Nature and culture

The sciences with the humanities!

Music in this world of geological time.

What matters is our capacity to share wonder.

The Jenolan Caves in New South Wales, Australia.

  1. > One of Australia’s Most Amazing Experiences
  2. > The Jenolan Caves Blog.

Underground Ecstasy‘ – the story of music underground.

December 5, 2015. Worth repeating in 2021, even if a pandemic has got in the way.

‘Every day, people tour Jenolan’s Lucas Cave. Deep underground, in The Cathedral Chamber, they are transported by a sound and light installation that showcases the dramatic proportions of Jenolan’s highest, grandest and acoustically magnificent chamber. With a sound system designed for performance in this sublime, natural amplification space, The Cathedral is the natural environment for a profound musical experience.  The voices of Dame Joan Sutherland and the Vienna Boys’ Choir have been further elevated by its majestic proportions.

But it is the default soundtrack used on most Lucas Cave tours that evoked sheer delight in the heart of a recent visitor.  Cave guide, Lisa Sampson, led her tour group into the Cathedral Chamber, and remotely activated the default soundtrack, as usual.  To her amazement, the piece of music was a massive favourite of a man in her tour group. In fact, he turned out to be a member of the composer’s worldwide fan club!  So, the tables turned, and cave guide Lisa received a fascinating commentary about the composer, the music, where it has been used and why it sounds so familiar to most people.

The song? The Ecstasy of Gold – originally composed by Ennio Morricone as part of the film score of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Lisa was inspired to do some serious digging into The Ecstasy of Gold. Here is what she discovered. The version played in The Cathedral is by Metallica. It’s been the super-band’s introductory music at concerts since 1983. Jay-Z sampled it in Blueprint. The Portuguese football team Sporting FC have used it as their introductory music for a season of home matches. It’s been used in an episode of The Simpsons and in a Spongebob Squarepants film. In fact, The Ecstasy of Gold has been so extensively covered that it has its own Wikipedia entry!

People have been singing in The Cathedral Chamber since it was first explored in 1860. In fact, it is one of the oldest, continuously running tours in Australia.

This is 2021 remember. Check it out. If you can, come and EXPERIENCE it. If your school, music group or organisation has a special relationship to a piece of music or musical artist, contact Jenolan Caves on 1300 76 33 11 and ask whether it can be played in The Cathedral on your Lucas Cave tour. Remember to book the Lucas Cave tour too! Don’t forget. This is December 2021. We hope it can be visited in 2022.

Nature and culture nurture one another. Come and immerse yourself in both.

AND – ABOVE GROUND, IN 2021,

WE NEED TO TELL AND HEAR A STORY OF WHAT TOMORROW MIGHT BE.

If you take this journey beneath the surface in 2022, remember and care about and be prepared to do something about the global warming of our blue planet. It is our collective home. And vote for the future for all of us,  not for the increasing profits for the greedy fossil fuel corporations and their appalling, shameless political allies in Australia.

Australia’s Prime Minister danced a jig to celebrate an LNG development in the ocean off the North West of Western Australia. An attack on bio-diversity. A $16 billion project that could have supported real clean energy developments across the nation and provided support for the people of the Torres Straits whose island homes are suffering from changes in the climate. Australia’s First Nations and our Pacific ‘family’ as he calls our neighbours. No! He dances a jig and cheers for Woodside.

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