Two Zero One Nine: Full-on February

Greetings, One & All~

February is full-on here in Willyworld. Enjoy all the good news in this issue of your A 440 Newsletter and have a fabulous February in your world as well!

First Friday

The festivities began promptly on Friday February 1st with R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman performing a benefit concert for Arizona State Museum Educational Programs at First United Methodist Church in Tucson AZ in conjunction with Canyon Records.

30-second video clip from our opening improv:

video courtesy Shery Christopher Videography


In my role as a performing artist, my two favorite words are SOLD OUT! So I’m humbly honored that three of my 2019 events are already. . . well, you know. . . .

The RCNQ show at the Musical Instrument Museum Theater in Phoenix AZ on Saturday February 23rd sold out two months in advance! The MIM has added a second show on Sunday February 24th, to my infinite delight, as this temple of sound is one of my favorite stages on the planet to play.

info & tickets for the second Sunday show:

R. Carlos Nakai Quartet

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

The R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman concert on Saturday May 4th at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy OH sold out five months in advance! To my knowledge, there has been no second show added, but there are two other excellent shows on Thursday & Friday May 2nd & 3rd at Streamside Concerts in Arden NC, a half-day’s drive away.

info & tickets for Streamside Concerts:

Will, Jorma & RC backstage at our previous sold-out Fur Peace show in 2015

And the Solstice Flute School & Festival on June 17th-22nd in Midway UT, where yours truly will serve as Percussionist-in-Residence, sold out seven months in advance! There is a wait-list, so all hope is not lost for participating in this wonderful week-long event.

February Features

Shape-shifting from stage to classroom, I’ll return to Sonoran Sky School in Scottsdale AZ for my annual Arizona Alive! historical story-writing & storytelling Artist-in-Residency with fourth grade students Monday-Friday February 4th-8th & 11th-15th.

Sonoran Sky Storytellers at our community showcase in 2018

And shape-shifting again from school to studio, I’ll record with Bay-Area flutist, composer and fellow Heart Dance Records artist Monica Williams on Thursday February 7th at Clamsville Productions in Chandler AZ.

This session is part of the Heart Dance Records Summit on Friday & Saturday February 8th & 9th: a weekend of house concerts, jam sessions, round table discussions and recording sessions in Anthem, Cave Creek, Chandler and Scottsdale AZ, masterminded by HDR President Sherry Finzer (stay tuned for news on my 2019 HDR duo album with Sherry!).

Spring POPS

Planet of Percussion will pop up like a desert wildflower in March, with three informances at Villa Montessori School in Scottsdale AZ on Friday March 1st, and a by-invitation performance at one of my all-time favorite venues Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix AZ on Friday March 8th as part of DBG’s Special Needs Day event.

photo courtesy John Running Photography (cropped and lightened by Gabriel Ayala)

Season Previews

The new Medicine Arrow (Roman Orona, Aaron White & Will Clipman) will make its debut at the legendary Alwun House in Phoenix AZ on March 23rd.

Yours truly will make his third appearance on Marin TV in San Raphael CA for a taping of the Theatre from the Ground Up show with Producer Lori Greenleaf and host Gino Rose on Friday March 29th.

On Saturday March 30th I’ll head north to Willits CA to present a daytime workshop and evening concert of Myths & Masks at Willits Community Theater, produced by Kitty & Creek Norris.

info & tickets for the Willits workshop:

info and tickets for the Willits concert:

I’ll then continue north into Oregon for three R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman concerts (the first two of which will be combined with day-of-show workshops) in Bend OR on Friday April 5th, Pacific Grove OR on Saturday April 6th, and Ashland OR on Sunday April 7th. The Ashland show will be presented at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Church by Lloyd Barde Productions (stay tuned for info & ticket links to the Bend and Pacific Grove shows).

Ashland info & tickets:

Photo of the Month

Shery Christopher continues to capture astonishing images of our desert skyscape here at Rancho Improvisoso, all au naturel and unretouched: what her eye sees is what it is!

Deep Winter Fire, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

Poem of the Month

Time or Light

I’m awakened in darkness
by stillness. Even
my breathing is loud.

Don’t brush away that burnt bitterness
just yet; let it linger awhile
on the tongue.

When everything that means
anything hangs in the balance
there’s never enough

time or light. Simple pleasures
fall away one by one until there is only
the illusion of pain.

Minuscule rivulets of lava
flow down from the fontanel
as a final paroxysm shudders:

I can but reconcile myself
moment by moment
to the moment.

Toss the last few shreds
of ego into the caldera of dawn:
how lightly they land and flame out,

and what a relief to realize
I am and have always been
just an old monk!

© Will Clipman 2019

~a fabulously full and fulfilling February to all~

If one can but act with purpose and grace,
everything else will fall into place.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

Two Zero One Nine: Notes From The Winter Solstice Full Moon

Greetings, One & All~

My apologies for your missing December 2018 A 440 Newsletter. Technological malfunctions exacerbated by Mercury Retrograde prevented my sending it; and if your in-box was as jammed with holiday spam as mine was, it may have been a blessing in disguise. I’ve included some December highlights in your January 2019 issue, along with new good news and upcoming events. Enjoy!

Fully il-LUMI-nated

Thanks to all the staff and crew at Desert Botanical Garden, and to the hundreds of visitors to Planet of Percussion over the course of the event, for my most enjoyable and successful Las Noches de las Luminarias ever.

photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden

Winter Dreams

Nestled in the middle of my December LUMI run were two sold-out Winter Dreams concerts with R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton at Old Town Center for the Arts, celebrating the winter solstice with our time-honored and timeless interpretations of traditional and original holiday music. Thanks to the entire OTCA staff and crew, and of course to the incomparable Nakai and Eaton, for a wonderful weekend of musical magic.

photo courtesy of Kimberly Kelly

Education Benefit

On Friday February 1st at 7 PM I’ll appear in concert with R. Carlos Nakai at the First United Methodist Church in Tucson to benefit the education programs of the Arizona State Museum.

MIM Theater

On Saturday February 23rd at 7:30 PM I’ll appear in concert with the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet at the world-renowned Musical Instrument Museum Theater in Phoenix, where we’ll premiere our entirely new 2019 acoustic show.

R. Carlos Nakai Quartet

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

Heart Dances

Evening at Angkor Wat, one of the four digital-only singles released by Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman in 2018, is now available on Pandora. Watch for the full CD release in 2019.

Meanwhile, the song Cote d’Ivoire from the CD Trialogue by Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman will be featured in-flight music throughout January on EgyptAir.

Inner Magick

Early Bird Alert!

Save $75 when you register by January 21st

Unmask Your Inner Magick

April 27-28, 2019
The Room at Meadowbrook
4089 Durham Rd., Ottsville, PA 18942

Register now for Unmask Your Inner Magick: a weekend self-realization retreat with award-winning maskmaker, storyteller and musician Will Clipman and visionary author, teacher and personal transformation guide Diane Wing.

Sold-Out Solstice

The 2019 Solstice Flute School & Festival, where I’ll serve as Percussionist-in-Residence June 17-22, sold out in record time. . . see you smart early registrants there.

Poem of the Month

Eternal Question

I assemble my drums each evening
under the Akimel O’odham ramada
in a mesquite bosque along the Rio Salada,
and as the winter sun sets behind the hill
a great horned owl challenges my presence:
Who are you? Who are you?

The eternal question! I must be
this deepening darkness, this desert air
growing colder and moister as night
settles down into the river valley;
I must be these rhythms, these stories
told to illuminated faces emerging

from a tunnel of light who sit
and listen awhile, perhaps
offer praise or ask the way home.
A sliver of waxing crescent moon
points the way: all trails lead back
in time to the center of the garden.

Just before the floodgates open,
right on cue, precisely at the turning
of day to night, the great bird
takes wing and glides directly overhead
as silent as the space between breaths:
a shimmering interlude between deaths.

© Will Clipman 2019

To get done what must be done, in time and on time,
act with impeccable intention and effortless efficiency.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

November Grace Notes

Greetings, One & All~

November offers a menu of good news and interesting events in Willyworld, proffered for your enjoyment in this month’s issue of your A 440 Newsletter!

Myths & Masks

I’ll conclude my 22nd annual Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency at Cheyenne Traditional School on Friday November 2nd, and as always the fourth grade students have boldly gone where no one has gone before in their creative interpretations of our mask-making and poetry-writing activities. Thanks to all at CTS for another inspiring and successful AiR!

Mystery Q

The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will perform a private concert on Sunday November 4th. We’ve been sworn to secrecy regarding the details for this performance, but we wanted to let everyone know the Q is alive and well and putting together a new show for our upcoming 2019 events. . . stay tuned to Station RCNQ!

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography / Prisma painting by J. Basshawk

Blissful Bowls

On Wednesday November 7th I’ll fuse my pan-global percussion with the gemstone, precious metal and mineral-infused crystal bowls of Tryshe Dhevney for a live recording in The Sanctuary at Canyon Ranch, engineered by Jim Blackwood of Arizona Public Media.

Healing Sound

On Wednesday November 14th I’ll return to Acceptance Recovery Center in Scottsdale AZ for another session of my Rhythms of Recovery sound healing workshop with a new group of patients. find out more about ARC and its programs at:

Heart Dance

The latest Heart Dance Records elemental trance groove incantation for flutes and drums by Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman will drop on Friday November 30th and will be available on all streaming and downloading platforms, including Amazon, Spotify and Bandcamp.

iTunes ordering link:

All previous singles now available on all platforms!

Evening at Angkor Wat video by Sherry Finzer:

Kilauea Rain video by Sherry Finzer:

Enjoy this breathtakingly spacious NEW video by Sherry Finzer*

(*as with all our videos, I recommend headphones for deep inner vision listening!)

Garden Grooves

After a few years away, I’ll return to Las Noches de Las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix this December for fifteen evenings of Global Grooves in a Garden Grove. The event runs every night of the month except December 24-25, and offers an eclectic array of visual art and musical entertainment in the Garden’s gorgeous natural setting. I’ll perform interactive world music and storytelling at the Akimel O’Odham Ramada on the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail from 5:30-9:30 PM on Friday-Monday December 7-10, Wednesday-Sunday December 19-23, and Wednesday-Monday December 26-31.

info & tickets at:

Dusk in the Garden before the gates open on another sold-out night!

Winter Dreams

Just when you thought it was safe. . . The Wilde Boys return to the stage for two nights of Winter Dreams at Old Town Center for the Arts in Cottonwood AZ on Friday & Saturday December 14th & 15th. Celebrate the Winter Solstice with R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman in the intimate theater atmosphere of OTCA–these shows have always sold out early, so check for information and tickets at:

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography / Canyon Records

Inner Magick

Spring is in the air already and it’s not even winter yet! On April 27th & 28th, 2019, I’ll be in Ottsville PA for Unmask Your Inner Magick: a wonder-filled weekend self-realization retreat with yours truly and renowned author, teacher, intuitive consultant and personal transformation guide Diane Wing in The Room at Meadowbrook. Enrollment is limited and early registration is recommended. For event information and on-line registration, and to hear an insightful and intriguing radio interview with Diane & Will, go to:

Solstice Flutes

And a little further out on the horizon, registration for the 2019 Solstice Flute School & Festival in Midway UT on June 17-22 is now open. Yours truly will be the Percussionist-in-Residence at this event, joining a stellar faculty of stars from the Native American flute galaxy for a week of workshops, interactive collaborations and performances. Enrollment is limited and SFS&F typically fills up months in advance, so again early registration is recommended. For more information and on-line registration, go to:

photo courtesy John Running Photography

Poem of the Month

Lady of the Blue Agave

Realization stabs us suddenly
like blue agave needles
when we move unmindfully.

The tiniest of things drown
in nectar and the vastest
in November light.

She gathers together all those
whose dreams have been crushed
and distills from their broken-heartedness

an essence of fulfillment:
worm-salt, lime, mezcal. Smoke
of transformation. Earthen mineral tang.

I wander in the desert
dazed with gratitude that she
is everywhere: rising

from a blossom of flame,
an angel of light
in our hour of darkness.

(after the sculpture by Natalie Levin)

© Will Clipman 2018

Photos of the Month

I couldn’t choose between these two bookend Photos of the Month, so enjoy a double shot of splendid desert skyscape, one taken at sunrise over the Catalina Mountains to the east by Patty Whitley, and one taken at sunset over the Tucson Mountains to the west by Shery Christopher. In this era of computer generated images and digital photoshopping, it’s worth mentioning that both of these stunning images are completely natural and unretouched: what the artists’ eyes beheld is what you see here.

Sunrise Cloud Vortex courtesy Patty Whitley Photography

Sunset Rain Fire courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

~May yours be a November to remember~

It’s always a good sign when intentions and outcomes align.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

Sharing the Autumn Harvest

Greetings, One & All~

With the passage of the Equinox and the waning of the Harvest Moon, it’s been a time rich in golden autumn light as September gives way to October and summer yields to fall. It seems all my spring seed-planting and summer cultivation is yielding a rich and varied autumn harvest, highlights of which I’d like to share with you in this October issue of your A 440 Newsletter. Enjoy!


My September 8th concert with R. Carlos Nakai at The TANK Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely CO was recorded live and followed up with a “studio” recording on September 9th, yielding over three hours of material from which we plan to sculpt a ground-breaking new album. Thanks to everyone at The TANK for a completely unique sonic experience, and to all who attended our sold-out concert both inside and outside this world-renowned venue!

more about The TANK at:

The TANK Center for Sonic Arts

Inner Magick

I’ve embarked on an inspiring new multi-media collaboration with author, intuitive consultant and personal transformation guide Diane Wing. Our first weekend retreat, Unmask Your Inner Magick, is scheduled for April 27-28, 2019 in The Room at Meadowbrook in Ottsville PA. Early registration for this transformational mythic journey of the self is now open and will be capped at thirty participants.

Learn about Diane’s brilliant work and register for our event at

Learn more about The Room at Meadowbrook at

Blissful Bowls

I have also embarked on a scintillating new journey in healing sound with crystal bowl alchemist and Sounds True recording artist Tryshe Dhevney. We took our exploratory maiden voyage on September 26th, and our next creative development session is scheduled for October 5th with workshops, performances and a recording to follow.

Learn more about Tryshe’s beautiful work at


Myths & Masks

Beginning on October 22nd and continuing through November 2nd, I’ll return to Cheyenne Traditional School in Scottsdale AZ for my annual Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency, working with fourth grade students in maskmaking and creative writing.

Trialogue Air

As befits the timeless music on Trialogue: Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney & Will Clipman (Heart Dance Records) our songs continue to receive high-flying airplay on an eclectic array of international airlines. Cote d’Ivoire was heard in September on Egypt Air, Vietnam Airlines andKenya Airways; Dark Horse will be heard in October on Air Mauritius. The world is our stage!

Duo Singles

My series of elemental trance groove incantations with multi-flutist Sherry Finzer continues: we’ve just recorded our fifth single toward a full album, which is planned for release in early 2019 on Heart Dance Records. Meanwhile, our current single The Space Between Breathsdrops on Friday October 26th, and will be available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify andBandcamp on that date.

Previous singles currently available on all platforms:

Evening at Angkor Wat

video link:

Kilauea Rain

video link:

music links:



Sherry Finzer and I will back in the studio at Clamsville Productions in Chandler AZ onOctober 8th to record our next single, so stay tuned to your A 440 for further news!

Poem of the Month

Poetry arises from a moment of absolute attention combined with the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time. Your October Poem of the Month celebrates just such a coincidence of discipline and luck, with gratitude to Jan Moore of Romancing the Stone for his generosity and artistry.

Toning the Stone

Once in a great while
one arrives at precisely the right place
at precisely the right time,

like when we wandered undirected
up a winding canyon road in Santa Fe
and heard the rhythm of hammer

and chisel on stone. We stood
and watched a master sculptor
chip away everything unessential

to reveal a flowing form in living marble:
a curving surface that would then be papered
with finer and finer grains of sand

to the exquisite smoothness
of a woman’s inner thigh. Fragments fly
like shrapnel by my ear, so close

I can almost hear him toning the stone
in a quarry near the Chiricahua Mountains
where this metamorphic elemental fusion

was born in the earth’s molten heart:
drumming on a chunk so massive
it had to be rolled downhill toward

his truck; listening for the perfect
notes that sing a song of solidness
and let him know this is the one.

(with thanks to Jan Moore for the title phrase)

© Will Clipman 2018

Photo of the Month

Ditto the above for photography: Shery Christopher mindfully takes her camera with her on her sunrise walks around our property, so it was really no accident that she captured this oceanic sky in the middle of the Sonoran Desert as she came back up our driveway the other day. In over forty years of living here, I had never seen clouds like this. . . until now!

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

~May the golden light of autumn illuminate your path~

September Signs

Greetings, One & All~

Our monsoon in The Old Pueblo has been a non-soon this year, which has accentuated how precious water is in the desert and how rare the blessing of rain. As we approach the balance-point of the autumnal equinox, may the elements be in harmony in your corner of the global garden, and may this September issue of your A 440 Newsletter signal refreshing seasonal change.

Nakai & Clipman

When the story of world music in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is written, the name R. Carlos Nakai will be writ large; it is one of the great honors of my career to have been Nakai’s percussionist for thirty years, and to continue to have the opportunity to perform with him. As has been the case with many of our venues around the world, our next two performances will both be unique in different ways.

In an article on The TANK Center for Sonic Arts in The New Yorker Alex Ross writes, “In my experience, music has never seemed closer to nature. . . . One road to the musical future now runs through Rangely.” Nakai & Clipman will no doubt extend that natural musical future further into unexplored realms of improvisational sonic artistry in their September 8th concert.

TANK info & tickets

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography / Canyon Records

On September 13th, 2015 Nakai & Clipman performed a benefit concert to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the historic Sherbino Theater and help raise funds for its modernization and refurbishment. Almost exactly three years later, we’ll return to Ridgway on September 6th to fill the Sherbino’s new stage with music from our GRAMMY-nominated CD Awakening the Fire.

Sherbino info & tickets

Heart Dance

Meanwhile, one of the next chapters in contemporary instrumental music is being written by Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman. We have embarked on a series of elemental flute-and-drum duets, the first four of which are being dropped as singles on the last Friday of August through November, while we compile an album’s worth of sensuously soothing sound. Evening at Angor Wat dropped on August 31st and Kilauea Rain will drop on September 28th. All these singles will be available on iTunes and all the usual streaming platforms. Stay tuned for more singles and the complete album!

Enjoy this brilliant video created by Sherry Finzer:

Studio & Radio

Finzer & Clipman will be back in the studio at Clamsville Productions in Chandler AZ on September 20th to continue recording new material for the above-mentioned duo project. Once we wrap that session, we’ll head across the Valley of the Sun to Scottsdale AZ for a performance and interview on AZRADIO LIVE! at 5 PM PT.

tune in at


Facebook Email

Those of you who–like me–do not frequent social media will be as delighted as I am that Facebook now offers an email contact option. When next you visit my Facebook Artist Page–which is informational rather than interactive–you may now contact me directly at my personal email address simply by clicking on the Send Email button. I hope to hear from you soon, and you’ll hear back from me with a prompt personal email!

Beats & Tweets

The new website for the 2019 Solstice Flute Festival is now up and running, and early registration is being offered with some tasty enticements. Yours truly will be the Special Guest Artist there, so expect plenty of pan-global percussive grooviness along with the mellifluous melodies of many Native American flutes to waft across the Utah skies!

Info & Early Registration

Poem of the Month

Signs, signals, signatures. . . they’re all around us all the time, yet we sometimes don’t notice them or take time to interpret their significance. Your September Poem of the Month is an attempt to observe closely and reflect clearly upon a series of actual events that reveal a larger symbolic pattern. . . of course, the final stanza is yours to write!



with folded wings

of golden glass

how prayerfully

you let in light


your zigzag signature

across the setting crescent moon

foretells the vast migrations

yet to come


motionless beneath the sage

how clear your gaze

how lightning-quick

your strike


can you find

the one

amidst the polyrhythmic

swirl of chimes


you’ve made your point

by staying gone so long

now if you would

be so kind as to fall


you’re in on this too

escorting the mystery

down black escarpments

to a mythic realm beyond

© Will Clipman 2018

Photo of the Month

I’m no photographer, but even my unskilled eye can appreciate the magnificence of the setting sun piercing an advancing monsoon storm front. Alas, like so many this season, these thunderheads delivered their precious cargo of rain in another valley beyond ours. Still, the blessing of natural beauty is there to be gratefully received and shared. Enjoy!

~May the beauty and balance of autumn
be yours throughout the coming season~

Sometimes the treasure one has been seeking far and wide is buried right in one’s own backyard.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

A Cool and Sweet Mid-Summer Treat

Greetings, One & All~

Your August A 440 Newsletter is a cool and sweet mid-summer treat brimming with refreshing good news to help you beat the heat. Take a sip and enjoy!

Sound Power

On three consecutive evenings, August 22nd, 23rd and 24th, I’ll conduct workshops at world-renowned wellness and self-transformation destination Canyon Ranch in Tucson AZ as part of The Healing Power of Sound, a week-long series of events designed “to tune in to your authentic rhythm and voice and commit to living out loud from deeper within.”

Sacred Clay (Wednesday August 22nd at 7 PM in the Yoga Studio)

Using the udu (a ceramic drum that embodies earth, air, fire and water) participants ground themselves in the vibrations of the four elements.

Green Jaguar (Thursday August 23rd at 8 PM in the Yoga Studio)

Using the berimbau (Brazilian bow harp), the tongue drum (melodically tuned box drum) and the anklung (tuned Balinese bamboo rattles) participants renew and liberate the untamed creative spirit within them.

Silent Space (Friday August 24th at 7 PM in the Sanctuary)

Using the hang (melodically tuned metallophone), Tibetan bowls, chimes and Nepalese tingsha, participants explore the sound of silence and the beauty of space, integrating heartbeat, breathing and brainwaves with the harmonic oscillations of the instruments.

more info at

The Healing Power of Sound

Rhythmic ARC

My Rhythms of Recovery workshop at Acceptance Recovery Center in Scottsdale AZ was a hit with clients and staff, and a total delight for yours truly. ARC has posted some photos of our event on its website, where you can gain more insight into its programs.

Duo Dance

I’ve been back in the studio at Clamsville Productions with contemporary instrumental flute goddess Sherry Finzer recording, mixing and mastering the first four songs from our new Heart Dance Records duo project. These tracks will be released as singles, one per month on the last Fridays of August through November, in a build-up to the release of the full-length album. The first single Evening at Angkor Wat drops on Friday August 31st.

Somewhere New

Speaking of Heart Dance projects, the CD Somewhere New is being played on the world’s leading contemporary instrumental radio station Echoes by host John Diliberto. Yours truly brought a pan-global groove to seven of the twelve tracks featuring the aforementioned mystical multi-flutist Sherry Finzer, indigenous world flute avatar Mark Holland and scary-gifted pianist/guitarist Cory Edwards, among other stellar musicians.

listen at

Digital Jukebox

Shadow Chant is now available worldwide through CD Baby International Distribution, and will soon be available song-by-song on a Digital Jukebox website page that singer/songwriter/guitarist/flutist Leon Littlebird is creating for our music.

Near Horizon

Early September will find yours truly back in Colorado for two performances with Native American flute master and cultural icon R. Carlos Nakai: September 6th at 7:30 PM at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway CO; and Saturday September 8th at 8 PM at the world-renowned TANK Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely CO. The TANK is the subject of a fascinating feature article in The New Yorker by music writer Alex Ross.

Sherbino info and tickets at:

TANK info and tickets at:

The New Yorker TANK article:

photo courtesy A’toka Arts Management

Far Horizon

It’s one of those tricks of vision that sometimes an event on the far horizon comes into focus more clearly than that which is right before our eyes. Such is the case with my appearance as Percussionist-in-Residence at the 2019 Solstice Flute Festival, which will take place in Midway UT on June 17-21, 2019. Stay tuned for more on this event.

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

Poem of the Month

Perhaps because we have so few trees in the desert, losing even one feels like losing a family member. Your August Poem of the Month commemorates one of ours.


Little Aleppo. Original Yule.
I planted you at the winter solstice
and twelve years later at the summer solstice
had to cut you down.

Such high hopes. You’d come
from Syria, a welcome refugee
to join our towering grandfather tree
who’d graced our land for half a century.

But in this brutal heat and drought
you had no future. You flourished
for over a decade, lovingly watered and pruned.
You grew from four to six to more than ten feel tall,

your needles a startling alpine green
against the sapphire desert sky.
But in the end you hit rock-hard
caliche underneath the shallow soil,

and like the roots of two
mesquites before you, yours
could not quite penetrate to water’s depth.
Now the incense of your heartwood

perfumes our living room, precisely sawed
in foot-long logs. Next winter solstice
you’ll go up in fragrant smoke:
an offering. A prayer.

© Will Clipman 2018

Photo of the Month

Like our trees, our wild animals are part of our family here at Rancho Improvisoso. We thought we’d lost our javelina to a mountain lion, but after an absence of nearly a month Javierreturned recently, much to our delight. Shery got up close and personal for this welcome-home portrait, which she shares as your August Photo of the Month.

photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography

~Be well and walk in beauty with a cool body~

Knowledge is what one knows; wisdom is how one uses what one knows.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

Mirage From a Desert Oasis

Greetings, One & All~

Your July A 440 Newsletter arises like a mirage from a desert oasis: concentric ripples on an ancient pond, set in motion by a dragonfly’s deft pluck. Enjoy!

Somewhere New

The new Heart Dance Records album Somewhere New by Sherry Finzer & Mark Holland will be officially released on July 20th. I contributed my pan-global percussive pulse to seven of the twelve tracks, and tried to take the groove somewhere new on this lush and varied tapestry of flutes, piano, guitar and harp.

three links for listening and pre-ordering:

Transformation Radio

On Wednesday July 18th at 4-5 PM PT (7-8 PM ET) I’ll be interviewed on the new Transformation Talk Radio Network show From Here to There with host Dyan Garris. We’ll be discussing the healing power of music during the last twelve minutes of the hour.

Click on Listen Now at and call in at 800.930.2819

Rhythmic Recovery

Speaking of the healing power of music, on Wednesday July 25th from 1-3 PM I’ll conduct the first installment of my new music therapy workshop Rhythms of Recovery for clients at Acceptance Recovery Center in Scottsdale AZ.

photo courtesy John Running Photography / Canyon Records

Poem of the Month

In the stillness of a Sonoran Desert summer, one notices how the timeless flow of nature and the timely currents of human nature sometimes reflect each other, the way the surface of a pond might mirror the sky. As we wait for the monsoon rains to begin, this Poem of the Month serves as a metaphor for those mutually illuminating realities.

Waiting for Rain

The quality of mercy is not strained;
it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
upon the place beneath.

Beautiful brutality: oxymoronically Shakespearean
how the hottest driest winds blow hardest
just as all the desert bloom is letting go.

Sometimes it’s good to snap an empty pen in two,
release those scrambled ions in one angry burst,
immerse oneself in mindless ordinary chores.

How few of us are born and live and die
in one small town at the end of the road;
how many have fled unspeakable cruelty

on the thinnest wisp of hope,
had children taken from us
for the crime of having nowhere else to go?

Bone-dry triple digits:
thirsty deer come by at dusk
to empty just-filled water bowls.

Even our hawk craves the refreshment
of play, splashing unselfconsciously
in the birdbath beneath the olive tree.

It’s the least among us who most need
that unstrained quality, that merciful rain:
one kind word, one gentle touch.

Sometimes the great lines
that started the world
don’t make it on stage for the play.

Might as well berate the wind, try
to cry down a cloud, pray the sun
won’t rise, curse the sapphire skies.

© Will Clipman 2018

Photo of the Month

Another seasonal event we await with ‘bated breath here in Sonora is the once-a-year flowering of the night-blooming cereus at the summer solstice. Photographer R. Craig Clipman captured its momentary magic and shares this shot as your Photo of the Month.

photo courtesy R.C. Clipman Photography

ahhh. . . home. . . !

Greetings, One & All~

After two months on the road and in the air (ten thousand miles, seventeen concerts, three recording sessions, and a TV show) you’ll forgive me for being glad to simply be home for a while without much on my calendar.. . . big exhale!

I’ll be jamming with some old friends here at Rancho Improvisoso, fixing some stuff that got broken, sorting some stuff that didn’t, listening to some stuff that got recorded, thinking about what’s next, and mostly being a lizard in the sun.

I know a lot of you skip right to the Poem of the Month anyway, so what the heck. . . I’ll join you this month!

Much love and light to all, and be in touch as spirit moves~ Will


a month of endings

and beginnings

of extremes

and broken records

of power lost

and regained

of veils pulled back

and masks removed

of truth revealed

and sweeping clean

of letting go

and just being

© Will Clipman 2018

This is your life: there is no understudy
waiting in the wings to play your role
if you don’t show up for your performance.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

Amazing Daze in the May Maze

Greetings, One & All~

I’m not sure where April went, but May is upon us. Allow me to share some highlights in this short-and-sweet May issue of your A 440 Newsletter as I work the wires, kick the tires and light the fires in preparation for a month in the air and on the road. . . .

First Flight

I’ll be in St. Louis MO on May 2nd for a recording session with world flutist Sherry Finzer, Native American flutist Mark Holland and pianist Cory Edwards, where we’ll be laying tracks for some new Heart Dance Records projects at Sawhorse Studios.

Next Stop

On May 5th, Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman (aka The SunDog Twins) will play the fabled Old Town Center for the Arts in Cottonwood AZ in a show we’re playfully billing as Cinco de SunDog!

tickets, info & press:

Leon Littlebird and Will Clipman bring Worldbeat grooves to OTCA

Movin’ On

Leon & Will then Continue to Continue on into Colorado for a run of really high Rocky Mountain dates:

May 10th: Casa DeVilbiss House Concert, Colorado Springs CO

info & reservations:

May 11th: Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte CO

info & tickets:

May 12th: La Veta Mercantile, La Veta CO

info & tickets:

May 13th: Steamplant Events Center, Salida CO

info & tickets:

Joseph Leon Littlebird and Will Clipman in Concert

May 23rd: Summit Musicians Relief Fund Benefit House Concert, Keystone CO

info & reservations:

May 25th: Tabor Opera House, Leadville CO

info & tickets:

Sonic Journey

On May 16th I’ll launch a new musical adventure with James Marienthal, world and Native American flutist and composer, and founder and producer of the legendary Silver Wave Records label, when we present A Journey in Sound and Movement at the Nevei Kodesh Sanctuary in Boulder CO, with special guest vocalist Kimberly Braun.



Two Masters

On May 19th I’ll play the gorgeous outdoor amphitheater at the internationally-renowned Shumei Institute in Crestone CO with incomparable Native American flute master R. Carlos Nakai, our set preceded by Taiko master Sensei Koji Nakamura and his ensemble.


Saturday May 19th Shumei hosts Taiko with GRAMMY® award winning Taiko Master Sensei Koji Nakamura and world premiere performer of the Native American flute, R. Carlos Nakai with Will Clipman on pan-global percussion

Poem of the Month

Amidst all the forward momentum and the seeming rush of time, this Poem of the Month reminds me that being here now is the key to peace of mind. I hope it gives you a smile.

The Thing of It Is

Here’s the thing of it:

everything that ever

was, is or ever will be

is right now. Everyone

you’ve ever loved, love

or will love will pass away;

and everyone all of them

ever loved, love or will love

will, too. . . on and on until

the end of everything,

which will still not be nothing.

How big then should be our smiles!

© Will Clipman 2018

Photo of the Month

Shery Christopher has taken a slew of sensational nature shots recently, so settling on just one for your May Photo of the Month was no easy task. Something about the Cancerian yin-yang balance and intimacy of these two newly-hatched doves in the nest under our ramada suggests just the right mixture of vulnerability and resilience. Enjoy!

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator

phone: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650

Spring Broadcast

Greetings, One & All~

Spring is traditionally a time for seed-planting, and while the seeds planted in Willyworld are artistic rather than agricultural, they are nevertheless cultural. As we approach the vernal equinox, and a moment of balance and harmony in the solar year (not to mention two full moons, on the first and last days of this month) enjoy this broadcast* of artistic seeds in your March A 440 Newsletter!

*A 440 Fun Fact: the term broadcast originally referred to the ancient agricultural planting method of hand-casting seeds broadly over a patch of turned earth, with the hope that most if not all of them would germinate and take root.

MIM Drum

On February 16th, I delivered my prized Merced Maldonado powwow drum to the internationally-renowned Musical Instrument Museum, where it will be featured in the new Canyon Records exhibit, devoted to the history and artistry of the world’s foremost producer and distributor of Native American music. Canyon has been in continuous operation since 1951, and I have recorded thirty-five albums for the label since 1992, including the iconic Feather, Stone & Light with R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton, on which this drum was featured, and which launched the legendary Wilde Boys trio.

Canyon Ranch

Having begun on February 28th, I’ll continue an adventure in a different kind of Canyon on March 1st & 2nd as I conduct Myths & Masks workshops from 7-9 PM each evening with guests at Tucson’s internationally-acclaimed wellness and personal transformation mecca Canyon Ranch.

Spring Concerts

I’m blessed with a rich and varied menu of Spring performances, featuring some of the most accomplished artists of my generation–and some of my favorite human beings on the planet–at some of the coolest venues in Arizona, California and Colorado. Don’t pinch me!

Friday March 23rd

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix AZ


Wednesday April 4th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Don Quixote’s International Music Hall, Felton CA

Thursday April 5th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley CA

Friday April 6th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Sebastopol Community Concert Center, Sebastopol CA

Sunday April 8th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Marin Center Showcase Theater, San Raphael CA

Wednesday April 11th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Musical Instrument Museum Theater, Phoenix AZ

Thursday April 12th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Monterey Court, Tucson AZ

Sunday April 29th

  1. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman: Pueblo Grande Museum, Phoenix AZ

Saturday May 5th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Old Town Center for the Arts, Cottonwood AZ

Thursday May 10th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Casa DeVilbiss House Concert, Colorado Springs CO

Friday May 11th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte CO

Saturday May 12th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: La Veta Mercantile, La Veta CO

Sunday May 13th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Steamplant Events Center, Salida CO

Saturday May 19th

  1. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman: Shumei Institute, Crestone CO

Wednesday May 23rd

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: SMRF Benefit House Concert, Keystone CO

Friday May 25th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Tabor Opera House, Leadville CO


While I’m touring in NoCal, I’ll film a new segment of Theatre from the Ground Up, the Marin TV show produced by Lori Greenleaf, on Saturday April 7th. You may recall my previous segment a few years back: an interview with psychologist and shamanic healer Leslie Gray of the Woodfish Institute, which still stands as the definitive exegesis of my Myths & Masksphilosophy and practice. This new installment will focus on Planet of Percussion–which makes sense, since I’ll be touring with a van-load of pan-global drums!


Veterans’ Flutes

On Friday March 16th at 6:30 PM, my esteemed colleague R. Carlos Nakai will perform a fundraising benefit concert for veterans at the Berger Performing Arts Center. As a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, and the foremost Native American flutist in the world, Flutes for Vets couldn’t have a better spokesperson or fundraising performer than RC.

Bubbling Tar

On March 20th I’ll record drum and percussion performances for the soundtrack of the movie Tar, a sci-fi horror thriller produced by Tim Nuttall, with a score composed by Conor Jones, and starring Timothy Bottoms and Graham Greene. Also featured on the soundtrack will be Yaqui-Apache vocalist and fellow Canyon Records artist Roman Orona.

Cheyenne Masks

The students at Cheyenne Traditional School elevated their creative work to a new level in this year’s Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency, as evidenced by this group photo of Christen Anderson’s fourth grade class, and by the Poem of the Month that follows below.

Sonoran Stories

Ditto that for the historical fictions written by the fourth grade students at Sonoran Sky Schoolin this year’s Arizona Alive! Artist-in-Residency. Their epic creations are too long to be included here, but this snapshot of one group of storytellers from our culminating community showcase shows their pride of accomplishment.

Poem of the Month

I’ve never featured a poem other than my own as the Poem of the Month, but I can’t do better than this wonder-filled Mythic Persona Poem from this year’s Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency at Cheyenne Traditional School. Out of the mouths of babes, right? Enjoy!



Guardian of the Waves


My name

is Evrak Ayerf,

the goddess of the sea.


I am as old

as the beginning of time,

yet as young

as the last salty breeze

across my shore.


I originated from God’s hands

billions of years ago,

and my purpose

is to bring life

with the rocking waters

of my ocean.


My eyes area as colorful

as the rarest of fishes

and my hair is smoother

than the tail of a dolphin.

Since my skin is shiny

like a clam’s pearl

and my eyelashes are longer

than a sea urchin’s spikes

I attract the prettiest

of creatures.

I have a brightly colored tail

Which helps me swim,

and strings of seaweed

slick on my cheeks.

Along my face,

there are sandy trails

that resemble the shore.


My voice is like a mermaid’s song

and it will put the sea

to sleep at night.

With my precious seashell flute,

my melody will call

to all of the ocean.


I live throughout

the Atlantic waters,

but I’d prefer to sleep

in large underwater volcanoes.

The warmth of the lava

will bubble around me,

helping me escape the cold sea.


My favorite meal to eat

is the crunchy shells

of the colorful seahorses’ eggs

after the babies are born.

To wash it down,

I drink the glowing liquid

of the midnight starfish.


All throughout the sea,

I will make sure all the creatures

are happy with the temperature

of the water.

I will check on the bay

every so often

to help the tide go up.

And lastly I will

attempt to prevent

the horrible pollution every day.


The fish that fill the ocean

respect me.

They love the care

that I give them

and my love of the sea.

I am their special

and unique mother.


I am destined

to have more work;

I’m guessing that soon

the sea’s population

will rise.

I am hoping

to get in touch

with the gods of the rivers,

if that would be possible.

But I’m happy

to help this world.


    ~by Freya Karve (fourth grade, Cheyenne Traditional School, 2018)



Photo of the Month

We’ve been blessed with multiple generations of a bobcat family in our twenty years here at Rancho Improvisoso, but this early morning visit from a mother and her yearling kitten together is a first, which Shery was quick enough on the shutter to capture on film. Meow!

Harmony and balance to one and all,

this Spring and throughout the year.