Greetings, One & All~
As avid A 440 cognoscenti, you already know how prescient our October Double Blue Moon is, and how rare it is to have a Harvest Moon and a Hunter’s Moon go blue together, as they will on October 1st and 31st: powerful energy for transformation, progress and evolution! With that positive vibe in heart and mind, enjoy the simple pleasures of your October A 440 Newsletter in peace and prosperity, and be in touch as spirit moves.
On Sunday October 18th at 5 PM MST the flute-and-percussion duo Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman will perform a live stream concert along with a stellar cast of fellow Heart Dance Records artists. This high-vibe offering promises to be one of the most uplifting virtual events of the fall season!
tune in at
Patience is a virtue, right? The R. Carlos Nakai Trio concert on the Hotel Congress Plaza Stage in Tucson AZ has had to be postponed yet again. . . we’re now looking at a new date in November. . . stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!
Meanwhile, your intrepid global native fusioneers have been writing and recording new material, and will be picking up where we left off last spring with the autumn return of our fearless flutist from the aspens of Colorado to the saguaros of northern Sonora.
Eyes on the Prize, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Meanwhile, the eclectic and original world music ensemble Vibe Tribe (with yours truly on drums) will return to live performance with a showcase concert on the outdoor stage at Monterey Court in Tucson AZ on Wednesday October 28th from 7-10 PM. While the dance floor is temporarily off-limits, socially-distanced seating for dining and drinks may be reserved in advance at the venue’s website, and creative chair dancing WILL go on! Masks are of course de rigueur when not seated at one’s table, but the MC crew is all about making everyone feel welcome, and the emphasis is always on having a good time!
photo courtesy Joe Townend Media
I recently had the unexpected pleasure of sitting in on djembe for a few tunes with the popular Tucson cover band The AmoSphere, led by my brother from another mother and RC3 bandmate AmoChip Dabney, on the Courtyard Stage at the iconic Old Pueblo venue St. Philip’s Plaza. Here we are reaching for that notorious high note in Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al from the Graceland album. Too much fun? No such thing!
Reaching for the High Note, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Looking ahead to November, I will return to the beautiful Canyon Ranch Woodside Wellness Retreat high in the redwood forests of northern California for a Weekend of Wellness & Wonder with the flute-and-percussion duo Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman on November 12-16. We’ll perform a kick-off evening concert, followed by a series of workshops that focus on finding inner harmony through the healing power of music.
information & event pre-registration at
Michael G. Ronstadt created this spooky-cool video for the song Annabelle’s Dance from our album Wildly Ethereal on a walk through French Park in Cincinnati, OH: unexpected twists and turns; paths less taken; lush foliage all around; precariously narrow bridges; exotically gnarled roots, vines and trunks; bursts of sunlight through the dense forest canopy; and finally, the promise of emergence into a bright future. . . the perfect visual complement to the music!
view the video at
‘Tis the season!
I have two albums on the GRAMMY Nominating Ballot: the aforementioned The Space Between Breaths by Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman on the Heart Dance label in the New Age Album category; and the aforementioned Wildly Ethereal by Michael G. Ronstadt & Will Clipman on the Shaken Earth label in the Contemporary Instrumental Album category. For those of you who are Voting Members of The Recording Academy, we welcome your support if you find our music worthy; for those of you who are not, your positive energy in support of our music is no less important. Thanks to all for listening!
Along with a national roster of other performing artists, I will be represented by Patricia Alberti Performing Arts Management at the WAA/Arts Midwest Virtual Conference this fall. You can view my listing, make a booking appointment and see other offerings at
Yesterday I connected with a nation-wide community of activists around the the theme of Rights of Nature: the concept that, as a living entity, nature itself is entitled to the same legal protections as corporations and individual citizens. If you breathe air, drink water and eat food, you’ll find inspiration and practical guidance for implementing this essential work in your locale at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund website:
Photos of the Month
And speaking of nature, I trust you’ll find uplifting beauty in these images from our own little corner of the natural world here at Rancho Improvisoso!
Our Tiny Star, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Dreamtime Moonbeams, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Wingspeed, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Coiled & Camouflaged, courtesy ICU Imagery
Autumn Barrel Cactus Blossom, courtesy ICU Imagery
Poem of the Month
The Real World
Out on the high desert of northern New Mexico
a crone is sledding sandstone sarsens to her sacred site
and setting them in earthen footings as the old ones did
on Salisbury Plain, her wild slate and charcoal mane
tossing in wind washing down from the Sangre de Cristos
and out across the broad alluvial valley to the Rio Grande.
Her daughter—named for the veil behind which the real world lies—
chisels an eternal spiral on the shadow stone with a tent stake and hammer
while she digs the footing with a bovine scapula: at every solstice, equinox
and cross-quarter day they’ll mark the noon position of the sun
so that in the old way the progress of the solar year will be recorded.
The apple of her eye did not fall far from the wisdom tree.
The age of toxic ignorance is upon us, yet there are those
of us who are sick of all the isms and see the future as it is:
an eternal spiral moving not only ever upward and outward
but also ever inward to where time’s clockspring is wound,
and where the will to evolve toward the best we can be
is anchored in who we are, and where and how we live.
On the fault line between nothingness and eternity I declare
this Sunday Naked Sun Day in honor of the hottest month
and the hottest summer in one hundred twenty-five years
of official record-keeping in The Old Pueblo, since I am
the only human being on four acres of Sonoran Desert foothills
and need not be seen if I chose not to be by any but wild things.
I lie in bed and watch heat lightning throb out east, the approaching
storm so vast it lights another sky behind the one that hovers over us.
The air in this high desert valley has been opaque these days,
The five mountain ranges that surround it barely visible.
Wildfires hundreds of miles west of here coat my throat
with an acrid tang, and though we marvel at the blood orange
Martian sunrises and sunsets, our lungs tell a different story
written in a guttural language on parchment burnt around the edges:
how much more evidence do we need that this little oasis in space
is our shared and only home, that we are all inextricably interwoven?
I read the proverb on the calendar my painter friend sends me every year:
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best is now.
I think about mesquites I planted at my old Sonoran mud box house
downtown, built in 1903, the year my grandmother was born, no more
than scrawny weeds then, and how I could park my van in their shade
today; I look out the sliding glass doors of the house I live in now
a mile outside the city limits at mesquites I planted here in holes I dug
in concrete-hard caliche, their taproots now three hundred feet deep.
This is the real world: the one we create day by day; not that other world
where isms hold sway and truth is mutable and good and evil are merely
philosophical relativities. I cross a threshold into a world of night magic
lit by the full Corn Moon—or, as the Omaha call it, moon when deer
paw the ground—one of thirteen full moons this calendar year,
as the lunar year always was before our arbitrary calibrations of time.
Bats flit and whizz around my head, picking insects out of thin air
en route to the hummingbird feeder under the ramada from which they sip
the sweet nectar of migration; a great horned owl alights in the skeletal
Aleppo and begins its four-note ostinato, which is answered from somewhere
out in the desert beyond the garden wall. At noon your lucid raven dream
will continue in the very spot where the owl sings tonight: a real raven
singing a real song in real time about the real world in its world-weary voice.
© Will Clipman 2020
May your autumn sky be clear and blue,
and may your voice be strong and true!
One of the clearest and most consequential decisions we make in life
is choosing common human decency over the total lack thereof.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator