A few weeks ago I was part of something quite special in the tiny community of Rangely, Colorado.
The TANK is an empty, steel water Tank in the middle of the desert that Composer and Sound Artist Bruce Odland started visiting 40 years ago.
For a long time, it had a secret life as a recording destination for a dedicated group of musicians. What makes this space special is that it doesn’t have a 5 or 10 second reverb like some cathedrals do. It has a 20 second reverb.
In 2012, The TANK was in danger of being sold for scrap metal, so the musicians created a Kickstarter campaign to save it, while also building infrastructure needed to heat it, cool it, light it, and record more officially in it.
I went there in June with the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble “Roomful of Teeth” for their Summer Solstice Concert. The piece I wrote for them is called Ring out, Wild Bells, which is also a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Even though it was published in 1850, it is still very relevant today. I reordered the text to accurately sum up what I wish to see Rung out and Rung in to the world (see video description for text on You Tube)
I also performed a 15 min solo set – most of which I could only write once I got into the space the morning of. Because of the 40 second reverb, after you play a note, you really wind up playing with the space as if it was another musician.
Alex Ross said “Meyer’s fierce-edged playing activated the Tank’s awe-inspiring properties.”
But honestly, I was just upset about my dad and put it in a piece called “Luminous Prison”. He was in the hospital again while I was there, experiencing yet another side effect from the drugs that he was taking for his terminal illness.
Check out the video description on You Tube if you want to know the whispered text what specifically inspired this piece –
which like much of what I write…