Greetings, One & All~
Contrary to what T.S. Eliot wrote in The Wasteland (a poem and poet I greatly admire, BTW) April is not the cruelest month in Willyworld: we’ve had crazy cool weather here in Northern Sonora at a time of year when the thermometer has been known to threaten triple digits, and it’s all good news blooming in your April A 440 Newsletter!
Rites of Spring
I’ll get an early jump on April (as in, TOMORROW MORNING!) with my weekend Myth, Mask & Personal Renewal workshop in the Kiva Room at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley AZ. A pre-registered cadre of ten intrepid inner voyagers will experience plaster bandage Lifecasting of wearable mask art, painting and three-dimensionally embellishing their individual creations according the Mythic Persona Poem each participant writes, all interwoven with themes and motifs of the Spring season as a metaphor for personal renewal. And, of course, we’ll have a ton of fun!
All those wintertime hours in the recording studio are bearing musical fruit this Spring in the form of two fabulous new CDs: the eponymous Heart Dance Records debut LP from the contemporary instrumental trio Trialogue; and the independently-released debut EP Forecast from the folk funk fusion foursome Temenos Quartet.
Trialogue has generated quite a buzz even before its official street date of April 15th, and can be preordered and previewed at the following sites:
New Age Music Guide
Michael Diamond of Music & Media Focus writes:
The appropriately named Trialogue is a musical conversation between three superb musicians who collectively have numerous international awards, GRAMMY nominations, and more among their impressive list of accolades. The alchemy of Sherry Finzer’s flutes, Darin Mahoney’s guitar, and the percussion of Will Clipman is magical, covering diverse musical terrain that ranges from light and breezy to exotic and atmospheric. Trialogue is truly a harmonic convergence of world-class talent that will appeal to a wide audience of music lovers.
You can also enjoy a video for the album’s first single Dark Horse at
Forecast burst forth like a monsoon thunderstorm on March 26th in the form of a live CD Release Concert at Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, where Temenos Quartet raised the roof and an energetic audience polished the hardwood dance floor to a glossy finish en route to taking home copies of a limited-edition pressing of the EP.
Speaking of CD Release Concerts, Trialogue kicks off its Spring ’16 CD Release Tour with two April shows: 7-9 PM on Saturday April 16th for the Palomino Nights Concert Series at Plaza Palomino in Tucson AZ; and 7-9 PM on Saturday April 30th at Old Town Center for the Arts in Cottonwood AZ.
There are no advance tickets for the Palomino Nights show; this one is $10 at the door, or FREE admission with a same-day receipt from any Plaza Palomino store or restaurant (which makes a shopping-dining-concert package very attractive!).
information & advance tickets for the OTCA show can be obtained at
Excellence Reporter founder Nicolae Tanase contacted me recently through my website with an invitation to answer the question What is the Meaning of Life?
While I found the question ultimately unanswerable, I was deeply intrigued by the responses of other commentators, ranging from contemporary artists, healers, writers, musicians and philosophers to cosmic heavyweights such as Joseph Campbell and Mahatma Gandhi, and decided to at least attempt a response, which you can read and comment on (along with over 600 other interviews on the subject) at
The environmental education video produced by Spencer McCormack for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of the Odawa Indian Tribe, which features the title cut from the CD Heart of the Wind by Robert Tree Cody & Will Clipman in its soundtrack, can now be viewed at
Canyon Records Wins Governor’s Arts Award
I’d be remiss in not sharing the good news that Canyon Records won the 2016 Arizona Governor’s Arts Award in the Small Business category, celebrating Canyon’s 65 years of producing and distributing Native American Music. Canyon President & CEO Robert Doyle would be too modest to publicize this, but as a proud Canyon Artist I wanted to spread the word about this well-earned and richly-deserved accolade.
photo courtesy Elana & Jim Thornton
Poem of the Month
Sometimes I catch myself being too busy to just be. Not good! As Guillaume Henri has sagely opined elsewhere in the A 440 Archives: One must be the song one wishes to sing. In a sense, then, I sing myself into existence, and it is only the illusory fear that (gasp!) IT WILL ALL BE OVER SOMEDAY that inhibits me from giving full throat to that song which only I can sing, simply because no one else is me. My inner and outer travels around the Vernal Equinox this year yielded the following verse meditation on this subject, which I’d like to share here as your April Poem of the Month.
With what fearless wonder
might one meet each unfathomably
mysterious and endlessly unfolding moment
were one not obsessed with endings,
if one grasped (gasping)
that once released light never dies,
once sung the song doesn’t end;
that once one is
whatever one will be
continues to become?
On my pilgrimage
to visit the Sonic Buddha
one last time I see
it’s been be a steep
and slippery slope
from what you were
to what you are,
and yet your eyes
remain luminous and large:
blue reservoirs of knowing.
We enter the body,
we leave the body;
and in between
we hope to sound
one perfect note
that keeps resounding.
Williams Peak: aptly named.
You are here!
Pacific fog insinuates itself among sequoias
as we awaken in the Huichol Suite
at Lion Rock Lodge.
After weeks of heavy rain
the sky is pale blue and clear
for our first morning here.
Nothing more to do
than contemplate the mantra
of sun-warmed bee-buzz
and watch the epic cinema unfolding
on the insides of my eyelids:
of the psychedelic art
from central Mexico
that lines the many-windowed walls
of this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired enclave
at the top of the world. . . .
back and forth
across rippling green valleys.
My gaze sweeps the horizon
north to south
out over forest-quilted folds
of coastal mountains
to a distant slate-gray slice of ocean sheen
between the lowest white cloud bank
and the last blue ridge of solid land.
I dissolve into the enormity of the quietude.
Why are we just now discovering
the bones of an ancient race of giants?
Sometimes secrets don’t reveal themselves
til there is someone here to believe in them.
This morning we awaken in cloud.
All day the soaking rain.
Then mid-afternoon the mountain
and sun pours in:
everything dripping and glistening,
drifting wisps of mist,
plump moss pillowing on rock outcroppings
and filigreed on tree trunks.
A yearling deer
stands staring in a patch of grass
and wonders what I’m doing here.
I follow the trail northwest
from the base of Lion Rock
til the ridgeline meets the sky
then slip-slide down the southeast drainage
through stands of old madrone
and young Douglas fir
to where water emerges
from the mountainside
as clear and pure as water will ever be.
I stop, drink, wash off a little blood,
then follow the rivulet down
out of the treeline
and into an open sloping meadow
at the bottom of which
is the pond I’ve been seeking.
There’s the crawdad net and bucket,
the owl house nailed
to an ancient moss-draped oak.
I know this place.
I’ve been here before.
You are here!
And from here
I can find my way home.
© Will Clipman 2016
Photo of the Month
These days everyone with a smart phone fancies himself or herself a photographer; but it takes an artist’s eye and a great deal of patience and perseverance to truly capture a timeless moment and render it as an image fixed in time. I’d like to close with this shot (completely au naturel, no photoshopping!) of Sunset at Lion Rock Lodge by Shery Christopher: this is the view out the west corner window of the Huichol Suite, with a sliver of the Pacific Ocean on the far horizon.
photo courtesy Shery Christopher Photography/Dreamtime Arts
May your April be cool, not cruel!
One must be the song one wishes to sing.
musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator