2 overtone singers in the water tower:
Searching for ever reverberant spaces eventually led Jim Cole to an enormous empty water tower. The 120-foot-tall steel water tank was an ideal space in which to develop Spectral Voices' unique overtone singing music. Imagine the setting: Looking up at the modern-day megalith looming above, you're surrounded by sights and sounds of the natural world: birds and wind and rustling leaves. Using a pipe wrench, you loosen two large bolts to swing open the oval hatch near the base of the water tower. You crawl through the opening in the steel wall and emerge into a vastly different world of total darkness and long reverberation. The sensation is akin to diving deep below the surface of water and realizing you're in a whole new slow-motion world. The senses are heightened. A flickering candle casts dancing shadows on the curved wall of the water tank, evoking images of some ancient cave. Every sound lasts 20-30 seconds, making speech barely intelligible. But music, when it is slow and spacious, is exquisite. This water tower was perfect for contemplative overtone singing. The standing waves of each harmonic overtone built up naturally in the reverberant space - a perfect biofeedback tool to refine each overtone.
3 overtone singers in the water tower:
In 1994, after a brush with the law reminiscent of the "Alice's Restaurant Massacre," the water tower ("The Tank") became Spectral Voices' new home.
The story is also recounted in this article.
Working in this extremely reverberant environment, Jim and his group learned to use the water tower as an instrument, continuing to develop overtone singing (each person singing 2 notes at once) and adapting ideas to the acoustics of their surroundings. An amazingly long decay time contributed greatly to the depth and richness of sound. The huge reverberation made it possible for a single voice to build complex chords simply by singing several pitches in succession. A series of notes would hang in the air, turning melodies into chords. The resonant acoustics inside the water tower reinforced even the quietest sounds, giving a sense of fullness and volume. Overtone singing long notes with very long reverberation creates music that lingers in space and in the mind. The experience is very peaceful; time seems to stand still.
Enhancing the music is an appealing natural ambience. Three small holes in the ceiling allowed sounds of nature to enter: in the background of many tracks on Spectral Voices recordings Coalescence, Sky, and Innertones, one can hear birds calling, the wind blowing, or rain falling outside the water tower and echoing within.