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Sound artist Bruce Odland, who discovered the Tank near Rangely in 1976, takes measurements for improvements. —Photo by Galen Clarke

Colorado’s Unlikeliest Sound Stage

Way out in northwest Colorado, a lonely water tank perched atop a hill creates some of the coolest, swirling acoustics you'll ever hear.

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In a hill outside of Rangely, Colorado, in the far northwestern corner of the state, sits one of the world’s unlikeliest sound stages: the Tank. Plunked there in the 1950s, the 67-by-40-foot water tank’s unique acoustics create a swirling, ethereal soundscape that’s been captured by dozens of artists and musicians, including Denver’s Flobots. But until this summer, creatives were among the only people who routinely visited the Tank.

The acoustical wonder was first discovered in 1976 by sound artist Bruce Odland when oil and gas workers demonstrated the Tank’s unique sound capabilities by hammering it with a couple of two-by-fours. During the subsequent decades, Odland and others made regular pilgrimages to the abandoned space, eventually purchasing it in 1999 for about $10. In June, after three years of fund-raising and renovations (including what will eventually be a recording studio in a shipping container next door), the Tank opened regularly to the public.

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Visitors are welcome Saturdays through October, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. tanksounds.org

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