Greetings, One & All~

If (as Guillaume Henri has sagely opined) time well-spent passes quickly, then this year has been incredibly well-spent. With amazement that we’re rapidly approaching the winter solstice–and with gratitude that our Southwestern weather is so conducive to outdoor seasonal activities–allow me to share a few December highlights with you in this final 2014 issue of your A 440 Newsletter. . . .

Las Noches de Las Luminarias

My annual Planet of Percussion performances at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix will continue throughout the month of December, and if our sold-out opening weekend at the end of November is any measure, this year’s Las Noches de Las Luminarias will be very special.

I’ll appear nightly from 5:30-9:30 PM on Friday & Saturday December 5th & 6th; Friday & Saturday December 12th & 13th; Friday-Tuesday December 19th-23rd; and Friday-Tuesday December 26th-30th.

This event routinely sells out, so advance tickets are highly recommended. Information about all the wonderful performing artists and seasonal attractions can be found at:

Once you’re there, just follow the illuminated pathway out to the Akimel Ramada and listen for the festive holiday rhythms wafting through the desert night air!

A quiet sunset moment at Akimel Ramada before the floodgates open

As always, a top-shelf selection of my favorite CDs and DVDs will be available for purchase in the Garden Shop on your way out. For those of you who can’t make it to the event in person (and admittedly that would be quite a stretch for my friends in Morocco, Russia, Portugal, Australia, Scotland and elsewhere around the world!) these and other titles are available for holiday gift-giving with the click of a mouse at:

Wilde Boys Winter Solstice Celebration

Another wonderful Willyworld winter solstice tradition will continue this year with the appearance of The Wilde Boys (aka, R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman) for an intimate one-hour concert and CD-signing event at Changing Hands Bookstore at 7 PM on Wednesday December 3rd, again in Phoenix–is it just me, or is there a mythic theme of rebirth and renewal emerging here?

*Please note that this is a new Changing Hands location, and congratulations to Arizona’s longest-running independent bookseller on the addition of this second store to the original shop in Tempe–who says mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar is dead?

*I find it doubly worthy of celebration that this annual event is co-produced by America’s longest-running independent record label Canyon Records, with whom Nakai, Eaton & Clipman have recorded a combined twenty-one GRAMMY-Nominated albums over a quarter-century. Three classics from that oeuvre (Winter Dreams, Dancing into Silence, and Awakening the Fire) will be featured at this performance.

*This one-night only show is routinely SRO, so early arrival is highly recommended!

Butterfly Blessing

Shery is the real photographer in our family, but I happened to catch this recent iPhone moment with a butter-colored butterfly sipping nectar from our kitchen-window hummingbird feeder on a brilliantly sun-lit morning. As we celebrate our abundant blessings large and small throughout this holiday season, it’s good to remember that some of the biggest gifts come in some of the smallest packages!

Poem of the Month

Many of you have inquired about acquiring the book from which my Poem of the Month selections this year have been excerpted. The truth is, Wilderness in the Marrow is at present unpublished. I hope to remedy that in 2015, and those of you who receive my A 440 Newsletter will be among the very first to know when the book is available. Meanwhile, allow me share this newest addition to the collection, written on the road last month and inspired by one of those perfectly-balanced full moonset-sunrises we sometimes get at this time of year here in Northern Sonora.


I am the equipoise

of the setting full moon

and the rising sun

I am the beam of the balance

the mathematical abstraction

which exists only as a connection

between two points

I am the vanishing point

at which solid

and broken lines converge

and what is perfection

if not this pervasive sensation

of well-being within and without

and why should I not be

that all and nothing now

in this unrepeatable nanosecond

both the dove bisecting my windshield

precisely at eighty miles an hour

on this brilliant November morning

and the inviolable space around it?

© Will Clipman 2014 (from Wilderness in the Marrow)

The Little Drummer Boy’s first drum

~Enjoy your holidays in joy

and many blessings to one and all

in the new year~

A gift is not a gift if it is given to engender indebtedness.
~Guillaume Henri