Welcome to The TANK


Susie Ibarra

2022 CONCERT SEASON


The mystery and flow of composer, percussionist and sound artist Susie Ibarra. Native Colorado Music from Leon Littlebird and Lisa Ann White. Plus Peddlers of Joy, featuring TANK favorite Mad Dog Friedman. Trombonist Andy Clausen of The Westerlies. The joyous Fort Lewis College Choir.

And a Grand Gathering of Sonic Pilgrims for Solstice

Most events are free of charge

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

The Fort Lewis College Choir

Friday May 6 7pm

FORT LEWIS COLLEGE CHOIR

Choral music at the TANK is utterly uplifting and transporting, especially by this joyous and free-spirited group, The Fort Lewis College Choir. Gorgeous choral harmonies, in an a cappella setting, works by Sullivan, Rachmaninov, Whitacre. Led by director Charissa Chiaravalloti.  Free and open to all.

Peddlers of Joy

Sunday May 22 6pm

PEDDLERS OF JOY

Peddlers of Joy honors indigenous music and sacred traditions and explores new understanding of music’s power to enhance well being. Dedicated to creating mindful music live in the moment, this performance ensemble comprises Mad Dog Friedman on Native American flute and Theremin, Sean Bennight on guitar and Freyja Wild on vocals.  Free and open to all.

Echo Park in nearby Dinosaur National Monument

June 17 to 19

SOLSTICE FESTIVAL

Grand Gathering of Sonic Pilgrims.  This year the TANK returns to a tradition from pre-covid years, inviting all sonic pilgrims to celebrate the summer solstice in weekend-long solo presentations, group soundmaking and general jams. Starting Friday at 5pm and continuing until Sunday at 5pm. Special ceremonies on Friday at sunset and Saturday at dawn and noon.  Free and open to all.

Lisa Ann White and Leon Littlebird

Saturday June 18 8pm

LEON LITTLEBIRD AND LISA ANN WHITE

Headlining the Solstice Festival this year are Leon Littlebird and Lisa Ann White. A regionally and internationally acclaimed musician, performer, recording artist and composer, Leon is a third generation native of Colorado with ancestral roots in both Pioneer & Native American cultures. Lisa Ann White sparkles on native flutes and vocals. Their heritage and multi-instrumental style combine to create what they call Native Colorado Music.

Tickets
Inside $25 Outside $10
Purchase tickets for Leon Littlebird and Lisa Ann White here.

Andy Clausen

Sunday July 24 7pm

ANDY CLAUSEN

New York-based composer/performer Andy Clausen presents “Heart of Tones – Solo Trombone at The TANK.” Playing works commissioned especially for the TANK, with others spanning five centuries of musical history, from medieval chant, to shape note hymns, to Ellington ballads, and sonic meditations from Pauline Oliveros. A founding member of genre-bending brass quartet The Westerlies, Andy has performed and recorded with Fleet Foxes, Nico Muhly, Gabriel Kahane, Caroline Shaw, John Zorn, Bill Frisell and others.  Free and open to all.

Susie Ibarra   (Photo: R.I. Sutherland-Cohen)
 

Saturday September 17 8pm

SUSIE IBARRA

Coming to the TANK for a residency in September is sound-sculptor and percussionist Susie Ibarra, who will present her work in an extraordinary concert. The New York Times notes that her compositions are capable of “calling up the movements of the human body; elsewhere it’s a landscape vanishing in the last light, or the path a waterway might trace.” Modern Drummer Magazine says her sound is “like no other’s, incorporating the unique percussion and musical approach of her Filipino heritage with her flowing jazz drumset style.” 2020 National Geographic Explorer Storyteller, 2019 Doris Duke United States Artist Fellow in Music, a Senior TED Fellow and a 2019 Asian Cultural Council Research Fellow–Susie Ibarra performing in the TANK will be an exquisite experience.

Tickets
Inside $25 Outside $10

Purchase tickets for Susie Ibarra here.

Susie Ibarra (Photo by Ellen Wallop/Asia Society)




Ron Miles, Too Soon Gone

Ron Miles played his cornet in the Tank on many occasions, most recently headlining the Solstice Festival in 2018, when he brought the Tank to resonant life, spontaneously creating a beautiful, wide-awake composition.  Bruce Odland recalls, “Ron’s expressive tools were vast.   He once told me that he remembered every sound he made on the cornet, from the time he first picked up the horn.  All these sounds were always available to him, and among them, he could make the most beautiful cloud of diffuse, fluid, undifferentiated sound the way other people could slip into a vibrato.   In his 2018 performance, he inserted that foggy cloud of non-notes, filling the Tank like vapor.  Just when it got almost thick enough to see, he pierced it like an arrow with a note so pure and geometric you could feel the vapors vanish and the light pouring in.  All totally honest to his playing in the moment.”

Here is some of the music from that concert.

Photo by Conrado Quezada

Ron was one of the pioneering musicians who squeezed through the Tank’s 19-inch porthole when it was the only entrance to the place.  In 1993, Ron Miles recorded a soundtrack in the Tank with Mark McCoin and Bruce Odland, and in the process the three also recorded an album of deeply meditative music, which was released in 2013 as Bardo Tank.

Photo by Conrado Quezada

Playing in the Tank requires a musician to move beyond oneself, to engage the profound resonance in the space as the extension of one’s instrument.  Ron was in a league of his own in this capacity, inhabiting every note and its long effect in that reverb.  He played with great feeling and great dignity.  At the Tank, he also dressed to the nines for his 2018 concert, arriving to play in that rugged desert location, inside that vast industrial structure, in a resplendent silver-gray suit, looking so beautiful.  It was as if he were going to church, and he was.

A pillar of the local jazz scene, Ron spent most of his life in Denver, only briefly going to New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music, then returning to his hometown, where he would perform and teach, ultimately heading the Jazz Studies program at Metropolitan State.  He was personally quiet and focused, and brought a calm intensity to his own work and to the ensembles whose records he often played with.  “He has such an effect on everybody in the band,” said Bill Frisell in a 2014 interview. “I’ve played with the same people, the same song when he’s there and when he’s not there, and there’s an incredible power, like a rhythmic clarity power, in everything that he plays. It sort of just brings everything into focus. … I’m talking about one of those things that gets almost beyond. You can’t really analyze it. He puts a spell on things.”

Ron Miles, Brian Blade, Bill Frisell (photo by John Spiral, courtesy Hans Wendl Produktion)

Ron made twelve of his own albums and contributed to many others as a sideman, including six records by Bill Frisell, five by Fred Hess, and albums by Ginger Baker, Ben Horvitz, Jason Moran, Joshua Redman and others.  Only in recent years, though, did Ron gain recognition beyond a select community, including many in Colorado and the nation’s most esteemed musicians, with I Am a Man (2017) and Rainbow Sign (2020), which was released on the country’s most distinguished jazz label, Blue Note Records.

Lois LaFond recalls, “Every moment, every band, every opportunity to play with Ron was a treasure.  When I was making my recording for my husband Dick — favorite songs from our long life together — Ron and Terry Sines blessed the beautiful Kirsty MacColl song, Head, with their massive skill.  When I went to pay Ron, he refused. ‘No way,’ I said.  ‘You made this song exactly what I had hoped for.’  He put his arms out and said, ‘We are Family.’  That’s who Ron was.”

“This man embodied all that we humans hope for,” Lois notes.  “He was a model for Being Good.  He wore his kindness on his sleeve, and he never posted his religion.  I truly never met anyone like him: humble, kind, smart, fun, light-hearted, buddha-like, and of course, brilliant — a colossal talent.”

Surrounded by family, including his wife Kari and his children Justice and Honor, Ron died at his home in Denver, on March 8, 2022, from complications of a rare blood disorder.  He was 58 years old.  If one of the prime requirements of entry to heaven is evidence of having paid close and reverent attention to the vibrations of life on earth, Ron went right in.  We will continue to wonder at this kind, generous genius who touched us with the great love in his music. 



The Tank and the West

Bill Frisell and Bill Morrison

On Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 8pm, in the high desert of Colorado, the guitarist and composer Bill Frisell and the filmmaker Bill Morrison charged the Tank’s extraordinary structure with a live sound and image performance. Exploring its history as an embodiment of the American West, Frisell created an original score and Morrison projected film images on the stark landscape and the sides of the seven-story tower.

The event was also filmed for a future documentary. Here are a few pics.

This much-anticipated concert featured digitally-mapped projections by Future Lighting of Los Angeles. Highlighting the town of Rangely, Colorado, this event was supported by major grants from the Neil D. Karbank Foundation, the William H. Donner Family Foundation, and the ArtWorks program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bill Frisell and Bill Morrison in the TANK



Coming in 2022

The TANK Center for Sonic Arts will return to a normal schedule for its 2022 season, starting May 1.

2022 Season Concerts

On May  6, the Fort Lewis College Choir will come to Rangely to give a free concert in the Tank.  Harmonica player Mad Dog Friedman and his trio, Tank regulars in recent years, will perform a free concert on the theme of renewal at the Tank on May 22. This year’s Solstice Festival happens on June 17 and 18, with concert headliners Leon Littlebird and Lisa Ann performing Saturday, June 18. On the Friday evening of that weekend (June 17) we are opening the Tank to all sonic pilgrims for individual and group presentations.  The final event of the 2022 season will be a September 17th concert by Artist-in-Residence Susie Ibarra.  Other concert events may happen this season, too. Watch this space.

Open Saturdays

Free public visiting hours from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays until Oct. 31.

Put Your Head in the Tank

Put Your Head in the Tank is a new program, using binaural head microphones, that allows a listener anywhere to be immersed in the Tank. If you’d like to experience the Tank intimately, in the comfort of your own home, and even record via this program, write us at friendsofthetank@gmail.com.

The Tank Masters Series

The Tank Masters Series, concerts by artists who have proven most skilled at playing the instrument that is the seven-story water tank, present new music here on the Tank’s website, tanksounds.org. 

Book the Tank

The Tank’s program of recording sessions returns, as do the regular booking of non-recording visits. For more on reserving the Tank for your session or group, click here.