Greetings, One & All~

It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the Summer Solstice already here in the Northern Hemisphere: the first half of 2014 has flown by swiftly but productively here in Willyworld, as I imagine it has for all of you, wherever in the world you are.

June is one of my two favorite months in Baja Arizona, the other being December: the desert solstices possess a clarity and intensity I find most appealing and revealing, as I imagine you’ll find this June issue of your A 440 Newsletter. . . .

Wild Wonders

Our deer medicine has been strong here at Rancho Improvisoso: as the hot, dry summer weather settles in we’ve had more and more frequent visitations from our four-legged friends, who come down the arroyo from the mountains at dusk to drink from our water bowls on their way to the riverbed for their evening browse. These were among a group of seven who graciously consented to have their pictures taken outside our kitchen window:

seven mule deer visit us at dusk
photo courtesy Shery Christopher

On two other evenings, and once in broad daylight, we were visited by groups of three, echoing the Three Deer motif of my most recent mythopoetic story:

Three Deer mask, from Myths & Masks
photo courtesy ICU Imagery

Upcoming Events

On Thursday June 5th at 7 PM I’ll be one of six storytellers sharing tales on the theme Behind Bars: Incarcerations of the Body, Mind and Heart at the monthly Odyssey Storytelling convocation, this one to be held at Fluxx Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. I had the opportunity to preview the other stories at our recent rehearsal, and they are all humorous, heartbreaking, insightful, inspiring and true–hopefully mine will be, too.

Event information, venue directions and storyteller bios can be found at

On Friday June 6th at 7 PM I’ll participate in a multi-media event celebrating the release of the book This Piece of Earth: Images and Words from Tumamoc Hill at Antigone Books in Tucson, Arizona.

Tumamoc Hill is a Tucson jewel: an 860-acre ecological reserve on the west side of town that provides an area for walking and enjoying the desert. Tumamoc has been a holy place for over two thousand years and is now a National Historic Landmark and an Archaeological District. The book project was initiated by poet Eric Magrane and artist Paul Mirocha.

I’ll kick off the reading and slideshow with a performance of “earth rhythms” on handcrafted instruments made right here in Chuk Son, and share some mythopoetic stories about their creation. My GRAMMY-nominated CD Pathfinder and my DVD Myths & Masks, both of which feature these instruments and dozens of others from my pan-global percussive palette, will be available for purchase at a one-night-only two-for-one Summer Solstice Special discount.

pit-fired udu drums made from Chuk Son clay
by Scott Semple, De La Tierra Percussion
photo courtesy ICU Imagery

Yaqui gourd water drums made at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
by Will Clipman & William Eaton
photo courtesy ICU Imagery

Event information and venue directions can be found at

On Monday-Thursday June 16-19 from 9 AM-noon and 1-4 PM I’ll present my Planet of Percussion workshops for Glendale Summer Art Camp at Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center in Glendale, Arizona. POP being for kids of all ages, these morning sessions will be for ages 7-10 and the afternoon sessions will be for ages 11-14.

Will surrounded by members of his pan-global family
photo courtesy John Running

Event information and on-line registration are available at

Reflections in the Rear View

Looking forward is important on the road of life–and in life on the road–but an occasional backward glance can be insightful, too. Since I all too rarely have the privilege and pleasure of performing with R. Carlos Nakai and Udi Bar-David as the Voyagers Trio, I thought it would be fun to share an image or two from our recent concert and school presentations at the iconic Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts in Alto, New Mexico, along with some inspired comments I received from audience members following our performance–evidently, having been born in The Year of the Horse has blessed me a special appeal to Horse People!

The trio in mid-voyage on stage at the Spencer
photo courtesy Kathleen McDonald

Yours truly enjoying the rhythms of the voyage
photo courtesy Kathleen McDonald

Your percussion forms the river, in which the other instruments are currents.Thank you for an extraordinary experience; your contribution to this evening’s “Voyagers” is unforgettable.

Matthew Midgett

Followed Dream Ranch

Nogal, New Mexico

I knew of you by name and reputation, but I must say you are such an amazing artist–technically astounding, but with such grace and elegance and unity. This is something you only rarely see–my analogy is the best riders in the world who don’t simply ride the horse, they become one with the horse. That was what struck me about your performance. You didn’t just play the instrument, it was an extension of your mind and body.

Cynthia Culbertson

Vista Del Malpais Ranch

Carrizozo, New Mexico

Thank you, Matthew and Cynthia, for taking the ride with us and sharing your words!

New Media

Having been a featured artist in the previous book by New Zealand writer, editor and publisher Justin St. Vincent entitled The Spiritual Significance of Music, I’m honored to be featured again among an international cast of artists such as Moby in Justin’s brand-new XTreme Music publication Live Love Forgive.

The free eBook can be viewed, reviewed and downloaded at

and my page can be viewed at

Your humble narrator enjoying a quiet moment with a good book
photo courtesy Marty Mendoza

And speaking of good books, I’m excited and delighted to have had my poem The Quiet Power collaboratively re-created as a gorgeous handmade accordion book by the visual artists Supria Karmakar of Toronto, Canada; Julie Shaw Lutts of Salem, Massachusetts; and Catherine Nash of Tucson, Arizona. Autographed limited-edition copies are being submitted to various national and international galleries and private collections, and I look forward to future collaborations with these world-class artists:

Supria Karmakar:

Julie Shaw Lutts:

Catherine Nash:

photo courtesy Catherine Nash

photo courtesy Catherine Nash

And imagine Professor LoTech’s amazement at being included in something as technologically sophisticated as this new Canyon Records QR scanner ad:

That’s Awakening the Fire, the most recently GRAMMY-nominated CD by R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman, in the upper left hand corner:

And I’m told by my tech guru Chris Caspers at Nile Graphics that if you point your smart phone’s QR scanner at the code on your screen below, you can actually listen to the audio sample of Track 4: First Morning–will wonders never cease, and will Will ever cease wondering?!

Poem of the Month

Which brings us without further ado to a different kind of code: June’s Poem of the Month. This is an old one I just now recollected, not unlike the rocks in the poem, found and collected for no other purpose than the simple act of picking them out and putting them together to see how they fit, as the poet does with words.

Harvest of Rocks

No smaller than a fist,

no larger than a skull.

The black wheelbarrow fills

with blasted bits of volcano

now nestled restfully

under cholla, creosote and palo verde,

ages beyond age.


a chunk of snow-white quartz

pulls your eye to a new saguaro,

a spiky six-inch bud of succulent green

emerging in the shade of its nurse plant.

A hundred summers from now–

the wheelbarrow rusted through,

the wooden handles splintered–

your ashes will have been scattered

in its long and vaguely human shadow.

© Will Clipman 2014

~Thanks for lending your eyes and ears
and may you walk with a cool body
in the clarity and intensity
of the summer solstice~