Greetings, One & All~
High summer in the northern Sonoran Desert: heat and stillness roiled by sudden violent microbursts of wind and torrential monsoon thunderstorms; a season perfectly suited to lucid dreaming and the solitary quietude of poetry, both of which your humble narrator has had ample time to indulge. Your August A 440 Newsletter is a shady glade wherein cool creative refuge awaits.
Zoom in tomorrow evening to the mysterious, mystical and magical musical atmosphere of the The TANK for this week’s Sonic Meditation Intensive with R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman. *Scroll through this e-blast and treat yourself to the eloquent tone poem by TANK Founder Bruce Odland elucidating the essence of The TANK sound!
Sonic Meditation Intensive
Sunday August 2, 2020
7:30 to 8:30pm Mountain Time
(6:30 Pacific, 9:30 Eastern)
Please join us by clicking this Zoom link
Meeting ID: 871 5768 9770
Tonight’s Tank Masters are
Native American Flutist
R. Carlos Nakai
This four-week class will lead you into an expanded awareness of the sonic space around you.
It will encourage the skill of deep listening and cultivate a mindful wellness practice that can enhance other areas of your life and bring you joy and peace.
Led by Tank Sonic Guides Samantha Wade, Michael Van Wagoner, and Julie Noyes.
Experience the music of a different Tank Master each week.
Contribute your own sound recording for “Re-Tanking,” as our sonic guides play your sound in the Tank, record it in all of its glorious resonance, and let you hear it in the following session.
Part of our social impact programming, TANK MIND draws on the meditative and contemplative aspects of The Tank’s sonic environment.
TANK MIND is a program of Pivot Point, The Tank’s collaboration with Steamboat Creates to enhance access to mental health services in Northwest Colorado.
Pivot Point is made possible by Arts-in-Society, a collaborative grant-making program that fosters cross-sector work through the arts by supporting the integration of arts and culture into multiple disciplines critical to the health and well-being of Coloradans.
The Tank has given many people a genuine sense of awe.
“They may ascribe it to the Tank,” notes Tank Founder Bruce Odland, “but I ascribe it to the awakening of the ears in a predominantly visual age.
Our ears get so abused on a daily basis. Our modern society makes a bad offer to them. We don’t use the hearing sense the way we evolved to, as hunter-gatherers interacting with nature.
In the Tank, you feel the sound on the skin, you feel it in your gut. What people are in awe of is their own ability to hear properly.”
In this time, when we can’t gather together physically, we invite you to be on the earth with us, to open your ears, and experience some awe for yourself.
The TANK Center for Sonic Arts is an unusual arts venue: a tank, literally, an empty seven-story water tank in Rangely, Colorado, discovered in the 70’s to have extraordinary internal resonance, a reverberation longer and richer than the Taj Mahal’s.
At this point, The Tank is a fully-equipped recording venue and concert site, as well as a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization, founded in 2013 and offering educational and social impact programming.
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.
The TANK Center for Sonic Arts | JPCA, 412 11th Street, Suite 2R,
Brooklyn, NY 11215
My interview with Lyn & Erika Hicks for their Magical Holistic Healing Arts podcast is now up on YouTube and can be enjoyed at:
What made this far-reaching and in-depth conversation exceptionally stimulating for me is the way Lyn and Erika tossed pointedly provocative and intuitively well-informed questions into my pond and allowed my answers to ripple out expansively in all directions.
*I also noticed an eclectic assortment of other videos related to various projects of mine in the page-right menu, if any of these are of further interest to you*
I’m honored to endorse Soaring Raven Drums, made by Susan Cross. These impeccably hand-crafted one-of-a-kind instruments are suitable for both personal ceremony and professional performance and recording. You’ll be hearing from my Red Hand Bear Paw prototype soon: its clear, crisp, resonant tenor voice is unlike any drum in my collection.
learn more about the full spectrum of Susan’s work at
The healing power of music has seldom been more necessary. If you’ve not yet heard these two recent releases, you may enjoy chilling out to some soothing and energizing grooves.
And speaking of Wildly Ethereal, an insightful article on the project by music writer Cathalena E. Burch appeared in the July 30th print edition of Caliente, the Arizona Daily Star weekly Arts & Entertainment supplement. An electronic version can be enjoyed at:
With the on-going dearth of my own public events to disclose, I’m continuing my summer A 440 Tucson Spotlight on other local artists whose work has some relation to my own: the August spotlight illuminates legendary Old Pueblo singer/songwriter/guitarist (and now videographer) John Coinman, whose new video for his song Up Here can be viewed at:
I had the privilege and pleasure of playing percussion on the songs Up Here and Love is Everywhere for John’s latest album Under the Sun, and I love the subtle and emotionally evocative treatment he’s given the music with his tasteful superimposition of lyrics on visual imagery. Of course, when you start with a brilliant song it’s hard to go wrong!
Photos of the Month
And speaking of up here, nature photographer Shery Christopher continues to dazzle the eye with her Sonoran Summer Sunrise Series. These two selections contrast the cool and hot aspects of our early morning sky here at Rancho Improvisoso. Enjoy!
Sonoran Summer Sunrise 1, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Sonoran Summer Sunrise 2, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Poem of the Month
There is much to be learned from mindful attention
to the simplest tasks: how gravity works
and how we all fall down.
There are things we do for money and things we do
for love, and then there are those we do
only when touched from above
like this morning: a winged Thai goddess suspended
by an invisible thread pans imperceptibly
from two o’clock to ten o’clock
and back again, her unblinking eyes staring intently
at some point on the far horizon, always
above and beyond me, never
directly into mine. I try to awaken and stay awake
but keep getting pulled back into dreams,
and when I finally do cross over
into blue sky and sunlight I’m in tears at the absence
of a passion I may never know again
that made me feel alive;
so I begin again by giving thanks for all the blessings
of this day, whatsoe’er they may be, those
that have already been bestowed
and those yet to come, and ask that I may carry them all
forward with gratitude, humility and grace
in the highest good of all.
I look out a new window and take in a view of the mountains
I’ve never seen in a quarter-century of waking up
in this particular room, in this particular
house, on this particular hilltop west of the Old Pueblo
in the northern Sonoran Desert: I see
with startling new clarity
the mushroom cloud of smoke from a month-long wildfire
rising to merge with black thunderheads
I pray contain the blessing of rain;
I notice how delicately a curve-billed thrasher alights
on a quarter-split saguaro fruit to precisely
peck out only certain seeds,
one of which will pass through intact and land in shade
beneath a palo verde tree, and in another
hundred years or so be another
saguaro lifting its arms to blue sky in sunlight, or in black night
to embrace the penumbral eclipse of another
full Buck Moon I’ll never see.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, both of which rise in beauty
even as they fall: everything matters absolutely,
precisely because nothing lasts.
© Will Clipman 2020
~May mid-summer windows open for you
with vision and clarity lastingly true~
Know your heart; lead with your heart; follow your heart.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator