Greetings, One & All~
I like to think of May as a month of possibility, of giving ourselves and others permission to discover what can happen when we let go of fear and anger and dare to embrace beauty. Give yourself permission to enjoy the possibilities in this May issue of your A 440 Newsletter!
What Lies Beyond
The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet has been in the studio at Canyon Records recording its first new album in ten years; it promises to be the most commercial recording Canyon has ever released and the best RCNQ album of all: irresistible global native fusion dance grooves propelling the signature Nakai Native American flute sound to new heights!
Canyon President & Producer Robert Doyle always jokes with me that the drum booth at the Canyon Studio was designed with me in mind, but I must say in all seriousness that this room has always felt like a sacred creative space to me; I’m delighted be back here holding the heartbeat for this capstone to Nakai’s extraordinary recorded oeuvre.
the maestro makin’ magic
yours truly holding the heartbeat. . .
. . . and deep in the groove
Amo blowin’ cool in the Big Room. . . .
. . . and Basshawk bringin’ the funk
Russ makin’ it all sound great. . .
. . . and Robert keepin’ his eyes on the prize
Hearing is believing!
Trialogue Takes Flight
On stage, in the music media, in the awards arena and in the retail realm Trialogue is taking off! Our latest CD release performance was at central Arizona’s premiere small concert venue Old Town Center for the Arts, where the trio wowed the crowd with its original blend of classically jazzy flutes, Americana guitars and world percussion, and was rewarded with a standing ovation.
Trialogue takes a bow (photo courtesy Amy Mahoney)
grinnin’ and groovin’ (photo courtesy Amy Mahoney)
Our first shipment of CDs to amazon.com sold out virtually overnight, and I’ve just added us to the Purchase Page on my website:
This movement is no doubt due in part to some wonderful press the album has been getting, including an insightful in-depth feature article by Michael Diamond in Music & Media Focus, which got over 700 Facebook hits in the first 24 hours it was posted:
And it doesn’t hurt that the album’s first single Dark Horse has already picked up its first award nomination of the season from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards:
Ever the intrepid entrepreneur, Sherry Finzer took the chance discovery by yours truly of a wine by the same name and ran with it, pitching the song to Dark Horse Wineries as potential theme music for its ads. As the band’s resident oenophile, I’m lobbying hard for a gig at the vineyard–talk about a horse of a different color!
photo courtesy Heart Dance Records
And check out the trippy new video for the album’s second single Cote d’Ivoire on YouTube (my personal favorite image is. . . wait for it. . . the dancing puffin!)
Will Play for Water: Wilde Boys in Palm Springs
While Trialogue may play for wine, The Wilde Boys (aka, R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman) will play for water in Palm Springs CA. . . literally! We’ll perform a private concert for the San Luis Rey Indian Water Alliance Conference on May 18th. I’m packing my extra-large rainstick for this gig!
Once experienced, the possibilities and potentialities of Myths & Masks have a way of enduring and re-emerging. Of the many accolades and expressions that have resulted from my recent Rites of Spring: Myth, Mask & Personal Renewal workshop at Western National Parks Association, I’m especially struck by the fact that workshop participant Patty Whitley framed her mythic persona poem and combined it with her mask art to create this lovely display in her home:
photo courtesy Patty Whitley
Equally memorable and lasting is this recent compilation of YouTube clips from my Myths & Masks: Lifetime Arts Creative Aging workshop at Chandler Downtown Library last fall: you can select any episode from the page-right menu at
And speaking of Creative Aging, you can now you can now access my program offerings on the Lifetime Arts national roster at
Tara Mandala Preview
As Guillaume Henri has sagely opined elsewhere in the A 440 Archives: For the spiritual musician, praying and playing are one and the same. Mindful of that mantra, I’m humbled and honored to have been invited to accompany R. Carlos Nakai in a concert of “music as spiritual manifestation” at the Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Pagosa Springs CO on July 9th. You can learn more about this progressive organization and our event at
photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records
Poem of the Month
Coming full circle to our May motif of possibility, here’s a brand new Poem of the Month on the very personal nature of this thing called happiness: what it is, how one might find it and hold it, the many forms it takes, its elusiveness and evanescence, the way it is inextricably interwoven with other emotions and sensations. Enjoy!
On the western horizon
Orion takes aim at a brilliant half-moon
painting palm fronds white-gold with spilled light,
squiggling photon calligraphy on the blood red surface
of a gnarled vine zinfandel
that vibrates between my hands
to the thump of my heart.
I am so happy right now I could die
from finally figuring out what happiness means:
this dead-calm stillness in which
the quiet purr of night seems loud, this peace
of the present moment
undisturbed by past regret or future fear.
How singularly the stars gaze down
and yet how of a piece they all are, some oneness
tantalizingly within my reach
yet just beyond my grasp.
How fragile, how indestructible it all is
when time relinquishes its hold on being
and there is nothing more urgent
than honeysuckle’s overwhelming musk.
The night air is unseasonably cool
yet my leathery footsoles intuit
the day’s last warmth lingering in flagstone.
Beauty is stealthy.
I can’t die angry.
© Will Clipman 2016
May this be a month
of realized potential
for one and all!
Events that unfold efficiently, effectively and effortlessly are meant to be.
musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator