Greetings, One & All~
What was to have been a full March and April here in Willyworld suddenly turned eerily empty. I know this has been true for many of you as well. I’m staying creatively engaged; cultivating constant gratitude for my blessings; getting outside as much as possible to revel in nature’s remarkable resurgence; emulating the many acts of courage, compassion and clarity that are happening all around us every day; behaving rationally and responsibly without withdrawing into resignation and isolation; envisioning and working toward a hopeful and productive future; and keeping my sense of humor. By way of staying connected in these disconnected times, please enjoy this May issue of your A 440 Newsletter. Be well, be of good cheer and be in touch!
In 2018, R. Carlos Nakai and I had the unique pleasure of performing and recording in the astounding acoustic environment of The TANK. Our sold-out evening performance was recorded, as was a three-hour “studio” session the following morning. This material has never been commercially released, so it is especially gratifying that The TANK is sharing some of it as a form of musical healing at a time when that positive energy is sorely needed around the world. Given the extraordinarily sensitive resonance and reverberation of The TANK, in which one can literally hear a pin drop, it’s amazing that the musicians were able to create such a sense of timelessness and space, and perhaps even more so that the audience was able to remain utterly silent for the entire duration of the performance. Kudos to GRAMMY-winning engineer Tom Wasinger for his impeccable recording, mixing and mastering of this improvisational sonic odyssey.
*headphones are recommended for total immersion in the sound*
Tank Masters Series
R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman
In Concert September 8, 2018
If you‘ve been wondering what’s happening at the Tank in this time of global pandemic, wonder no more.
The Tank is fine, sitting on its hill above Rangely, Colorado, reverberating even at this moment with the desert wind and rain.
Not much can happen to a seven-story Corten steel water tank.
It was there when we left, and it will be there when we return.
In the meantime, we’re extending the reach of our Tank Channel, our archive of recordings from the Tank, and bringing them to you in this disrupted moment.
We the hope that these sounds will give you what the Tank can give: healing, beauty, spiritual uplift, deep serenity and a renewed sense of our best possible selves.
Each week, we’ll be sending you new music
–both full concerts and playlists–
from the Tank.
R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman, September 8, 2018
This week we are pleased to present R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman.
R. Carlos’s flute and Will’s percussion were perfect in this concert, as these two master musicians proved acutely sensitive to the deep resonance of the Tank.
Their evocation of the Native American spirit sounded inside the
Tank and over the surrounding hills, potent and moving.
We were honored to welcome members of the Ute tribe to this performance.
If you listen closely, you will hear the desert wind in the background.
Click here to hear this concert
Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, he was given a traditional cedar wood flute as a gift in the early 1980’s and challenged to see what he could do with it. Since then Nakai has released more than 50 albums, including 40 on the Canyon Records label. Nakai has sold more than 4.3 million albums for Canyon Records and earned two Gold Records for Canyon Trilogy and Earth Spirit. In 2014, Canyon Trilogy reached Platinum status (over 1 million units sold) the first ever for a Native American artist performing traditional solo flute music. In addition to his solo appearances throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, Nakai has worked with harp-guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass, and various symphony orchestras. Nakai has received eleven Grammy nominations in four different categories and earned a Governor’s Arts Award. Nakai’s career has been shaped by a desire to communicate a sense of Native American culture and society that transcends the common stereotypes presented in mass media.
Will Clipman began playing his father’s drums and his mother’s piano at the age of three, and has mastered a pan-global palette of percussion instruments in addition to the traditional drumkit since playing his first professional gig at the age of fourteen. His seven Grammy nominations include his solo album Pathfinder and his duo album with R. Carlos Nakai Awakening the Fire. Will is a three-time Native American Music Award winner, a New Age Reporter Music Award Winner, a Zone Music Reporter Award winner, and a two-time Tammie Award winner, and has been inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum for his contributions to the musical community in his hometown. He has recorded over seventy albums, including thirty-five for Canyon Records, the world’s foremost Native American music label. In addition to his on-going collaborations with R. Carlos Nakai and other internationally-acclaimed artists and ensembles, Will’s solo performances and workshops Myths & Masks and Planet of Percussion showcase his original mask art, mythopoetic storytelling and multicultural music.
The TANK Center for Sonic Arts, Inc. | 233 County Road 46, Rangely, CO 81648
It will come as no surprise that the much-anticipated R. Carlos Nakai Quartet concert at Hotel Congress Plaza in Tucson AZ scheduled for May 1st has been postponed until Friday October 23rd. At this time, our performance at the Feel Good Festival in Atlanta GA on Sunday July 19th is still on!
photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Meanwhile, envision what lies beyond our currently constrained reality with the Q’s visionary music as your inspirational soundtrack:
The Space Between Breaths by Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman on Heart Dance Records has been nominated for Best World Album in the 2020 Zone Music Reporter Awards. The live awards ceremony in New Orleans has been canceled, but I’ll keep you apprised of any further good news that ensues.
Meanwhile, take a space between breaths and let your heart dance to this profoundly soothing and energizing music:
Sherry and I also have five June tour dates on the books for Colorado and Utah, bringing the healing energy of our music to intimate audiences who can safely gather for uplifting entertainment with appropriate social distancing. Everything is obviously day-to-day these daze, so I’ll keep you as current as I can with any changes to this schedule:
Wednesday June 17th: Yurt Concert at FreeNotes, Durango CO
Thursday June 18th: House Concert at Casa DeVilbis, Colorado Springs CO
Friday June 19th: Living Room Concert, Loveland CO
Saturday June 20th: Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte CO
Sunday June 21st: The Helipad, Moab UT
Wildly Ethereal, the new album by Michael G. Ronstadt & Will Clipman, officially drops on May 10th as Volume 4 in the Shaken Earth experimental music series. I’m excited for this inspirational improvisational music to be heard. Click on the info & ordering link below to get wildly ethereal with it, and watch this space for tour dates.
In the spirit of envisioning the future with optimism while being fully aware of and sensitive to the realities of the present, I’ve teamed up with the Pinon Hills Labyrinth Martial Arts Retreat in Pinon Hills CA to plan a Planet of Percussion performance on Saturday May 30th as part of that weekend’s regularly scheduled martial arts camp.
Like many artists around the world, I have endeavored to maintain a performance profile with a couple of recent virtual concerts: one with the indie-folk duo Big Grin, and one with master guitarist Gabriel Ayala and Venezuelan vocalist Wladimir Pinto, both of which were tons of fun and very well-received. My thanks to these talented artists for inviting me to join them on pan-global percussion for these free performances.
On Monday May 18th at 11 AM PT/12 PM MT yours truly will be interviewed for the new podcast The Magical Holistic Healing Arts, hosted by the mother-daughter team of Lyn & Erika Hicks. Lyn is a personal transformation consultant and the author of The Lotus Project and The Art of Being a Woman. The archive of this free-flowing, informative and inspirational conversation may be enjoyed after May 18th at:
Poem of the Month
When the explanations available in ordinary reality prove inadequate to extraordinary circumstances, it is human nature to seek meaning in the deeper and more enduring metaphors of myth. This persona poem harkens back to the ancient past for a voice that speaks truthfully to the future about our strange and challenging present.
Gandharva Confides in Apsara
I am evanescent.
I become cloud, mist, fog and rain.
My breath is perfumed
with the sweet rot of dead flowers.
Even my tears are toxic.
Yet I am not evil.
How can I say this?
Because my every step is a dance of forgiveness,
my every word a prayer of gratitude.
Encoded in the notes of my music
are hopeful messages I carry between worlds.
I’m neither taking credit
nor looking around for someone to blame.
This germ we’re hosting isn’t evil, either.
After all, it’s only trying to live, too.
It’s reminding us there is not now
nor ever was a normal to return to;
that down to the last grain of sand
we are all are one; and that this little
oasis in space is our only home.
I regard my earthsuit with startled curiosity,
as one might some bizarre creature
that comes up suddenly out of the murk
to press itself against the glass
of an intergalactic vivarium.
It is no more me
than a tree bending in the wind
is the wind.
Friend, you know my secret!
That is why we can sit together
and talk quietly about life.
© Will Clipman 2020
Photos of the Month
While it’s true that we live in a desert, this image from Shery Christopher reminds us that when we receive the blessing of Spring rain, our Sonoran landscape and skyscape can be magically transformed into a lush Impressionistic palette of tropical texture and color.
Tropical Desert, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
And again, using her camera lens as a paint brush, Shery’s rendering of the setting Full Egg Moon reveals the unretouched natural magic that the artist’s eye enables us all to enjoy.
Moon Pool, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
~Be well, be of good cheer and be in touch~
A combination of courage, compassion, clarity and creativity will overcome any challenge.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator