For a long time the Tank has been a friend and teacher to me and to many other musicians who have made the trek out to play in the extraordinary sound chamber. Indeed, there is magic in hearing a note decaying for forty seconds and seeming to go some place. You are in a numinous presence … something greater than yourself.
The conical top always seems to pull voices and instruments upward, as though to a point of offering, but also to a point of receiving. Depending on conditions like heat or cold, the Tank will bend a note up or down. It will also carry its own sounds, as when the wind rattles through it. There have been times in the Tank when I couldn’t tell if I was playing to the wind or the wind was playing me. I have been there during wild storms, with hail pelting down and lightening flashing all around, as well as on silent nights under crystal clear skies. It has become a place for prayer and for letting go, a place for joy and for grief, for listening, for inspiration, and for community … a vessel where serendipity is always alive, patience is rewarded, trust is sustained, and surrender can at times give way to a sense of grace. A trip to the Tank is always a trip into the mystical, from the five and a half hour drive it takes to get there, to the entrance through the small porthole and the first note you sing or play. If, as Loren Eisley says, “prayer is listening,” then it is one of the more powerful sanctuaries I have ever known.
(from the insert of Michael Stanwood’s album “Portal“)