Kickstarter has named OPEN The TANK a “Project We Love,” “New and Noteworthy,” and “Popular!”
“There are so few places in the world to listen and play in a completely unique space, and this is one of the world’s coolest new venues.” – Laurie Anderson, performance artist
The TANK is an acoustical marvel and a sonic wonder of the world, with a shifting, swirling reverberation longer and richer than the Taj Majal or the Great Pyramid. The 65’ tall, 40’ wide empty steel water tank that was discovered in Rangely, Colorado by sound artist and sonic thinker Bruce Odland in 1976 became a place where a small group of musicians and sound artists recorded their music for decades.
By 2012, The TANK was in danger of falling silent: No more music, no more sound; rusting and decaying in the elements; left to dust, weather, vandalism, and neglect. To answer this urgency, Friends of The TANK was born, and a “SAVE The TANK” Kickstarter campaign was launched — and funded — in 2013.
Thanks to almost 800 backers from around the world, The TANK was saved as a world class reverberant space and valued musical resource for all to share.
In the three years since achieving our first Kickstarter goal, we have accomplished everything we promised to do in that campaign — and much, much more:
- We were granted our Change of Use Permit from Rio Blanco County;
- Electrical service was installed to The TANK and control room;
- Lighting was added, inside and out;
- Local volunteers built a new access road;
- Friends of The TANK became a 501c3 charitable organization;
- The TANK GAMELAN was created from a knee-high pipe that used to bisect The TANK;
- A ventilation fan was installed without changing the acoustics of The TANK;
- New parking lots were added for visitors;
- A safety fence was strung along the cliff;
- Rhino Cubed (in Boulder) built our new recording studio from a shipping container;
- Local supporters delivered the recording studio on the back of a flat bed truck;
- The recording studio/control room was settled on a vibration-cancelling, Crocs-filled foundation next to The TANK;
- The new, full-size door was designed and cut by volunteer metal workers;
- An accessible wooden deck was built to welcome visitors, and to link The TANK to the recording studio;
- A freshly painted floor invites everyone to take off their shoes and move about the space;
- Our Occupancy Permit from the county was awarded in September 2015;
- We were able to give our first legal concert at The TANK Open House during Rangely’s Septemberfest 2015;
- Twelve homeschool students came to The TANK to help us test-run our school outreach program;
- The Flobots stopped in Rangely to play in The TANK on their recent “deTour” of Colorado.
We’re back on Kickstarter because it’s time to OPEN The TANK as a fully operational Center for Sonic Arts!
The crowdfunding community, including 751 sound lovers and acoustical pioneers from around the world, made it possible to SAVE The TANK. If your name already appears on The TANK wall, we ask you to join us again as we raise the funds to OPEN The TANK to the world. If you’re new to The TANK, or to the crowdfunding community, welcome. Together we will continue our journey.
Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — OPEN The TANK must reach its goal of $57,000 by February 28th, 3PM EST or we do not receive any funding. Your pledges will allow us to:
- OPEN The TANK Center for Sonic Arts as a destination and experience for sonic tourists and local residents alike;
- Support new TANK projects by musicians, architects, sound designers, sonic thinkers, and other artists and educators;
- Continue to develop The TANK as an oasis of music and international/local collaboration;
- Accelerate our outreach programming to Rangely schools, Colorado Northwestern Community College, and the community;
- Train local talent in audio arts and recording (with our Grammy Award winning engineers/producers);
- Develop a residency program for artists around the world so they can learn from and share the profound experience of The TANK.
The TANK brings together people from all walks of life. Join us in securing the future of The TANK as a Center for Sonic Arts. Together we will throw open the doors and welcome all to experience the unexcelled beauty and sonic vibrancy of The TANK.
Other Ways You Can Help
Equally important, we hope you will join the OPEN The TANK team as an ambassador, and help spread the word about our Kickstarter. Tell your friends, co-workers, family, and anyone you think might be interested in The TANK Center for Sonic Arts.
“Creating music in The TANK is an otherworldly experience. Immersion in The TANK’s unique sonic environment provokes an immediate sense of reverence and humility. You realize what all others before you have inevitably realized: The old rules do not apply. Everything must be re-explored and created anew. The TANK is more than a special effect. The TANK is an instrument.” – Johnny-5, The Flobots
WHO WE ARE
“Friends of The TANK” is an eclectic group of artists, sonic explorers, and practical minds bound by a common experience: The TANK. Once again, we have joined together on behalf of this magnificent acoustic resource, this time to OPEN The TANK to the world as a Center for Sonic Arts. Our growing collective seeks to expand our numbers to include other courageous performers and passionate listeners.
- Sam Auinger – composer, sound artist, educator, Berlin, Germany; Sam Austin – architect, artist, creator of Rhino Cubed, Boulder, CO; Bill Ballou – technical theater genius, Los Angeles, CA; Max Bernstein – interdisciplinary media artist, New York, NY; Foster Brashear– electronics designer, inventor, Evergreen, CO; Peter Brixius – Town Manager, Rangely, CO; David Brunel – TANK aficionado, supporter, Boulder, CO; Jan Burton – co-founder of Rhino Cubed, City Council member, Boulder, CO; Galen Clarke – documentarian, Denver, CO; Colorado Creative Industries; Denver Arts and Venues; Elaine diFalco – composer, Denton TX; Bob Drake – musician, songmaker, recording person, Codeval, France; Jesse Elliot – songwriter, community-builder, TANK superfan, Denver, CO; Johhn-5 of The Flobots – emcee & vocalist, Denver, CO; Mark Fuller – mastering engineer, Putaluma, CA;Jennifer Gilbert – metal artist, blacksmith, Las Vegas, NV; Mary-Ann Greanier – poet, playwright, activist, Littleton, MA; James Hoskins – multi-instrumentalist, Boulder, CO; Dick LaFond – civil rights lawyer, Boulder, CO; Lois LaFond – singer/songwriter, educator, Boulder, CO; Mark McCoin – sound and multimedia artist, educator, San Antonio, TX; Ron Miles – master trumpeter, educator, Denver, CO; Jeremiah Moore – sound designer, sound artist, San Francisco, CA; Bruce Odland – composer, sound artist, sonic thinker, Croton-on-Hudson, NY; Elizabeth Robinson-Wiley – Creative Entrepenuer, Community Advocate, Rangely, CO; Barb Rossner – information systems designer, river runner, Boulder, CO; Tom Ryan – landscape architect, Harvard University professor, Boston, MA; Mho Salim –computer scientist, river runner, Boulder, CO; Robert Newman Sheets – teacher, arts administrator, historian, Denver CO; David Shoemaker – composer, entrepreneur, Philadelphia, PA; Michael Stanwood – musician, educator, Keeper of the Tank, Denver, CO;Elaine Urie – businesswoman, minister, Rangely, CO; Samantha Wade – singer, TANK guide (granddaughter of Barbara Wade, Keeper of the Key for 30 years), Rangely, CO; Tom Wasinger – triple-Grammy-Award-winning music producer, Boulder, CO; Robert Wert –lawyer, businessman, Philadelphia, PA; Heather Zadra – writer, educator, Rangely, CO.
The TANK expands the hearing of everyone who enters, the overwhelming resonance informing the very idea of what sound is. With so much to experience at The TANK, we plan to work with local schools and colleges to develop new ways of learning in this uniquely reverberant space. We hosted a school group in September, 2015, as part of our Open House during Septemberfest. Here is the result.
The TANK is not a product; rather, it is an actual place with hyper-real acoustics where people learn to listen deeply again, understand the joy of music and sound reflecting most vividly from the 70 foot steel walls around them, and refresh the sense of awe and limitless creativity latent within each of us.
Lois LaFond sings with Elaine Urie, and Heather Zadra in the early days.
Risks and challenges
We are committed to making The TANK available for all to share through opening a Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely. We have navigated more than a few obstacles to get where we are, and we have every confidence that we have the commitment and support to meet the challenges ahead.
We understand that this Kickstarter is just the beginning of the fundraising that will be needed to open and expand a Center for Sonic Arts. By allowing us to solidify our operations and put in place the programs we envision, we believe the support we receive in this Kickstarter campaign will be the key to our future success.
We promise to keep our supporters informed of our progress, every step of the way.