RANGELY | The TANK Center for Sonic Arts kicks off three days of solstice celebrations June 21, with activities offered to musicians, sound explorers, families and the curious. A 60-foot tall water tank originally built for the railroad era and later transformed into a one-of-a-kind sonic sound space, The TANK opened to the public for its third season last month.
Writing in The New Yorker after last year’s Solstice Concert in The TANK, critic Alex Ross said, “In my experience, music has never seemed closer to nature . . .[these were] Sounds that welled up out of the earth.” David Kelly of The Los Angeles Times said, “Forget Carnegie Hall. Musicians rush to rural Colorado to play The TANK.” “One road to the musical future,” added Ross, “now runs through Rangely.”
Activities begin on June 21 with a day of music and resonance, including special guests Bruce Odland, sound artist and founder of The TANK, and vocalist Lois LaFond. At 5:30 a.m., a Dawn Sing kicks off the day as the sun arcs through The TANK’s portal, followed by a 1:17 p.m. (solar noon) ringing of a titanium bell that was originally part of the Apollo space program. At sunset, The TANK invites musicians and sound explorers to bring instruments and voices to play and sing in The TANK themselves. For performance times or to sign up to participate, email email@example.com.
Friday, June 22, Ryan Ruehlen will introduce listeners to Georhythmic Drift Music, giving 20-minute shows at 7 and 9 p.m. The audience will hear the music of the ionosphere in the resonance of The TANK as Ruehlen flies his drone/radio/antenna to capture the atmosphere’s auditory potential. He will broadcast these ionospheric vibes to The TANK and to surround-sound outdoor speakers. A $10 donation is suggested.
Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m. marks a flagship performance at The TANK as renowned trumpet player Ron Miles, along with flutist Fred Hess, play a concert in memory of Bob Sheets, the first director of the Colorado Council on the Arts and creator of the Chautauqua Tour. The Tour was designed to bring the arts to rural Colorado and introduced Odland to Rangely and The TANK in 1976.
Miles is among the most talented improvisers and composers of his generation. Jazz Times calls Ron Miles “one of the finest trumpeters in jazz today” while clarinetist Ben Goldberg called Miles one of the greatest melodists of his time. In addition to leading his own bands, Ron Miles has performed in the ensembles of Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, Mercer Ellington, Don Byron, Myra Melford, Joe Henry, Madeleine Peyroux, Jason Moran, Matt Wilson, the Bad Plus, Harriet Tubman, Ginger Baker, and Goldberg.
Special reserved seating inside The TANK for just 49 seats will make for a peak experience, while a Meyer Sound speaker array will vividly broadcast the sounds to a larger audience under the Colorado stars. Tickets are $10 outside or $75 inside and are available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3441468.
For directions to Rangely and The TANK and information about accommodations, go to the “Visit the Tank” page at tanksounds.org.