Greetings, One & All~
Having thus far covered 10,000 miles through 18 states (giving credence once again to the adage old drummers don’t die, they just keep driving to the next gig) The Great West Meets East 2019 Spring Tour continues into June, beyond what had been covered in your April-May combo A 440 Newsletter. So, with appreciation for your understanding of the fluidity of the time-space continuum during this creatively engaged and peripatetic period, here’s a look forward to what’s ahead and backward at what just happened. Enjoy!
The final leg of The Great West Meets East 2019 Spring Tour will take me up through northeastern Arizona and southwestern Colorado into Utah for the Solstice Flute School & Festival, where I’ll serve as Percussionist-in-Residence and Special Guest Artist. My kick-off event, a workshop and living room concert in Salt Lake City on June 15th, and the official Flute School on June 17th-20th in Midway are both SOLD OUT; but FREE admission is still available for the Festival concerts on June 21st-22nd.
more info at
Conscious capitalism may sound like an oxymoron, but maybe music can positively influence the way money is made and spent. In April I recorded drums and percussion at the fabled Canyon Records Studio for the third song of a three-song soundtrack that Native American flutist, guitarist and singer Aaron White was commissioned to compose for Conscious Capitalism, with Russ “Magic Man” Marsden at the board. As always, it was a privilege and pleasure to make music with these two stellar talents, and Aaron reports that our song was a smash hit at the Spring CC convocation in Phoenix AZ.
Will, Russ and Aaron at the Canyon Records Studio (photo courtesy Marilyn White)
Nakai & Clipman
RC & Will closed out their Spring touring season with a concert at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, in the pristine classical acoustic environment of the Music School’s brand new Kitt Recital Hall. This event also officially dedicated the Music School’s new R. Carlos & Pamela Hyde-Nakai Plaza, in honor of their contributions to RC’s alma mater.
Some images from earlier stops on the tour in Oregon, North Carolina and Ohio:
our stage set for the Ashland OR Lloyd Barde Productions concert
a live shot from Streamside Concerts in Arden NC, courtesy of Sally Sparks
our stage set for the Pomeroy OH concert at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch
The new Sherry Finzer & Will Clipman album The Space Between Breaths is in the final mastering and design stage for a scheduled September 20th release on Heart Dance Records. We’ll drop a couple of new singles leading up to the full CD release, and yours truly will keep you in the loop and up to speed as this phenomenal collection of elemental trance grooves for flutes and drums continues to emerge in final form.
The new Michael G. Ronstadt & Will Clipman album Wildly Ethereal is in the mixing stage at Peter Dalton Ronstadt’s LandMark Sound Recorders. No official release date has been set yet for this ground-breaking cello-and-drum world fusion project, but you can keep pace with the process at Michael G.’s Kickstarter site:
Mid-May found me off the road long enough to do a hometown session with a couple of Tucson legends, multi-instrumentalist and composer AmoChip Dabney and master engineer Bill Cashman, laying down Taos drum and Cherokee rattle tracks for Amo’s inter-tribal song Hope of the Hopi at Bill’s Cavern Studios. They don’t call us The Getcha Brothers (as in Amo Will getcha there) for nothing!
Amo & Will at Cavern Studios, dreaming up green-screen CGI (photo courtesy Bill Cashman)
While I was back in Penn’s Woods on the eastern leg of my April-May tour, I snagged a Sunday off to do some recording with guitarist/drummer/songwriter (and my youngest brother) Michael “Mighty” Clipman at Ron Nolen’s Pub Studios in Hyde Park PA. I laid down tracks for a couple tunes by Michael’s world music trio Be, and a track for one of Ron’s new tunes; the highlight of the session was an acoustic guitar-and-udu improvisation with Mighty, which we envision as the nucleus of a full-length duo project.
The Brothers Clipman digging deep into the groove (photo courtesy Ron Nolen)
Photo of the Month
More photographic magic from the camera of Shery Christopher with this unretouched image of the full moon rising among saguaros and cholla here at Rancho Improvisoso.
Cholla Moon, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Poem of the Month
Sometimes a poem ripples out in unexpected directions from a single pebble tossed into the pond of imagination. Such is your June Poem of the Month, inspired by a physical object and encompassing disparate subjects, hopefully achieving a unified metaphor.
You are here
in the totemic face
of the young Mayan woman
brought to Arizona as an orphan
from a village on the border
of Guatemala and El Salvador
who serves our food tonight
at The Blue Willow.
You are here
in the last improvisation
of the Kokopelli’s Café session,
which didn’t make the album cut
but which the Navajo-Ute flutist and I
always thought was the best thing
we’d ever recorded.
You are here
in the heart of The Old Pueblo:
a block-wide mural
the visionary Polish artist painted
upon returning from her ayahuasca journey
with an Amazonian shaman,
your sapphire eyes
portals to the spirit world.
You are here
on this perfect Sonoran Desert
Sunday afternoon in June:
cloudless azure sky,
a hint of breeze,
one hundred degrees.
You are here
in this carving of unknown green stone
on which I placed the only bid
at the Northern Jaguar Project’s silent auction,
crouching comfortably in my hand,
my thumb caressing you
between your shoulderblades;
you stare at me
insisting I make good on my vision
of a ceremonial summer solstice mask,
imploring me to do what can be done
to stop the foreign copper mine
that will decimate your habitat
We are here
and we are not going away.
© Will Clipman 2019
May your late spring and early summer
be filled with visionary music and art!
Breathe easy and stay focused.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator