This unusual and beautiful work, called Slow Beethoven, is the collaboration between a string quartet and The TANK Center for Sonic Arts, a nonprofit recording studio and concert venue centered around an extremely resonant empty water tank in the high desert of northwestern Colorado.
On June 17, 2021, at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, renowned cellist Jeffrey Zeigler led three other virtuosic players in an adagio movement, the fugue from Beethoven’s String Quartet Number 14 in C-sharp minor, Opus 131. As they played, they heard the sound of their performance resonating in the profound reverb of the Tank, in which sonic impulses may sustain for up to 40 seconds.
To allow each of the lush, Ludwiggy chords to ring out and fade in the Tank, the quartet had to slow the work radically, so that this short movement, some seven minutes long in the original tempo, took more than 45 minutes for them to play. The result is otherworldly, part Beethoven and part something entirely new. The work remains true to Beethoven’s emotions in this meditation on grief, resolution, existence itself, and these feelings may even feel intensified in this slower version.
The TANK Center for Sonic Arts is an unusual arts venue, organized around a tank, literally, an empty seven-story COR-TEN steel water tank in Rangely, Colorado, discovered in the 1970's to possess extraordinary acoustic resonance, a reverberation as long and rich as any in the world.
Today the Tank is a fully-equipped recording venue and concert site, as well as a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization. The place has become a haven for the local music community and a unique destination for artists, sonic explorers, and curious visitors who learn to listen in a whole new way.
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 14 in C# minor
Opus 131, Movement 1
Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo
from Slow Beethoven,
track released April 28, 2023
Performed at National Sawdust by
Lara St. John \ Violin 1
Miranda Cuckson \ Violin 2
Milan Milisavljevic \ Viola
Jeffrey Zeigler \ Cello
The Gil Schwartz Foundation
Recorded at The TANK Center for Sonic Arts, Rangely, Colorado
Conceived by Bruce Odland
Produced by James Paul and Bruce Odland
Engineering by Jeremiah Moore, Bruce Odland, Charles Hagaman, and Taylor Deupree,
assisted by Samantha Wade and Michael Van Wagoner
Design by Jennifer Sonderby
Label and Album Publicity by Sacks and Co, New York, Nashville, Los Angeles
Laura Svienty, Sherry Finzer and Heart Dance Records, National Sawdust, Meyer Sound Laboratories Corporation, Grace Design, Charter Oak Acoustics, RME USA
The TANK Center for Sonic Arts is an unusual arts venue, organized around an empty seven-story water tank in Rangely,
Colorado, discovered in the 1970's to possess a reverberation as long and rich as any in the world. The TANK has become a haven for the local music community and a unique destination for artists, sonic explorers, and curious visitors who learn to listen in a whole new way....more