Greetings, One & All~
As we round the bend from monsoon season toward the autumnal equinox here in Northern Sonora, the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer as we begin to dry out and cool down. Conversely, events in Willyworld continue to thunder ahead at a blistering pace. Enjoy all the good news in this September issue of your A 440 Newsletter!
The new duo album Shadow Chant by Leon Joseph Littlebird & Will Clipman is in post-production and scheduled for release the last week of September. This new collection of songs marks an exciting departure for The Troubadour Laureate of the Western Slope and The Old Pueblo Desert Drummer: with the addition of Will’s heartbeat, Leon’s acclaimed lyricism and songcraft are infused with a percussion-driven world music/Americana feel, spanning the spectrum from gently contemplative ballads to highly-combustible rockers. The title cut is a passionate protest song with an indelible hook that is sure to light your Bic!
We’ll launch the new album with a series of CD release concerts on the Western Slope, mixing intimate house concerts and formal venues such as the venerable Steamplant Event Center in Salida CO, with more bookings currently in the works.
Steamplant tickets & info at
house concert tickets & info:
The first leg of my three-stage summer tour included a lovely mix of live performances and recording sessions with three different ensembles: the R.Carlos Nakai Quartet (RCNQ); Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman (aka The Sundog Twins); and Trialogue + Art Patience. I’m not much of a photographer–my hands being otherwise occupied most of the time–but I managed to snap a small portfolio of scene-setters from stage and studio:
The RCNQ crowd gathering at Grand River Winery, Grand Junction CO
The pan-global percussion session at Mad House Recordists, Leadville CO
The drumkit session at Mad House–note the opened louvres for a BIG sound!
Trialogue + Art Patience house concert stage, Colorado Springs CO
Trialogue + Art Patience Francisco Crossing stage, La Veta CO
Trialogue + Art Patience Wildwood Sounds stage, Del Norte CO
And the Tour Continues. . . !
After a brief respite at home to re-connect with my sacred space and get my wits about me, I’ll head out again next week for two more RCNQ shows at the Shumei Institute in Crestone CO on Friday September 8th and at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in Santa Fe NM on Saturday September 9th.
Shumei Institute tickets & info at
Santa Fe Botanical Garden tickets & info at
And Continues to Continue. . . !
Next, I’ll do a crack-the-whip turn-around and head out to NoCal for two Nakai, Eaton & Clipman shows at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton CA on Wednesday September 20th and at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore CA on Thursday September 21st; the latter performance will be supplemented with a day-of-show master class.
Don Quixote’s International Music Hall tickets & info at
Bankhead Theater tickets & info at
Can’t Stop Now, Must Keep Moving. . . !
From NoCal I’ll blaze back over to Colorado for the aforementioned Shadow Chant CD release concerts with Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman, then home to Tucson in October.
But wait, there’s more. . . .
I’d like to give my A 440 Inner Circle the inside track on the wonder-filled new installment of my long-running workshop series at Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley AZ: on Saturday & Sunday October 14th & 15th I’ll conduct the latest iteration of my ever-evolving Myths & Masks maskmaking and creative writing experience, this one entitled Ancient Voices, Future Visions.
Enrollment will be capped at twelve, so register early at
What Lies Beyond an ISMA Finalist
What Lies Beyond, the latest Canyon Records release by RCNQ, is a Finalist for the prestigious Indian Summer Music Awards in the Contemporary-Modern Instrumental category. You can find out more about ISMA and support our nomination at
Deepak Chopra Live Stream
I got an out-of-the-blue call from GRAMMY-winning New Age composer and recording artist Paul Avgerinos recently, asking for permission to use a song from my GRAMMY-nominated solo album Pathfinder as part of the soundtrack for a live-stream poetry reading by Deepak Chopra. Needless to say, I replied with my favorite word: YES!
Paul chose the closing cut from Pathfinder, After the Storm, and placed it in the fourth position, which he refers to as “the position of honor” in an album sequence; the honor was mine to be included with such contemporary instrumental luminaries as Peter Kater, David Arkenstone, Michael Hoppe, Michael Brant DeMaria and Jeff Pearce. Deepak Chopra chose to read an original poem inspired by Khalil Gibran over my song.
Watch and listen at
Photo of the Month
As I mentioned earlier I’m not much of a photographer myself, so I have a heightened appreciation for the timing and discipline that goes into capturing a perfect picture. This shot by Shery Christopher, taken at dawn in her meditation room, illustrates that being at the right place at the right time–being completely present in the moment and completely alert to its possibility–can result in a stunning image of subtle beauty.
Sunrise Buddha by Shery Christopher
Poem of the Month
I’ll close as always with what has become (to my surprise and delight) THE most popular feature in my A 440 Newsletter. Your September Poem of the Month reflects countless hours and endless miles alone on the road, contemplating the many storylines that weave into the tapestry of one’s life, which inevitably gives rise to both a liberating sense of being in perpetual motion and a longing to come to rest at home. Enjoy!
Point of Departure
The world is leaving
me behind, or I
am leaving it.
is a point of departure.
imagined by children and
the patronage of philanthropists,
from our funky little beach house
on the black volcanic shore
of an ancient inland sea
to a mythic marble palace
overlooking a valley carved
by prehistoric avalanche,
a curving road snakes
through the Singing Desert
along which all things
are revealed in time:
all points one point,
all storylines one line.
© Will Clipman 2017
Go in harmony and balance
but don’t forget to be here
before you leave!
We are all two people: the person we are and the person we aspire to be;
that we narrow the gap between those two each day, however incrementally,
is a measure of our progress toward self-realization.
musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator