Greetings, One & All~

This summer has been one long, deep, slowly unfolding dream for your humble narrator. In between a non-stop winter/spring and an equally full-on autumn/winter, I’ve been blessed with a season of relatively unstructured time to savor the simple pleasures of daily life, the rich abundance of nature, and the subtle rewards of mindful relationship, as well as to cultivate some exciting new creative collaborations and revive some long-simmering personal projects. Don’t pinch me–but do take a moment to peruse your August issue of the A 440 Newsletter!

On Stage

I’ll hold the heartbeat for The Radmilla Cody Band at the 65th Annual Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff at 1 PM on Saturday & Sunday August 2nd & 3rd.

In addition to emcee’ing the entire event, Radmilla will open both her shows with a set of traditional Dine’ (Navajo) songs, then segue into a contemporary set with her band.
Radmilla’s new material ventures into fresh, high-energy Americana/folk-rock territory while keeping the focus on her powerful voice and charismatic cultural presence. I’m excited and delighted to be playing drums with Radmilla and her most excellent new ensemble, which features Johnny “Basshawk” Walker on bass and Steve “Fattburger” Laury on guitar.

More info about this event can be found at

and more insights into Radmilla’s creative world can be found at

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for 8 PM on Saturday September 20th when Tucson’s newest mythopoetic musical manifestation the Temenos Quartet will perform its world premiere concert at the Galactic Center.

The Temenos Quartet plays Music for the New Timeline: intelligent and emotionally evocative lyrics set to an eclectic collection of trance-dance grooves, powered by masterful musicianship and enlivened with high-spirited soulfulness, featuring four of Tucson’s most original and enduring musical personalities: To-Ree-Nee Wolf (vocals & guitar); Heidi Wilson (alto sax & vocals); AmoChip Dabney (bass & vocals); and Will Clipman (drums & percussion).

Also mark your calendars for Friday September 19th at 2 PM, when I’ll perform a matinee Myths & Masks concert of mythopoetic storytelling, original mask art and world music in the Kiva Room at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley; and Saturday/Sunday September 27th & 28th, when at the same venue I’ll conduct a maskmaking master class from 10 AM-4 PM each day.

Information, registration and tickets for these events can be found at or by calling 520.622.6014

Turning Pages in the Book of Life

Your humble narrator is an old-school guy at heart: give me a good book, a glass of fine wine, and a comfortable chair and I’m good to go; couple all that with a cool evening among the aspens at 8000′ above sea level in the middle of July and I’m in heaven!

Enjoying One Hundred Years of Solitude on a chilly July evening at Aspen Camp

New Media

And speaking of books, the new book by New Zealand music writer and editor Justin St. Vincent entitled Love Live Forgive is out, featuring 104 artists and musicians from around the world sharing their reflections on the transformative power of creativity in the form of short personal essays written in response to interview prompts from Justin. I’m honored to be included in such fine company in regard to such an important topic.

Love Live Forgive can be viewed and reviewed at

along with Justin’s first book, which also includes yours truly, The Spiritual Significance of Music.

Enjoying Love Live Forgive back home at Rancho Improvisoso. . .

. . .and The Spiritual Significance of Music at San Xavier de Bac

While the world music ensemble Solvei & ZumaSOL has taken a hiatus from live performance, the band’s videos continue to be in demand, as evidenced in this recent YouTube posting of the song Don’t Lose Your Soul from a concert at Old Town Center for the Arts:

That’s AmoChip Dabney on soprano sax and bass, yours truly on pan-global percussion and Taos Drums®, the incomparable Solvei on vocals, and Brad Strickland on guitar.

Monsoon Madness CD & DVD Sale

I’m always grateful (and somewhat amazed) that my music continues to reach a world-wide audience through the normal retail channels; so I try now and again to show some love back with a direct-sales special: during the month of August, I’m offering a “boxed set” of three of my favorite titles (normally $20 apiece) for the discount price of $40 (making the third CD essentially free). I’m happy to autograph these upon request (I never assume people want me to do that unless they ask). All three CDs are GRAMMY® Nominees and sure to please, especially when played back-to-back-to-back!

Wait. . . there’s more! With any order of the “boxed set” you’ll also get an absolutely FREE copy of my Myths & Masks DVD, which includes a concert performance filmed at Tucson’s historic Fox Theatre, plus special features on the technique and philosophy behind the maskmaking and storytelling and insights into The Man Behind the Mask.

How do I get all this, you ask? Simple: reply to this newsletter with an email giving your order and your preferred mailing address and they’ll be on their way to you!

In Memoriam

On a personal note: I was saddened to learn of the passing of Paul Horn in July, yet gladdened to have had the privilege of playing percussion with him once in a Tucson Jazz Society concert several years ago, which (to the best of my knowledge) was his last public performance in his adopted hometown. Mr. Horn rehearsed the band for this gig (which included his son Robin Horn on drums) at my studio, and I like to believe a resonance of his wisdom and creativity still enlivens that space.

I also got to know Mr. Horn in the context of his genre-transcending collaborations with R. Carlos Nakai for Canyon Records, and I had one occasion to have brunch with R. Carlos and Paul during that time; I found him witty, charming, articulate and fiercely intelligent; and of course he was a jazz raconteur nonpareil, having recorded and performed with many of the giants of his generation.

Mr. Horn was a gifted artist, a generous mentor to younger musicians, and a genuine gentleman. He will be missed, but his musical legacy will live on.

Poem of the Month

One of the luxuries I’ve enjoyed during this unusually unscheduled summer has been the opportunity to do a lot of reading and writing, two of my favorite activities. None of my very recent poems are quite ready for prime-time, but I did come across an old chestnut from my book Dog Light that harkens back to a summer long ago, after I had first moved to Tucson and had begun exploring the local music scene; as old as it is, this poem still rings true for me in its expression of the way we sometimes “force our way into failure” rather than allowing things to unfold successfully in a more organic way. I trust you’ll enjoy reading it now as much I enjoyed writing it way back when.

Revolt of the Drum

It is a silent afternoon,
blue smoke curling lazily in branches of yellow light,
when the conga explodes.

Hardware ricochets off the walls–
if this had happened in the Jazz Showcase last night
the first row could have been wiped out.

I should know better,
but I replace the busted bracket
and start retightening.

The head creaks taut,
quarter-inch bolts groan in curved oak.
On the last crank

a lug snaps
and shrapnel lays open an inch of chin.
I run to the store for gauze and tape

bleeding into my best towel,
cursing the invisibilities we live by.
Days later nothing is fixed;

the malignant instrument
of some unfathomable rhythm
sulks, relaxes itself beyond use.

© William Clipman 2014; originally published in Dog Light (Wesleyan University Press)

Thanks for your kind attention
and may the balance of your summer be blessed
with ample time to simply be!

Few pleasures in life can rival the slow savoring of a good book. ~Guillaume Henri