Pepe Deluxé and the Great Stalacpipe Organ

As mentioned before on this blog, Pepe Deluxé‘s next album – ‘Queen of the Wave’ – is an incredible journey in both audio and fantasy. Details of exactly how much of a journey it has been (and why the record hasn’t appeared yet) are just beginning to emerge with the release date scheduled for early 2012. There’s digging and then there is journeying underground to find sample sources for your record, Pepe went the latter route for one track, ‘In The Cave’.

The main reason for the delay of the record was the duo’s desire to record on the largest instrument in the world, the Great Stalacpipe Organ in the underground caverns of Luray, Virginia, USA. The organ is situated underground in a 14,000 square meter cave where the stalactites have been tuned to concert pitch by oscillators and are then struck by rubber mallets in a complicated set up connected to the organ by over 5 miles of wiring. I’m not making this up, it was conceived in the mid 50’s by mathematician Leland W. Sprinkle after his son banged his head on a stalactite and it rung with a pleasant sound. When Pepe first discovered its existence in 2005 (via the 365 Days project) they found that it had fallen into disrepair and had to be renovated completely, this ended up taking several years but they got the green light in late 2010.

Paul Malmström from PD wrote an original composition for the the organ – the first ever written and recorded for it – and traveled from his home in New York to record it earlier this year. In front of a crowd on onlookers (it was a public holiday so the cavern was open) he managed to record several takes and complete the final piece in the jigsaw for the record, forthcoming on Catskills in January 2012. A single – ‘The Storm’ – is released on October 10th and many things are afoot on the Pepe website and new Facebook page. 2012 is going to be a mighty fine year for music…

(Paul and his giant organ – insert suitable double entendre in the comments please)

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