On the 4th Saturday of every month (since 2003) Georg Mertens and Gustaw Szelski - The Paganini Duo - play Gypsy Music in the Cathedral Chamber, part of the Lucas Cave of Jenolan Caves.
Georg's Cello was made in 1740 in Italy and he plays a beautiful Jayson Elazzi Guitar. Gustaw's violin was created in 1723 by Giovanni Battista in Cremona.
Each performance is an improvisation - "a journey into the unknown, enjoying total spontaneity" of traditional Gypsy, Romanian, Russian, and Hungarian music.
After taking the sphere image in the darkness of the cavern, I sat with my eyes closed, absorbing the music. Before the concert the guide said the acoustics in the cavern was "perfect" and that there were absolutely no outside sounds to contaminate the music. But I was in no way prepared for the experience. It was beyond imagining. The "voice" of Gustaw's 1723 Giovanni violin singing in the 340 million year old cavern filled my whole body with the purest and most beautiful sounds I have ever felt. With my eyes closed, the sound did not come from the "stage" or from the walls of the cavern. The sound simply filled me from within, becoming so much a part of my entire body that I had no idea at all where it was coming from.
"The audience is the stimulant that makes it work", Georg told me at the wine and cheese tasting get together with the musicians after the concert. I agree, because I certainly felt the resonance of the music, the cavern, and the enchanted audience.
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.