Talent Needed|

Illustration by Vincent Mahé | A Water Tower Turned Music Venue in Colorado, a uniquely resonant performance space.

Lois has created a 2-day Experience for a young artist at The Tank Center for Sonic Arts. Application deadline is April 30th. Check it out!

What is The Tank?
The Tank is a 67’ by 37’ old water tank in the far northwest corner of Colorado about a 5-
hour drive from Denver. Located in the small town of Rangely, the Tank has become a
destination for singers and players from all over the world. The resonance inside the Tank is
unlike any other and offers a unique chamber in which musicians can create sounds never
before experienced in their repertoire. The Tank has been featured in print, television and radio,
including coverage in The New Yorker Magazine, CBS Sunday Morning Show, and Colorado
Public Radio. (Learn more about the Tank at: http://www.tanksounds.org)

When will this project take place?
The Tank Center for Sonic Arts Season Five, which runs from May 1 to November 1, will
include my first Artist-at-The-Tank Project. I am interested in bringing a young artist into the
Tank for a 2-day experience of 8 hours, broken into whatever structure they would like. It is a
“playtime” in a space never before experienced.

Who is invited?
Solo Artists: Young artists of color and/or young women. One artist may also apply for a duo or trio, with the primary applicant fitting the profile of the funding priorities.

What is “young”?
18 to 28 years old.

Why is this award limited to this group?
At the Tank, we have tended to draw “experienced” musicians who have been composing and performing for many years. These musicians have been critically important to the development of the Tank, yet I am interested in the new generation of musicians, those who are untapped and under-represented. I am also committed to expanding the diversity of players in the Tank. This project is about finding young folks who have dreams and who can have those dreams shaped by a most unexpected opportunity: time inside the Tank, a structure that is its own instrument. The artist’s interaction with the Tank is a kind of symbiosis in which a creative collaboration occurs: the artist plays inside the Tank, and the Tank plays the artist.

How do I prepare for the Tank?
It is quite impossible to understand the interaction discussed above until you are inside the Tank. Consequently, you really can’t quite prepare for the Tank. Come with some ideas of the work that you do, but know that once you step into this cathedral of sound, everything you have understood about your art (and your Self) will be a bit turned upside down. You should expect that your experience will not be much like anything you normally do.

What is the financial award?
You will be given financial support for your travel, two nights’ lodging in Rangely, three meals per day, and a stipend of $500 (or up to $750 to share if there is more than one artist), plus 8 hours in the Tank, including 2 hours of recording, should you wish to record.

Please be sure to read the “Additional Information” below the Application.

City in Colorado:

Please answer two or all three of the following questions in whatever way you may be
inspired. Be as creative as you wish: you can choose to write a short statement (from
100 to 500 words per question), a poem, a song, a musical composition, a short video
(under two minutes) or even an artwork.

1. Tell me about your art. How do you envision you/your Art in the world in ten years?
2. What is it that has captured your imagination to make you want to have the Tank experience?
3. What have you experienced that makes you realize beauty/pain/preciousness in your life? Is your Art a part of that experience?


Who is Lois LaFond?
I am a singer/songwriter whose career has focused on world music for children and their
families, as well as working in Afro-pop, jazz, blues and Experimental bands. I am a teacher, a
mom, a wife and grandmom, and a volunteer dedicated to being a world citizen pursuing
diversity and inclusion in all things. One of the musical highlights of my life has been the Tank
where I have created 3- and 4-part harmonies in real time with musicians from around the
country… and with my own voice.

Why this project?
This project arose, first, out of my early visits to the Tank in the mid-80s, visits which allowed me to sit, listen, feel, absorb, and play with some initial sounds, tones, pitches, and vocalizations. Secondly, I became a pivotal player in the success of the Tank in the 21st century. I had the great opportunity to be on the ground floor of all decision-making from 2013 through 2016, and then was able to contribute to the remarkable flourishing of the Tank through 2019.

It was during those later years that I felt I really began to understand what the Tank is, and what it offers to musicians-as-listeners and as learners. Quickly it became apparent that the Tank generates boundless opportunities in any creative mind. Our early thoughts of projections inside and outside the Tank, sound connected to visual art, and the healing qualities of the Tank have developed into programs we are now watching unfold.

What are the expectations?
I want to be clear that any “expectations” are yours, the artist’s. Your “outcome” might be purely the experience. If you want to sit in the Tank for 8 hours, you are welcome to. If you would like to do a recording, you have two hours of free recording time. If you would like to have some townspeople come to listen to you, that is your choice. However, you can also choose to do none of the above. This project is about offering you time to begin to learn the Tank at your own pace and with your own personal goals.

What is not included in the award?
If you become inspired to record a more extensive project, you would be responsible for paying staff and recording Tank time beyond the two hours awarded. Of course, any additional lodging or food outside of the days specified in the award would be at your own expense.

What follow-up will be required?
You will be asked to share information about your experience in the Tank and to communicate that information in whatever way makes sense to you. I will want to know what the Tank was like for you. How do you feel it does, or could, enhance you/your work? What impact do you feel your experience has or could have on you as a musician? If you recorded, you are welcome to include a sample or your full recording. Depending on what dates you are there, you will be expected to respond with your follow-up within 50 days.

The Tank is an extraordinary experience. It is impossible to “get it,” until you enter and have your own musical experience. It never disappoints, so I encourage any young artist to consider this unique opportunity.

Should you wish to apply, please send the enclosed application with your responses to
loislafond@gmail.com by April 30. Feel free to include any support materials that might help
introduce you and your music to me.

If you proceed to Round Two, we will have a phone conversation, so be sure you have included
the best phone number for us to speak with each other.

Thank you for applying!

Lois LaFond

Learn more about the Tank and listen to music produced there at http://www.tanksounds.org.

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