Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Episode 158 (4-22-13): "In the Cave" by Pepe Deluxé, for Virginia Cave Week

Click to listen to episode (2:56).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 22, 2013.

This week, we feature a mysterious musical selection written for, and performed on, what might be Virginia’s most unusual instrument—and almost certainly the Commonwealth’s deepest!  Have a listen for about 30 seconds.


You’ve been listening to an excerpt from “In the Cave,” by the group Pepe Deluxé, from the 2012 album, “Queen of the Wave,” on Catskills Records.  Pepe Deluxé’s Paul Malmström composed the music for the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Luray Caverns, in Page County, Virginia, and he performed it there in February 2011.  The Great Stalacpipe Organ, invented in the 1950s by Leland Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia, uses rubber-tipped mallets to strike stalactites, producing sounds with various tones and pitches.  As remarkable as this human invention is, it’s matched by the natural wonders found in Virginia’s approximately 2000 known caves, of which caverns are spectacular examples.  Formed over millions of years by acidic groundwater acting on limestone and other soluble bedrock, caves are one of the several features characteristic of karst terrain, found especially in Virginia’s western valleys and in particular areas throughout the world.  Sinkholes, sinking streams, and even the famous Natural Bridge are other karst-related features.  Such features are the focus of Virginia Cave week, April 21-27 this year, sponsored by the Virginia Cave Board to increase public appreciation for the Commonwealth’s heritage of remarkable areas formed by groundwater’s slow and steady dissolving action.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 6/22/17. 
Although nowhere near as dramatic as Virginia’s famous caverns at Luray and other locations, this sinkhole near Radford is also a feature characteristic of karst terrain with bedrock of limestone or similarly soluble material.

Acknowledgments: “In the Cave” and “Queen of the Wave” are copyright by Pepe Deluxé and Catskills Records, used with permission.  More information about Pepe Deluxé is available at their Web site, http://www.pepedeluxe.com/; click on the "Album Companions" link on that page to access an article on the Great Stalacpipe Organ and the making of "In the Cave."  A music video of the “In the Cave” is available on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkvvcN6rt-I.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Pepe Deluxé very much for permission to use this week's music.
Sources and More Information:

Information on karst was taken from “Living with Karst,” by George Veni et al., American Geological Institute Environmental Awareness Series, 2001; available online at http://www.agiweb.org/environment/publications/karst.pdf.

Information on caves in Virginia was taken from the Web site of the Virginia Cave Board, http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/cavehome.shtml.

Information from Luray Caverns on the Stalacpipe Organ is http://luraycaverns.com/.  More information on the Stalacpipe Organ is available in "Inside the Great Stalacpipe Organ: The World's Largest Instrument," by Blake Madden, 4/15/15, online at http://www.trustmeimascientist.com/2015/04/15/inside-the-great-stalacpipe-organ-the-worlds-largest-instrument/.

Information on Virginia Cave Week and more information on Virginia caves are available online at http://www.vacaveweek.com/.

More information on caves nationwide is available from the National Speleological Society, online at http://www.caves.org/.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service audio recording (13 minutes/6 seconds) of an interview on the White Nose Syndrome, a disease affecting bats in caves in Virginia and throughout the eastern United States and Canada, is available online at White-nose http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/audio/id/88/rec/2.  More information on White Nose Syndrome is available online from the Virginia Cave Board at the Web site listed above and from the National Speleological Society at https://caves.org/WNS/.

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.