Greetings, One & All~
The Old Pueblo has already received more than its 30-year average annual rainfall with four months still to go in the year, for which all Sonoran Desert creatures are grateful, and to which the lush greenery, the abundant wildlife, and the mindful resumption of human activity attest. As we move through the hot, humid days of late summer into the cooler, drier days of early autumn, your humble narrator has good news and uplifting events to share in this September issue of your A 440 Newsletter. Be well and be in touch!
Music & Meditation
On Saturday September 4th at 8:30 AM PT/11:30 AM ET, yours truly will co-present a morning session of meditative music and poetry with musician, artist, poet, filmmaker and psychologist Michael Brant DeMaria as part of the 2021 IANDS Virtual Conference.
Nakai & Clipman
On Sunday September 12th at 2 PM, R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman will be in concert at the historic Wright Opera House in Ouray CO, re-creating themes and variations from the music on our GRAMMY-nominated Canyon Records album Awakening the Fire, as well as exploring uncharted sonic territory with our trademark improvisational magic.
info & tickets:
On Friday October 1st at 6 PM and 8:30 PM, yours truly will perform two solo shows of Garden Grooves: An Evening of World Music & Storytelling With Will Clipman at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix AZ, interweaving exotic instrumental expressions from my GRAMMY-Nominated Canyon Records album Pathfinder with mythopoetic storylines from my Planet of Percussion repertoire.
info & tickets (link active for general public on September 10th):
The debut performance of Indigo Social Club at 17th Street Music Club has been re-scheduled for October 19th at 6-8 PM. Featuring Marshall Jones on guitars, Rob Paulus on upright bass & violin, Cantrell Maryott on vocals, and Will Clipman on world percussion, this scintillating acoustic quartet delivers its unique blend of new world jazz originals and artfully re-imagined standards from the Great American Songbook with impeccable musicianship and palpable joy, in this free open house concert at Tucson’s premier musical meeting place run by and for musicians.
On Tuesday October 26th at 7 PM at Friendship Village in Tempe AZ, and again on Saturday November 6th at 11 AM at The Landings in Anthem AZ, Trialogue will perform its stylish potpourri of acoustic guitars by songwriter Darin Mahoney, classical & New Age flutes by Sherry Finzer, and world percussion by Will Clipman. These are private events for residents only, but the trio’s genre-transcending sound can be enjoyed by all on its eponymous Zone Music Award-winning album from Heart Dance Records.
The R. Carlos Nakai Trio will bring its inimitable brand of global native fusion to the Hotel Congress Plaza Stage in the heart of downtown Tucson AZ for an outdoor concert on Friday November 12th at 7 PM, as part of the on-going 100-year anniversary celebration of the iconic and quintessentially Old Pueblo landmark Hotel Congress. Internationally-renowned Native American flute master R. Carlos Nakai, phenomenal multi-instrumentalist AmoChip Dabney, and ubiquitous pan-global percussionist Will Clipman generate a synergistic sound that is by turns danceably groovy and meditatively soothing in this rare hometown appearance.
photo art courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Photos of the Month
Can you spot the verdin camouflaged against the trunk of the saguaro outside our breakfast room window? It didn’t escape the sharp eye and quick shutter-finger of visionary nature photographer Shery Christopher. These handsome and tiny-but-tough little birds eat lots of bugs, so we and the saguaros love them for that, and for their brilliant green capes juxtaposed over their longitudinally striated chocolate and charcoal wing and tail feathers and white breast feathers.
Verdant Verdin, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
And as seen through the amateur lens of yours truly, these messengers from the subterranean mycological neurosphere recently emerged along the moist and shaded base of our garden wall, courtesy of this year’s record-setting monsoon.
Emergence, ICU Imagery
Luminescence, ICU Imagery
Resplendence, ICU Imagery
Poem of the Month
Your September Poem of the Month, inspired by my recent connection with visionary painter, author and consultant Nancy Rynes, Boulder CO IANDS founder Jacqueline Arnold, and musician, artist, poet, filmmaker and psychologist Michael Brant DeMaria, explores my own NDE. For some reason I hadn’t written a word on this subject in the thirty-six years since the event; but being invited to contribute music and poetry to the 2021 IANDS Virtual Conference prompted me to delve into this profoundly life-changing experience and try to bring some of its meaning to light.
Bearing a gift of music, I hang a left
into the path of light and am blasted
out of my body into oneness with all.
I never see this deus ex machina coming
out of left field, intoxicated and speeding
right through the red light toward the white
point of impact. Then silence and stillness.
I have no wish to return, and why would I,
this realm of absolute peace being so much
preferable to the Greek myth I’ve left behind?
Yet return I do, to a gradually re-materializing
kaleidoscope of whirling blue and red, sirens
wailing no less irresistibly than those who tried
to tempt Ulysses to his ruin. He ordered his crew
to lash him to the mast, and my crew of orderlies
lash me to the gurney, both of us restrained
from answering a summons to otherness: left
hanging, twisting in the wind, in the dark. My
left-handedness is not sinister, as the Latin root
impugns, just less ordinary; and perhaps I’m more
predisposed to right-braininess: possibilities made
believable by this leftover life I’ve been living
all these years, which could have ended abruptly
and with as little resolution as an epic’s torn-out
final page. But it didn’t. I didn’t exit stage left.
I’m left holding the bag full of Big Questions
like Why am I here? All I can say is I’m still
here, left out in the cold, to my own devices,
with two left feet, high and dry, stewing in my
own juices with much left to be desired, simply
because my work here is not yet finished; because
the universal unfolding still involves my persistent
uniqueness in some infinitesimal, inscrutable way.
Maybe as is often the case the truth lies buried
deeper and further back, in the Sanskrit saniyan:
that’s it! I’ll aspire to make myself more useful.
See, the burnt wreck begging on the left turn island
with the hand-made sign isn’t babbling incoherently
to imaginary voices, he’s memorizing the next lines:
there but for the grace of a millisecond here or a
millimeter there go any of us, stumbling blindly
through a hurricane of razors into the calm eye.
I loved it there. I’m still learning to love it here.
I’m still getting it: at the end of the day–or the
end of a life–all that is left forever is the love.
© Will Clipman 2021
~May the autumnal equinox bring you balance~
To achieve it, you must first believe it.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator
Toward Balance: Your September A 440 Newsletter
Greetings, One & All~