Greetings, One & All~

As we approach the summer solstice and the longest day of the solar year, I’m reminded never to let an I love you or a thank you go unsaid. We always think there will be another chance to show affection and appreciation, but sometimes there isn’t. Enjoy every precious moment, and enjoy all the good news in this issue of your A 440 Newsletter!

Teaching Artist of the Month

I’m humbled and honored to share the news that I’ve been selected as the Lifetime Arts Teaching Artist of the Month for June, in recognition of my work with the Creative Aging initiative at the Chandler Downtown Library, where I conducted my Myths & Masks and Planet of Percussion workshops. You can read an interview with yours truly find out more about the award and this excellent national organization at:

Will & Mythic Friends

In a Word

I’ll return to Chandler Downtown Library to complete my workshop trilogy with In a Word on Saturday June 25th from 10-11:30 AM. You can pre-register for this all-genres, multi-age creative writing experience at:

What Lies Beyond

The new RCNQ album What Lies Beyond on Canyon Records is being mixed and mastered as we speak, with the goal of a mid-summer release in time for our late summer tour. We’re loving what we’re hearing, and we know you will, too!

Men in Black 4: What Lies Beyond?!
photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records

Trialogue Takes to the Air and Lands on the Charts

Since it’s April release, Trialogue has been getting a slew of airplay throughout the US as well as in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and Australia. At last count, we’ve been played on over thirty shows, with new playlists coming in almost every day from Heart Dance Records.

As reviewers have noted, it is indicative of the eclectic breadth and scope of the album that different songs are being played on New Age, contemporary instrumental, world, fusion, ambient and classical programs.

While we’re genuinely grateful to every single station that plays our music, we’re especially jazzed that three different songs have made seven different playlists on the world’s leading ambient music radio program Echoes, and the album as a whole is charting at #8 on the Echoes Top 25!

Trialogue is also the current Featured Album on Best New Age CDs:

. . . AND is at #23 on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100:

. . . AND this just in (as in, literally just this minute!)

Thought Radio Afterglow Top 10:

You can hear what all the buzz is about and order your copy of Trialogue, download your favorite songs, write your own review, or just give it a listen at:

Forecast: Four More Hot Tunes for TQ

Temenos Quartet will return to the cool confines of Saint Cecilia Studios in early August to complete work on Forecast, the band’s debut album. A limited edition EP of the first six songs was pre-released this spring at a rockin’ Sea of Glass Center for the Arts concert, and we’re looking forward to tracking the final four this summer and getting the complete LP mixed, mastered, manufactured and marketed this fall.

Music as Spiritual Manifestation

Looking down the river and around the bend, the R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman duo will present an evening of “music as spiritual manifestation” at Tara Mandala in Pagosa Springs CO at 8 PM on Saturday July 9th. You can register for this transformational event and learn more about this enlightened community at:

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records

RIP Jack Miller

The life and career of legendary engineer Jack Miller were celebrated at the MIM Theater on Memorial Day. Among the many glowing tributes, heartfelt performances, vivid video projections and personal anecdotes that were shared, I was invited by Robert Doyle, President of Canyon Records and producer of this special event, to read the following eulogy I had spontaneously composed upon learning of Jack’s death:

photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records


In the liner notes for my solo Canyon Records album Pathfinder I refer to Jack Miller as The Sonic Buddha: an unflappable font of wisdom, patience, musicality and technical skill who invariably brought out the best in me, and I suspect in every recording artist he ever worked with, from Duane Eddy to Henry Mancini to the Rolling Stones to R. Carlos Nakai. Jack was the engineer on all but three of the thirty-four albums I’ve recorded for Canyon, and his presence was keenly felt even on that thirty-fourth and most recent one, recorded near the end of his life when he was not able to be physically present in the control room. Jack forgot more than I’ll ever know about the art and science of recording, but he was always willing to listen to my suggestions and consider my requests during the creative process; he never forced his vast and comprehensive knowledge on the artists, rather allowing us to discover on our own that he’d been right all along.

Jack was all about feeling: he didn’t much care how that feeling was achieved, as long as the music felt right when it came back out of the speakers. Of the innumerable examples of this simple yet profound aesthetic I can recall over a quarter-century of recording with Jack, one stands out as the quintessential Miller Moment.

We’d been trying all day without success to find just the right drum sound for a particular song, and even though the studio was beginning to look like the Ethnomusicology Wing of the Smithsonian Institute after a tornado, none of the dozen or so exotic instruments I’d brought in gave us the right feel. Jack got up from the console, walked through the studio and disappeared into a storage room behind the main recording room. After several minutes of rummaging around, he re-emerged with a cardboard carton designed to ship 120 CDs. He handed it to me and said “Here. Play the Sacred Canyon Drum.” I thought he was joking and laughed; but he walked back into the control room, slated the take and said “We’re rolling!” And of course, the Sacred Canyon Drum—Jack’s secret weapon when all else failed—sounded great and gave the song the perfect feel we’d been searching for.

For all his expertise, Jack was one of the most genuinely humble people I’ve ever known. This brilliantly gifted engineer who’d had a stellar seventy-year career that encompassed every known genre of music and garnered Grammys, Gold and Platinum Records, and millions of sales worldwide, kept a CD of a mono mix he’d inadvertently sent to the manufacturer instead of a stereo master tacked to the wall above his mixing console. I suppose it was his way of reminding himself that even genius is fallible.

I visited Jack a couple of months before he died. His mind and body were failing him, but he recognized me and we spent a lovely afternoon weaving fact and fiction into a new chapter of music history. What I remember most vividly is how clear and blue his eyes were: I could tell the old Jack was in there, listening for the feeling. I loved him. I will miss him, as will the music.

Will playing Jack’s Sacred Canyon Drum

Poem of the Month

I thought I’d follow my own advice and close with this Poem of the Month as an example of never letting a thank-you or an I love you go unsaid. It may seem long at first glance, but the lines are very short, so it’s really a pretty quick read. Enjoy!



I meant to write

a thirteen-line

anniversary poem


for each year

but of course

once I set pen

to paper

the words exploded

from the bare tree

of my mind

a shotgun-startled

murder of crows

too fast

too many

in all directions

to apprehend

so few


Before you

was winter

with you

came spring

and now

in the blue

summer silence

I can think clearly

about the fall


The only poem

worth writing

is the one

one writes

as if it were

one’s last

the one in which

no syllable

is not essential

no thing

not what it is


How then

do I say

without cliché

that love

is a form

of divine madness

in which

the well-being

of the beloved

is more important

than one’s own

how might I write

without melodrama

that I’d have been

dead long ago

if not for you

and so

quite literally

that you are

my life



is more

unless more

is necessary

then less

is nothing more

than laziness



the question is not

have we done

all we could have

but rather

have we done

what was needed


have we named

the ten thousand things


have we found our way

back to the three

and to the two

and to the nameless



You waded into

this charming wreck

and built

what needed to be built


whatever had a chance

to grow

tore down

that which was

in the way

disturbed nothing

that wasn’t

you raised a gated wall

around our sacred grove

created space

for work

and guests

where there had been

thorns and stones

filled empty cupboards

brought down

cool breeze

into the stifling heat

blew up

the bastion I’d built


around my heart


My way

has always been

to make the best

of what I have


to make

of what you have

the best

the way

lies somewhere

in between

we stroll

that razor’s edge


holding hands



the other

above the abyss


As much as

you’ve re-made it

we both know

this is my paradise

not yours

I’m the lucky rat

who found its way home

to the desert

while you

long to return

to the mists

of Avalon

a verdant sphere

with water


a civilized world

with all four seasons

and yet

you’ve stayed

not grudgingly

but with

relentless joy


How does one

express sufficient gratitude

for such a gift

without resorting

to hyperbole

is it enough

to love as best one can

to hold up one’s end

of the bargain

keep fresh roses

in a purple vase

never let a thank-you

go unsaid


all that is mine


‘til death



This is the part

where two ones

walk off together

into forever

separate and equal

but never alone

parallel lines

converging at infinity

two halves

of a split arrow


in the quiver

of the heart


I don’t know

that I believe in

the whole

soul mate thing

but if one has one

you are mine



there you have it

the one

who almost got away


with three words

to make of nothingness

a something

nothing can unmake

no need

to repeat them

they are all

there is

© Will Clipman 2016

Wishing one and all a scintillating summer!

If art is creation then teachers are artists who create the future.

~Guillaume Henri


Will Clipman

musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator

office: 520.743.1347
mobile: 520.591.0776
fax: 520.743.0650