Greetings, One & All~
As I close out another whirlwind year in Willyworld and wind down toward the winter solstice, I wish us all a peaceful and joyful holiday season.
It’s been my privilege and pleasure to share a little good news with you month by month throughout this past year, and your correspondence has been by turns encouraging and challenging. Thanks to all for all.
Enjoy this final A 440 Newsletter of 2017 in joy, with all best wishes for all the best of all the best to you and yours in the new year.
Be well and be in touch!
Trialogue at Mesa Arts Festival
On Sunday December 10th at 12:30 PM, Trialogue will perform two sets on the Alliance Stage at the annual Mesa Arts Festival on the grounds of the Mesa Arts Center in. . . you guessed it. . . Mesa AZ. Flutist Sherry Finzer, guitarist Darin Mahoney and percussionist Will Clipman will toss a few well-seasoned Yule logs on the Trialogue solstice fire to keep it crackling, and roast up some time-honored holiday chestnuts along with a generous serving of our contemporary instrumental originals, including a heapin’ helpin’ from our eponymous Zone Music Reporter Award winning album Trialogue, which of course will be available for stocking-stuffing at the show.
Medicine Arrow at Galactic Center
On Saturday December 16th at 7:30 PM, the new multicultural and multi-disciplinary performance ensemble Medicine Arrow will stage its world premiere concert at Galactic Center in Tucson AZ. Featuring singer, actor, dancer and storyteller Roman Orona, Native American flutist, puppeteer, singer and storyteller Jonah Littlesunday, and percussionist, poet, maskmaker and storyteller Will Clipman, Medicine Arrow recently field-tested its show in a well-received twenty-minute benefit set at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix as part of a star-studded cavalcade of performers for the 18th Annual Native American Children’s Toy Drive, and now is ramping it up for its first full-length concert, surrounded by the transformational art and sound sculpture of Galactic Center.
Fourth World Revisited
Last month’s sold-out performances of Fourth World with R. Carlos Nakai and the Verde Valley Sinfonietta in Camp Verde and Sedona AZ were memorable musical milestones for yours truly, as evidenced by this shot of RC and Will with conductor Kevin Kozacek and the orchestra against the backdrop of stunning projections by photographer Larry Lindahl. I only wish I’d been able to turn around more often to watch the show!
Myths & Masks Continues
I always envision any Myths & Masks experience as the beginning of a much longer, deeper and broader process for the participants: that is certainly the case with both my November Artist-in-Residency at Tortolita Middle School in Marana AZ and my private Myths & Masks for Couples session here at Rancho Improvisoso, as evidenced by this dream-catcher mask by TMS art teacher and AiR coordinator Laurie Lindsay; these two examples of TMS student masks; and these Lifecasts created by Aras and Katrinka Erekul to celebrate their birthdays and anniversary. I’ll lend a hand later today with an installation of student mask art and poetry in the front office at TMS, and await with ‘bated breath the completion of the M&M4C masks by Aras and Katrinka.
Poem of the Month
I’ve seen snow on the ground in Tucson four times in forty years; with the feverish pace of global warming and our daytime highs in the low 80’s at the beginning of December this year, I realize I may never see this magical sight again. So, from a long-ago winter’s dream made real, here’s a Poem of the Month that bears witness to nature’s miracles. Enjoy!
An Infinitely Intimate Chill
Tonight on the first new moon of the year
it snows in Tucson, the fourth time
in forty years of wandering in the desert
I’ve seen such a thing.
I remember the white-out blizzard
on an Easter Sunday way back when,
but somehow this quiet wafting-down
is even more dramatic.
I walk the loop trail around our land
in preternatural silence, wearing only
pajama bottoms and sneakers without socks,
the trail a thin ribbon of black through the blanket.
Even under a moonless and starless sky
everything is lit with an interior light:
the creosote bows low and fragrant toward the ground,
weighed down by unaccustomed heaviness;
the cholla look almost edible,
their halos of poisonous barbed thorns
softened into fluffy confections;
the old saguaros lift their pockmarked arms
in dignity and sadness,
at once grateful and imploring,
and a young one—
armless, tall as me, and maybe half again as old—
completely sheltered under the overarching limbs
of its palo verde nurse tree,
imparts a deeper understanding
of the desert’s deeply symbiotic harmonies.
Against the charcoal horizon to the west
the ancient volcanic mountains
cut a jagged bas relief
of blue-white ice.
There is wonder at work in the world tonight,
and I am warmed to my core by its infinitely intimate chill.
© Will Clipman 2017
Photo of the Month
The compression and distillation of poetry notwithstanding, a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. So, to bookend my poem with an indelible image by Shery Christopher, here’s a Photo of the Month that captures that long-ago magical moment. Enjoy!
May your winter dreams be deep and sweet,
and may your new year be all you’ve dreamt it to be!
Live your myth.
musician • poet • performing & recording artist • maskmaker • storyteller • educator