Forty years is a long time to be thinking about a giant, empty, unused water tank. But for Bruce Odland and Lois LaFond, good things come to those who wait.

The small, isolated Colorado town of Rangely is 60 or so miles north of Fruita, and with a local population of 2,400, you'd be forgiven for never hearing of it.

However if Bruce and Lois can achieve their goal, you may come to know about the town through one of the its most recognizable icons — an old, rusty 67-foot-tall water tank.

What's so special about a water tank? The short answer: Inside, it sounds amazing.

Taylor
Taylor

In 1976, working as sound engineer for a traveling Colorado chautauqua series, Bruce gained entrance to Rangely's water tank. Immediately the natural reverberant character of the space was apparent. Right then, a seed was planted that today is growing into quite a potential resource for the small town — and Colorado as a whole.

Locals in Rangely have long used the water tank as a place to hang out, make out and smoke out. But once you step inside, you'd hear what Bruce heard. With an echo length of 30-40 seconds, this is a world-class, unique sonic space.

Over the years, Bruce and close friends kept the Rangely tank in mind. But a couple years ago, when word was sent that the tank would be demolished and scrapped, a clear idea began to formulate.


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Bruce and his friends formed a coalition, Friends of the TANK. They fired up a Kickstarter campaign to "Save the TANK," and now after plenty of development and cooperation with Rangely, the humble water tank is on the brink of becoming a legitimate stop on the Colorado music map.

What they're doing is so cool, many in the small town have donated time and machinery to pave a road, cut a door into the tank, and install a recycled shipping container as a recording studio control room.

However, there is plenty left to do and install, and at the moment the future of the TANK is still up in the air. Friends of the TANK are running a second Kickstarter campaign, which Kickstarter staff recently listed as a "Project We Love."

The goal of the first campaign was to secure the rights to the tank and to get the permits to allow the project to exist. This current campaign, called "OPEN the TANK," will help fund recording gear, electrical work and finishing touches on the future performance and recording space. It will also go to help the team hire an executive director for the project.

Visit www.tanksounds.org or search for it on Kickstarter. This is such a cool idea, if you can spare even $5 for it, you'd be supporting Colorado music, beautiful sound and local arts education.

Read more Taylor: coloradodaily.com/columnists.