Greetings, One & All~
Summertime in Baja Arizona is better-suited to creative development than to relentless gigging, what with the triple-digit heat and single-digit humidity; so on the heels of a high-stepping first half of the year doing a demanding dance through dates and schedules, the focus for this short and sweet July issue of your A 440 Newsletter is on timelessly cool new collaborations. . . .
I’m honored and humbled to have gotten the call to play drums with fellow GRAMMY Nominee and NAMA Winner and Canyon Records label-mate Radmilla Cody in her new band as she prepares to record her long-awaited and much-anticipated cross-over album and tour in support of it, with festival and concert appearances booked in Arizona and California.
Best known as a traditional Dine (Navajo) singer and social activist, Radmilla’s new material ventures into Americana-folk-rock territory while keeping the focus on the voice that has been recognized as one of NPR’s 50 Greatest and on the positive message of empowerment that has made her a beloved cultural icon.
Radmilla presenting at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards,
photo courtesy Radmilla Entertainment, LLC
Radmilla and I have been friends and mutual fans for many years, so having this opportunity to hold the heartbeat for her music is a dream come true for me, and affirms the old saying that good things come to those who wait!
You can find out more about Radmilla Cody at
And talk about dreams coming true: Tucson’s newest Dream Team Temenos Quartet is becoming a reality in the nurturing environment of The Boom Boom Room here at Rancho Improvisoso. Comprised of To-Ree-Nee Wolf, Heidi Wilson, AmoChip Dabney and Will Clipman, this totally original confabulation is bringing forth Music for the New Timeline: intelligent, poetic and emotionally evocative lyrics set to an eclectic collection of trance-dance grooves, powered by masterful musicianship and seasoned with soulful spirit.
Mark your calendars for Temenos Quartet’s premiere performance at The Galactic Center on Saturday September 20th and celebrate the Autumn Equinox in harmony!
TQ throws an impromptu barrio block party,
photo courtesy Pj McArdle Photography
The new Cole Raison CD Dream of the Sun just came out, with drums and percussion by yours truly on two of the album’s nine cuts. Cole (Albuquerque NM) is a Philly Dawg-turned-Desert Rat just like me (Tucson AZ) so it’s fitting that our tracks were recorded at Philly Sound Studios in our original home town (Philadelphia PA). Cole’s sound fuses a funky East Coast edge with Southwestern lyrics and imagery in songs that are both personal and universal.
You can find out more about Cole Raison at
The stories never end in this age of digital distribution, do they? Here’s a YouTube clip of the story I told recently at the Odyssey Storytelling concert Behind Bars: Incarcerations of the Body, Mind and Heart.
Hot fun in the summertime!
photo courtesy Pj McArdle Photography
Poem of the Month
I’ll turn sixty on July 20th. In some traditions this birthday is observed as the beginning of one’s Wisdom Cycle, so I’d better wise up fast! Seriously, though. . . I’ve always remembered watching a human being set foot on the moon for the first time on my fifteenth birthday and being struck by the realization that anything is possible. I still believe that–which may be more naive than wise–but there you have it.
Last year on my birthday, seeking a bit of solitude and perhaps an insight or two into the nature of age and time (and the age and time of nature) I took a solo mid-day hike on one of my favorite local trails to a place called Stone House Ruin. Along the way I composed the following poem in my head, and wrote it down when I got home. This seems like a fitting moment to share it with you as the July 2014 Poem of the Month.
Stone House Ruin
A perfect birthday present!
But for lizard and fly
I have you all to myself today:
no one else is crazy enough
to venture out at mid-day
in mid-July beneath broiling sun
and blackening sky. By you I mean
this one-way trail out and back
that weaves through a narrow arroyo
where floodwater flashes for a few minutes
during monsoon thunderstorms:
the you that leads to me and thus to we
and inevitably to this ruin
where I might have lived
and might as well die,
nestled in an intimate desert valley
with windowless views of ancient peaks
too rugged and remote to have been named.
What is remembered long enough
to be written in sand will last;
what isn’t won’t. It’s like that, isn’t it,
with these roofless walls, this aging body,
this world and the next one further on.
© Will Clipman 2014
~Walk in beauty with a cool body~