Greetings, One & All~
From endless winter to early spring, from endless drought to welcome rain, I trust this March issue of your A 440 Newsletter finds you in good health and spirits, and that the climate is favorable for a month of unmatched creativity in your world, as it is here in Willyworld.
As befits the blistering pace of 2014 so far, my March calendar of events actually begins tonight on the last night of February–talk about a leap year–with a live Internet interview for the Under the Surface program with show Host and paranormal mystery writer Lori Hines from 7:30-9 PM MST on Friday February 28th.
This promises to be an in-depth and comprehensive career overview, spanning the entire spectrum of my work as a musician, maskmaker, poet, storyteller, performing and recording artist and educator. You can find out more about Under the Surface and live-stream the interview at
or listen to it later at
Saami mask and Pathfinder drum by Will Clipman
photo courtesy ICU Imagery
I’ll have to discreetly duck out of the Artists’ Welcome Dinner at the historic Heard Museum in Phoenix AZ this evening to conduct the interview, as the Nakai, Eaton & Clipman Trio will be in the Valley of the Sun to perform our annual headlining sets at the 56th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in the Museum’s outdoor amphitheater on Saturday March 1st and Sunday March 2nd at 1 PM both days.
djembe jammin’ with The Wilde Boys at a previous Heard Museum show
photo courtesy R.C. Clipman Photography
Information and tickets for this iconic Southwestern cultural event can be found at
On Saturday March 22nd, R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman will take their Awakening the Fire 2014 Tour to the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center in Sebastopol CA for an 8 PM concert. Information and tickets for this show can be found at
RC & Will conjuring some musical magic in Montrose
photo courtesy Western Colorado Congress
On Sunday March 23rd the duo tour continues with a 3 PM matinee concert in the intimate setting of the Willits Community Theatre in Willits CA. Seating is limited and this show promises to sell out early, so advance tickets are suggested and may be found at
On Thursday March 27th RC & Will head over to Roseburg OR for a 7:30 PM concert at the Umpqua Universalist Unitarian Church. Doors will open at 6:30 PM for an informal meet-and-greet with the artists. Tickets and information for this show are available by phone from Zephyr Productions at (541) 670-9120.
The next stop on the tour will be Ashland OR for an 8 PM concert on Friday March 28th at the Unitarian Fellowship, followed by a Saturday morning workshop at 9 AM on Saturday March 29th.
From Ashland we’ll boogie on down I-5 to Berkeley CA for an 8 PM concert at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, known in the Bay Area as “The Home of Traditional Music”. Information and tickets for this show are available at
RC & Will caught in a decidedly non-traditional moment
photo courtesy R.C. Clipman Photography
From Berserkeley our quixotic quest will continue on down the coast to the colorfully counter-cultural environs of Santa Cruz for a show at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton CA at 7:30 PM on Monday March 31st. Information and tickets for this show can be obtained by scrolling down the concert menu to our listing at
On Saturday March 8th I’ll participate in the Stories & Songs fundraising event for Tucson Community School with an all-ages performance on the school playground at 12:10 PM. More information about how you can support this worthwhile event can be obtained from Chairperson Xochitl Coronado-Vargas at email@example.com.
As an outgrowth of the Prior Thwaits Project, which brought together multi-disciplinary artists Cantrell Maryott, Heidi Wilson, To-Ree-Nee Wolf, and Will Clipman to realize Prior’s vision for a live location sound recording and video shoot in Picture Rocks Canyon, the three Tucson-based artists from that quartet (Heidi, To-Ree-Nee and Will) have embarked on a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist AmoChip Dabney to explore further manifestations of this multifarious musical melange. The co-creative process has been incredibly effortless, and although it is so new we don’t even have a name for the ensemble yet, we’re already within a few tunes of a full concert repertoire of original material, and will be targeting a date and venue for a premiere performance sometime later in 2014.
The aforementioned Prior Thwaits Project is being mixed and mastered in Los Angeles by Kelby Thwaits for a CD/DVD entitled Song of the Raven, and is slated for limited edition release later this year.
Also on the horizon is a new Nakai, Eaton & Clipman recording for Canyon Records. The Wilde Boys convened in the Old Pueblo just last night night to lay the conceptual groundwork for the project, which promises be totally unlike any of their previous albums, and will explore sonic terra incognita where no trio–even this one–has gone before.
Now Age Manifesto
Pursuant to these and other new projects, there has been a lot of in-house discussion about how to categorize our music. I don’t subscribe to commercial categories myself, as they inherently limit the audience’s perception of what they’re hearing. That said, I’ve come up with the following articulation of what the music of the Nakai, Eaton & Clipman Trio means to me. I’m speaking for myself only here, so remember where you heard it first!
A Now Age Manifesto
Music (particularly instrumental music, which R. Carlos Nakai has observed “transcends the politics of language”) may be understood as an artistic and creative expression of the instantaneity, transience and fluidity of time.
The music of the Nakai, Eaton & Clipman Trio, comprised of the Native American flutes, multicultural indigenous aerophones and vocal chanting of R. Carlos Nakai, the self-designed and constructed multi-stringed instruments of William Eaton, and the pan-global drums and percussion of Will Clipman, is therefore oxymoronic in that it is timeless music: at once ancient in its sources and sensibilities and futuristic in its vision and spirit; at once derived from the musicians’ combined lifetimes of training and experience in nearly every recognized musical genre and created improvisationally in the moment of performance; at once fixed in time in the form of the Trio’s recorded oeuvre and re-created sui generis with every live performance.
This music may also be understood as a form of sound healing, insofar as it subtly yet demonstrably rearranges our molecular structure to bring our bodies into a more harmonically resonant relationship with ourselves and with the physical world around us. The experience of inner peace and contentment that has been attributed to the Trio’s music by countless listeners, both in recorded form and in live performance, suggests that there is a concomitant intellectual, emotional and spiritual influence at play in the way the music is created and heard.
As this music is at once both ancient and futuristic; at once deeply informed by the entirety of musical history and spontaneously generated in the moment of performance; and exerts at once a healing influence on the body, mind, and spirit of the listener, I propose that it be referred to as Now Age Music: there is nothing newer than now, and everything that has ever happened is embedded in this present moment. The music of the Nakai, Eaton & Clipman Trio may therefore be fully understood and appreciated as a timeless soundtrack for the age of now.
© Will Clipman 2014
Will getting spiritual with the Sacred Canyon Drum
photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records
Poem of the Month
Tough call this month. My heart has been at once wide open and very heavy lately, as if the beauty and the sadness of it all are both too much to bear, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or both. So in the spirit of showing up on purpose with heart in hand and gratitude for whatever insight each moment may hold, here’s one from the manuscript for my new book Wilderness in the Marrow that is previously unpublished.
A Tour of the Human Heart
As kids we’d hop the train into the heart of Philadelphia
and spend the day getting culture.
We’d run up the famous Art Museum steps and do a victory dance
long before Sylvester Stallone dreamed up Rocky Balboa,
then touch everything inside that said Do Not Touch.
We’d gobble cheesesteaks from street corner carts
rejoicing in the grease running down our chins,
maybe catch a Phillies game at Connie Mack.
We’d spend hours at the Zoo
learning to pleasure ourselves from shameless monkeys,
marvelling at the python with a lump as big as all of us put together in its belly,
commiserating with the sad-eyed big cats pacing their soulless cages.
The Franklin Institute promised hair-raising shocks of static electricity
and all the gadgetry of the Scientific Age.
But its greatest attraction for us was the giant replica of the human heart:
we’d become blood cells coursing through the blue-and-red-lit chambers,
the huge thump-thump of an amplified heartbeat quickening our own
as we ran our hands over the textured inner walls
of the body’s toughest muscle.
We’d exit into ordinary light,
then skate across the polished marble foyer to catch the Planetarium show.
Reclined in the cool dark with the constellations wheeling above us
we’d glimpse the cosmic stuff we’re made of,
and feel the pulse of long-dead stars
resonate through our bodies with a familiar rhythm.
We’d put our hands on our chests in wonder
and begin to learn to love the world.
© Will Clipman 2014 (from Wilderness in the Marrow)
~Wishing one and all a full heart~