Greetings, One & All~
Having that extra day in February didn’t get me any closer to getting everything done last month, but it did provide an opportunity to share some scintillating new music with a live audience for the first time, and to successfully conclude the latest installment of my all-time longest-running Artist-in-Residency. I’ll be out of the country at the next turn of the month, so with a glance over my shoulder while gazing down the river and around the bend, I offer this combined March-April A 440 Newsletter for your enjoyment!
My new worldbeat dance band Vibe Tribe leaped into 2020 with a premiere showcase at the venerable Tucson venue Solar Culture on Leap Year Saturday, to the delight of a colorful art gallery crowd. Watch this space for future tribal gatherings!
Another new project of mine is seasoning the sumptuous indie-folk sound of Big Grin with spicy percussion. We played a surprise gig at Monterey Court on Friday February 28th, and our next scheduled outing is a set at the Tucson Folk Festival on Sunday April 5th.
Myths & Masks
2020 continues to be rich in Myths & Masks: February marked the successful completion of my 24th Annual Artist-in-Residency at Cheyenne Traditional School in Scottsdale AZ, and I’m already looking forward to our Silver Anniversary AiR next year.
Fast forward to March and April, wherein I resume the epic Myths & Masks adventure with my next Artist-in-Residency at Wade Carpenter Middle School in Nogales AZ. This program will be conducted in two phases, the first in March and the second in April.
Medicine Arrow will perform its first concert of 2020 at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve in Phoenix AZ on Saturday April 4th from 4-5:30 PM, enlivening this storied ancient ground with its contemporary native fusion sound.
Medicine Arrow: Roman Orona, Will Clipman & Aaron White
It only took Professor LoTech six months, but I finally posted The Space Between Breaths, my breath-taking new Heart Dance Records collaboration with classical flutist Sherry Finzer, on my website purchase page. Give it a listen and let your heart dance!
And while you’re at it, save a spot in your media library for the forthcoming cello-and-percussion extravaganza Wildly Ethereal by Michael G. Ronstadt & Will Clipman. Having recorded and mixed with Peter Dalton Ronstadt at LandMark Sound Recorders, we’re now applying the final buff and polish with Cass Anawaty at Sonoran Mastering and expect to release mid-2020, with touring to follow.
Wildly Ethereal cover art by Annabelle Ronstadt, age two
Poem of the Month
Reasons for Being
In Japanese it’s ikigai: a word
made of life and meaning; it’s why
we get up in the morning.
The French say raison d’etre
and it’s why my eyelids flutter open
at the rising sun’s first caress.
It’s why one of us spent all morning in the cold living room
of a crumbling three-story antebellum Victorian in upstate New York
improvising the whole co-op awake on an out-of-tune upright,
while another one stayed up alone all night in the garret
scribbling away the emptiness and holding up a palm-out hand
at any human intrusion: Not now, I’m talking to God.
O Monks of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Thelonious,
let the Leap Year Hunger Moon light our way with a perfect vision
of all that is imperfect, which is all. Let us take delight in that!
© Will Clipman 2020
Photo of the Month
In twenty-two years of living here at Rancho Improvisoso, I’ve never seen a mourning dove this color. She’s perfectly camouflaged against the rocky ground outside our kitchen window, and so I trust she’ll escape the notice of our resident Cooper’s Hawk Harriet long enough to pass on this uniquely beautiful adaptation to the next generation.
photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
May the miracles of Spring
be yours in March and April
and may we meet again in May
Absolute certainty is the last refuge of a closed mind.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator