Welcome to The TANK

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

Bill Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 40 years and many celebrated recordings, whose catalog has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.”

“Frisell has had a lot of practice putting high concept into a humble package. Long hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, he has also earned a reputation for teasing out thematic connections with his music… There’s a reason that Jazz at Lincoln Center had him program a series called Roots of Americana.” – New York Times

Valentine, is his latest recording on Blue Note, a trio album with Thomas Morgan (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums) that has been hailed as “a masterpiece” by Downbeat.  “They consistently and strikingly play as one, voices intertwined, completing phrases as if sharing a single thought… Even overdubs are so perfect that everything feels utterly organic… the performances represent jazz playing at its most sublime.”  Valentine is his second recording for the Blue Note label released August ’20 during the height of the pandemic. 

Recognized as one of America’s 21 most vital and productive performing artists, Frisell was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012. He is also a recipient of grants from United States Artists and Meet the Composer, among others.  In 2016, he was a beneficiary of the first FreshGrass Composition commission to preserve and support innovative grassroots music.  When San Francisco Jazz opened their doors in 2013, he served as one of their Resident Artistic Directors.  Bill is also the subject of a documentary film by director Emma Franz, entitled Bill Frisell: A Portrait, which examines his creative process in depth.  He has received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.

Bill Frisell’s Management
Songtone LLC – Phyllis Oyama, Lee Townsend

Bill Morrison is an American, New York-based filmmaker and artist. His films often combine rare archival material set to contemporary music, and have been screened in theaters, cinemas, museums, galleries, and concert halls around the world. Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1965, Morrison had a mid-career retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2015. He is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and has received the Alpert Award in the Arts, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants. His theatrical projection design with Ridge Theater has been recognized with two Bessie Awards and an Obie Award. Morrison has collaborated with some of the most influential composers and performers of our time, including John Adams, Gavin Bryars, Bill Frisell, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Henryk Górecki, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Kronos Quartet, David Lang, Steve Reich, & Julia Wolfe, among many others. Decasia (2002), his feature length collaboration with composer Michael Gordon, was selected by the Library of Congress to its National Film Registry in 2013, becoming the first film of the 21st century selected to the list. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) was included on numerous critics’ lists of the best films of the decade (2010s), including Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and Vanity Fair.

Other TANK Activities in 2021

The TANK Center for Sonic Arts returned to a normal schedule for its 2021 season, starting May 1. Last year, while the Tank’s activities were disrupted by the pandemic, the organization put an emphasis on bringing the sonic experience of the Tank to audiences online. We’ll continue these programs in 2021, too. 

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 remotely, or even record via this program, write us at info@tanksounds.org. 

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, will present new music via the Tank’s website, tanksounds.org. 

Tank Mind

New installments of the sonic meditation program called Tank Mind, designed to calm and ease the listener, will again be broadcast, also via the web.

Book the Tank

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