A Colorado town along the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway has long been known for great golfing, hunting, fishing, a community college, and an automobile and motorcycle museum. This town of about 2300 is now drawing tourism for an old water tank that offers something new in the world of sound.

The town is Rangely, Colorado about 300 miles west of Fort Collins. The old water tank has evolved into The TANK Center for the Sonic Arts. The tank built around 1940 as part of a former railroad water treatment facility, was never actually filled with anything.

The area around the tank has the proper slope to create acoustic resonance and has become a perfect concert venue. Rangely can now add super unique concert experiences and a recording studio like none other to their list of attractions.

Turns out it's not just the empty tank that makes for great sound. "The bed of gravel upon which the tank was placed bowed its floor into a gentle parabola, giving it an extraordinary internal acoustical resonance" states The Tank.

Bill Frisell and Bill Morrison in the TANK Tankssounds.org
Bill Frisell and Bill Morrison in the TANK

There has been national recognition of the rarity of sounds The Tank allows. The Tank Center for the Sonic Arts shares the following:

Writing in the New Yorker after witnessing a performance in The Tank, Alex Ross was ecstatic. “In my experience,” he wrote,  “music has never seemed closer to nature.”  The Los Angeles Times covered the place in detail.  “Forget Carnegie Hall. Musicians rush to rural Colorado to play The Tank” was the headline.  “One road to the musical future,” wrote Alex Ross, “now runs through Rangely.”

The special aspects of the sound in The Tank were discovered in 1976 and remained a secret among a few privy artists and musicians. In 2013 there was talk of the owner selling The Tank for scrap. The space was saved thanks to some Kickstarter campaigns.  Soon after, events and visitors started to fill the space regularly. Colorado band the Flobots made a visit in 2015. The success of The Tank has been continual.

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