Greetings, One & All~
What a wild seasonal shift here at Rancho Improvisoso: from the arrival of a great horned owl family, to a freezing late-March hailstorm, to rescuing a giant Sonoran Desert toad from our pool, it’s been an memorable early Spring. As befits the April 1st new moon, energy is shifting in creative ways here in Willyworld as well, highlights of which you’ll discover in this month’s issue of your A 440 Newsletter. Be well and be in touch!
Luminous Depths, the first single from the four-song EP Ubiquity by Evenfall, is out from Heart Dance Records, featuring yours truly on pan-global percussion holding the heartbeat for multi-flutist Sherry Finzer and multi-instrumentalist Cass Anawaty. You’ll want to enhance your personal soundscape with these gorgeous grooves!
download link (plus free video!):
Percussionist and sound healer extraordinaire Kalani Das invited me to add some of that ol’ udu voodoo that I do so well to his Chan Chan Challenge: a virtual ensemble performing the classic Afro-Cuban ballad as a 25th anniversary tribute to Buena Vista Social Club. Viva la musica sin fronteras!
enjoy the full video at
Udu Voodoo, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
On Wednesday April 13th I’ll record a musitational soulversation (think meditative music and soulful conversation) with musician, poet, sound healer and psychologist Michael Brant DeMaria for posting on his podcast channel the following week. Michael and I collaborated on a virtual presentation for last year’s IANDS online conference and began a creative friendship that will no doubt continue to manifest in good ways!
MBD’s podcasts can be accessed at
My guest appearance earlier this year with singer/songwriter and Unity in the Valley Musical Director Amber Norgaard has grown into a monthly musical service for the remainder of 2022! Our next Unification will occur on Sunday April 24th.
more about UITV and Amber’s work at
photo courtesy Amber Norgaard archive
Canyon Ranch Woodside has become sacred ground for me, so I’m thrilled to be returning for my fifth annual transformational retreat over the long Memorial Day weekend, Thursday-Monday May 26th-30th. This year’s offering is Finding Your Best Self: a journey of self-discovery through creative writing, world music and mask art, inspired by the the natural beauty of the coastal redwood forest and enhanced with the daily Woodside menu of sumptuously healthy cuisine and invigorating wellness services.
book now at
Redwood Illumination, ICU Imagery
Indigo Social Club continues its sonic explorations at the outer limits of acoustic world jazz with pop-up happenings in non-traditional spaces, house concerts, video production, new original compositions and avant-garde re-imaginings of classic standards, all counting down to the quartet’s full concert performance at the Green Valley AZ Community Performing Arts Center on Wednesday June 29th.
tickets for this don’t-miss show are on sale now at
Ready For Take-Off, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Neither dark of night nor blowing snow nor five-figure altitudes nor zero-degree temperatures could stay me from my appointed Myths & Masks rounds in beautiful Ouray County CO, as my magical stage set at the storied Sherbino Theater in Ridgway displays; and as if to reward my perseverance, the weather cleared to reveal peak experiences at every turn! Heartfelt thanks again to Trisha Oakland of Weehawken Creative Arts and Heather Greisz of Ouray County Performing Arts Guild, and to all my old friends and new fans in Ouray County, for a truly transformational performance and workshop.
Sherb Stage, ICU imagery
Peak Experience, ICU Imagery
Poem of the Month
Comings and Goings
I need both the masculine and feminine:
the opposites that drive the cosmic engine
joined along a curving line, each
embedded with the essence of the other
and all encircled by the one.
I need to follow the universal unfolding
wheresoever it leads: outward
to the stars whose light I am
and beyond to oneness with all,
or back to my particular body and mind.
A great horned owl sits in the mesquite
above the fountain all day today
unperturbed by my comings and goings,
its gaze stern and unblinking,
feathered talons formidably displayed.
In the dead of night I hear the male and female
sing to each other of mysteries only they can see
in alternating measures of four, five and three;
in the morning I find tufts of feather-tip down
marking their silent passage through our world.
In pre-dawn darkness on the day you take flight
the two of them sit at the top of the dead Aleppo
silhouetted against a waning three-quarter moon
adrift in vaporous rainclouds sprayed with stars,
whispering to each other of comings and goings.
They’ve lost one of their thirteen possible futures
to a storm’s assault on their nest high in our date palm:
a full and fragile moon, dashed with dawn’s red streaks
across patio bricks pebbled with pea-sized hail.
I need them–and you–and me–to come home.
© Will Clipman 2022
Photos of the Month
One half of a nesting pair of great horned owls who’ve taken up residence at Rancho Improvisoso this Spring, this magnificent creature perched in the mesquite above our fountain for an entire day recently. At first I went out of my way not to disturb it; but as the day unfolded, it became clear that it didn’t feel threatened at all by my comings and goings, and was even willing to hold statue-still for this stunning portrait by resident nature photographer Shery Christopher.
Who-Who-Who You Lookin’ At? courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
I rescued this giant Sonoran Desert toad (bufo alvarius) from our pool one morning after a freakishly cold late-March hailstorm, which abruptly followed a spate unseasonably hot weather. These mysterious creatures spend nine or ten months of the year hibernating underground, emerging briefly to eat and mate when the weather turns warm, and are typically observed during our summer monsoon season. This bewildered specimen came topside only to find itself in the middle of winter, fell into our pool, and was unable to get out. Thankfully, I found it swimming around the edges in time, scooped it out, and set it on dry land. We exchanged smiles of cosmic contentment, whereupon it hopped off in search of a meal and a mate. (When I say giant: cup your hands together, separate them a couple of inches, and imagine that entire space filled to overflowing with toad!).
Cosmic Contentment, ICU Imagery
~May your seasonal shift be wild and free~
To acknowledge that one doesn’t know is the beginning of knowledge.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator
Seasonal Shift: Your April A 440 Newsletter
Greetings, One & All~