Greetings, One & All~
As we approach the longest night of the year and the return of the light, many of us around the world may fear this particular winter solstice will be longer, darker and colder than any in recent memory; some of us may even despair of the light returning at all. I confess I’ve entertained those feelings myself.
But perhaps it’s all the more reason to find inspiration in the beauty of wild nature and in the boundless resiliency and creativity of human nature; to hold our family, friends and loved ones all the closer and cherish them all the more fiercely; to embrace our work with renewed dedication and passion, and relish our play with child-like delight.
I’d like to offer this last A 440 Newsletter of 2016 with the awareness that darkness defines light, and in the belief that a bright new day will surely follow even the longest, coldest night.
And so, some year-end good news!
Nerve Chorus Top Ten Release
My search for a turntable on which to spin the 7″ vinyl re-release of Nerve Chorus on the German label VOD has been redoubled now that my debut 1985 cassette-only recording has landed in the Vinyl Factory Top Ten for November:
And again, there’s a FREE autographed copy in it for the first adventurous audiophile who comes forward with tone-arm extended!
Heart Dance Holidays
I’ll close out the 2016 concert calendar with two Trialogue performances at the Mesa Arts Festival on the grounds of the Mesa Arts Center in (you guessed it) Mesa AZ from 12:30-1:15 PM and again from 1:30-2:15 PM on Sunday December 11th; and a Christmas From the Heart concert featuring Trialogue plus a stellar cast of other Heart Dance Records stars at Tucson Premium Outlets Mall in Marana AZ on December 24th from noon-3 PM. Come on out and stuff those stockings with some of this year’s most beautiful sounds!
A Very Merry Myths & Masks
This week I’m wrapping up my 2016 Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency at Sonoran Sky School: we’re putting the final touches on our Mythic Persona Poems, painting and sculpting our masks, and presenting our community showcases of student work on Friday December 9th. I’m still working on my own mask and poem, but I’ve decided my persona will be The Tarantula of Truth, in honor of this handsome little fellow who boldly strolled through our outdoor workshops at SSky Camp not once, not twice but three times–and you know, the third time’s a charm!
As part of its year-end initiative to broaden the appeal of its programming, Lifetime Arts invited Roster Artists to share some thoughts on the importance of our work with elders. You can enjoy mine and a host of others by clicking on the individual artist photos at:
Photo of the Month
Shery Christopher captured this impressionistic brush-stroking of clouds just as the setting sun dipped below the Tucson Mountains on Thanksgiving: all natural color and light, with an incredibly detailed silhouette of cholla thorns etched in the lower right–why can’t I do this with my iPhone?!
Poem of the Month
Having started playing drums at the age of three and writing poetry at the age of six, it’s always been self-evident to me that language is rhythm and rhythm is language. This December Poem of the Month is an attempt to bring sound into harmonious balance with meaning, so that one feels the inner music of the words intuitively at least as much if not more than one thinks about the message intellectually. I hope you enjoy reading and listening to it as much as I enjoyed hearing it and writing it down!
Words & Music
and surely the loveliest of words
along with yes
the susurrus of Sonora is
a sibilant source of sustenance:
this morning’s rush hour shush
augmented by a mourning dove’s lament
completes the rumbling harmony
of a distant freight train’s whistling weight;
the glowing hum of sunbeams through the blind
accentuates the silent voices: dust motes rise
through slatted shadow in one swelling choral note
and I rise one more time to greet this day,
insouciantly saying yes to simply being
and writing down in words the music nature wrote.
© Will Clipman 2016
Be of good cheer,
and all the best to you and yours
in the coming new year!
Mindful cooperation will inevitably trump mindless confrontation.
musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator