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Sounds from the Tank and New Music on the Plains: New Music for Flute and Percussion from Katherine Bergman, Joshual Clausen, and Everette Minchew with a recording at The Tank.

Sounds from The Tank and New Music on the Plains: new music for flute and percussion

The Latest Update

New Article about our project.

Posted on September 24, 2019 by Aaron Ragsdale

Thanks to Christie Delfanian for stopping by to chat with us about our recording project! Click on the link below to get through to it  

Recording Article

More Updates ▼

Sounds from The Tank teaser trailer

Posted on July 8, 2019 by Aaron Ragsdale

Excited to begin sharing updates on our May 2019 trip to The Tank Center for Sonic Arts to record some of our new flute and percussion commissions. Thanks to Cable Hardin for the videography! We’ll be posting photos, video, and audio samples as we start to sift through the media from our time in Rangely.


Flutist Tammy Evans Yonce and Percussionist Aaron Ragsdale are partnering with composers Katherine Bergman, Joshua Clausen and Everette Minchew to create three new works for flute and percussion duo for performances and recordings in The Tank Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely, Co and for school performances in and around South Dakota.

Because of the unique acoustical properties of The Tank, we are commissioning new works specifically for the site and project. We tried to select composers whose whose voices would be able to take advantage of the particular resonance of the space, who enjoy leaving room in their compositions for free or guided improvisation, and who also write music that we believe in when it comes to content and inspiration.

Katherine Bergman “often draws on literature, environmentalism, and found materials to create her music which has been described as hypnotic and visceral.” We were drawn to her use of found percussion and native bird song and animal calls to depict the varied landscapes of Minnesota. The way that she uses space in her music to allow the various voices to breathe gave us confidence that she could leverage the acoustics of The Tank to great effect.

Joshua Clausen’s compositions “frequently fuse strong rhythmic textures, intense harmony, and intricate patterning with narratives from history, mass culture and current events.” We were particularly drawn to the humor of his “History is going to change” for Bass clarinet and electronics, the dreamy textures of his “I’m sorry, I’ve already forgotten your name” for percussion trio and electronics, and his work with guided improvisations. Josh’s piece for this project will feature flute, electronics, and a modified small drum kit augmented with crystal glasses.

Everette Minchew’s compositions of late have been for large scale open instrumentation ensemble. His piece “Boreas” was written for and premiered by the inaugural South Dakota State University New Music Ensemble. Writing for us here in South Dakota, Everette took his inspiration from the Greek good the North Wind and also used Messiaen’s musical alphabet to produce material for the composition which also incorporates aleatoric and improvisatory structures. He is reworking material from this piece for our smaller scale forces and we are excited to have another piece that speaks to the prairie town where we work and live.

The completed works will be performed and recorded at The Tank in Rangely, CO in May of 2019. The pieces will be presented live in schools around Brookings, SD in the fall of 2019 before traveling to other venues around the upper midwest. In addition, the recording process and performance experience in Rangely will be documented on video by videographers Cable Hardin and Jethro Waters with the ultimate goal of producing videos for each composition as well as a short-form documentary of the project.

The funds for this project will go directly to the composers who are creating these new works, and to costs incurred through recording at The Tank and the video documentary of the process.

Project Media

Katherine Bergman, Land of Cloud-Tinted Water
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Features: Katherine Bergman

Katherine Bergman’s “Land of Cloud-Tinted Water” showcases her penchant for utilizing inspiration from the natural world in her compositions. She creates musical material inspired by loon calls and grouse song, uses “found” percussion like flower pots and newspaper (as well as more traditional percussion sounds) to paint a picture of five vistas in her native Minnesota. Her sparse sonic landscape, sense of space, and ability to tie her music to a specific place made her a natural choice for our project.

Joshua Clausen, “That is absolutely not what I said”
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Features: Joshua Clausen

While Joshua Clausen’s “That is absolutely not what I said,” for bass clarinet, piano, 2 percussion, and electronics is a larger scale composition than he is writing for us, it still showcases his use of small percussion, of woodwinds, and his ability to use electronic samples as an underpinning for his compositions.

Everette Minchew, “Constructions for Julie Mehretu”
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Features: Everette Minchew

The middle and end of Everette Minchew’s “Constructions for Julie Mehretu” show the sort of languid yet grating harmonies that his “Boreas” for large open instrumentation ensemble utilized to great effect. “Boreas” is the piece that Everette is reworking for flute and percussion duo. We would recommend listening from the 6:45 mark on to the end.

Start and End Dates



Rangely, Colorado

2 updates
Last update on September 24, 2019

Project Created By

Brookings, South Dakota
    Dr. Aaron Ragsdale is Associate Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Bands at South Dakota State University where he teaches applied percussion and percussion pedagogy, directs both the Pride of the Daktoas Drum Line and SDSU Percussion Ensemble, and helps direct and administrate the All State Music Camp. In addition to his…

In Collaboration With

Brookings, South Dakota
Minneapolis, Minnesota


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