar out of junk

 

The Great Stalacpipe Organ took over three years to complete.  Sprinkle would find and shave down appropriate stalactites to produce the notes.  37 stalactites spanning 3.5 acres were then wired to rubbers mallets and attached  to the appropriate keys of the organ.

The hounting sounds are heard throughout the 64 acre cave system.  However, when open to the public, the use of loud speakers is used to enhance the overall sound experience.

 

great stalacpipe organ
Photo by Jon Callas

Step inside these beautiful and historic cavern system with this amazing 4k video tour of the cave by TRIUMPHRAINBOW on Youtube.

The result is hauntingly beautiful and can be heard below.

Conclusion

Finally, lets briefly talk about legacy. In 1956, Leland W. Sprinkle took someting  creative and brought it to life.  Not only was it a musical masterpiece built for the world to experience and talk about, he left a sustaining intrument to inspire new ideas for generations.  If you enjoyed the post, please share it and subscribe for updates.  I really enjoyed writing this post. Creating music in unique ways is the ultimate creative experience.

 

 

 

Vanderkool
HELLO, I'm Anders Vanderkool: Creative Guru. I am an educated graphic designer and fine artist. This is where you will find my thoughts and ideas about creative things. I will share with you resources that will help you on your next creative project. Maybe my posts will motivate you or change the way you approach creativity. Please share your ideas and comment. Let's start a discussion

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