Jenolan Caves

Underground Ecstasy

December 5, 2015

beautiful stalactites in the Lucas Cave

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, lead 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 Goldoriginally 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.

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! The Cathedral can also be booked for wedding ceremonies and special events. 

Nature and culture nurture one another. Come and immerse yourself in both, and join this historically significant tour. Let the ecstasy begin…

1 Comments (Reply)
Scott Melton (Reply)
It was interesting to read Lisa's story regarding this piece of music. I was hosting a Lucas Cave tour and played the music; a lady on the tour then commented to me that she was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and played in the orchestra when they recorded Ecstasy of Gold.
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