Greetings, One & All~
The summer and winter solstices have always been my favorite times of the year here at Rancho Improvisoso, as the extremities of light at those celestial turning points brilliantly define the stark beauty of my beloved Sonoran Desert at its seasonal peaks. I trust some of that clarity is reflected in the June 2022 issue of your A 440 Newsletter, along with all the good news and cool announcements, and of course your Photos of the Month and Poem of the Month. Be well and be in touch!
I can’t think of a cooler way to spend the sizzling Sonoran summer than by making cool new music with Indigo Social Club. If you haven’t heard this acoustic world jazz ensemble featuring Marshall Jones on guitar, Rob Paulus on bass and violin, Cantrell Maryott on vocals, and yours truly on pan-global percussion, here is a menu of our scintillating summer shows to choose from. . . or enjoy them all!
Full Concert at the Community Performance & Art Center in Green Valley AZ on Wednesday June 29th at 7 PM
info & tickets at
Fine dining, full bar & intimate live music at Pastiche Modern Eatery in Tucson AZ from 6-8 PM on Tuesdays: June 7th, June 21st, July 12th and July 26th
info & reservations at
photo courtesy Julian Ybarra Media
The award-winning contemporary instrumental trio Trialogue will kick off the 2022 Heart Dance Records concert series on Sunday June 12th at 3 PM. Join multi-flutist Sherry Finzer, guitarist Darin Mahoney and pan-global percussionist Will Clipman for a tasteful afternoon of tunesmithing to complement a wine tasting by L’Entrata and an art exhibit by Flair. Summer fun in Sonora doesn’t get any cooler than this, so don’t miss!
enjoy Trialogue’s music at
And on Tuesday July 19th at 7 PM, the above-noted Trialogue will perform a private concert for residents at Friendship Village in Tempe AZ.
This month’s soulful and tuneful re-unification with singer/songwriter and Unity in the Valley Musical Director Amber Norgaard will commence at 10 AM on Sunday June 26th.
Evenfall explores uncharted musical territory in the third single Terra Incognita from the forthcoming four-song Heart Dance Records EP Ubiquity. Treat yourself to an epic sonic journey with multi-instrumentalist Cass Anawaty, multi-flutist Sherry Finzer and yours truly on pan-global percussion, and pre-save the entire EP, including the first two singles Luminous Depths and Eye of the Storm!
streaming and downloading link:
pre-order the full EP:
And speaking of Luminous Depths, our first single debuted at #12 on the North American College Charts Top 30 Chill Chart for the month of May. Kids these days are SO smart!
I can’t think of a cooler way to wind down a scintillating Southwestern summer than to rendezvous with The Wilde Boys on the Western Slope at 4 PM on Sunday August 7th for a concert at the Montrose Pavilion in Montrose CO. R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman will perform improvisational themes and variations from the music on their long-awaited and much-anticipated new Canyon Records release Spiral Rendezvous.
Additional Colorado dates are in the works, so watch this space for updates and info!
photo courtesy Robert Doyle Photography/Canyon Records
Photos of the Month
Our newest wildlife fascination here at Rancho Improvisoso has been a family of great horned owls who-who-who have moved into a nest of their own design and construction about thirty feet up in one of our date palms. We try to balance our curiosity with their privacy and not admire them too often or too long, so that they feel safe and comfortable here, but sometimes it’s hard not to stare at these amazing creatures. In the first photo, the mother owl favored us by gazing directly into the lens with a look that (to my human imagination, anyway) says she recognizes us as allies rather than enemies; the second shot captures a rare appearance of an owlet imitating mom’s formidable stare, albeit with sleep-hooded eyelids; the third shot captures the first appearance of both owlets together, looking more like owls (and more like mom) every day. The fourth shot, taken just yesterday, finds one of the owlets fledging under our ramada, with mom in the fifth shot keeping close watch on her baby’s first attempt to leave the nest and fly.
Recognition 1, courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Who-who-who: We Two See You, Too! courtesy Shery Christopher Photography
Recognition 2, ICU Imagery
Fledgling 1, ICU Imagery
Close Watch, ICU Imagery
Not to be outdone by the resident fauna, the saguaros are singing their soul-stirring Spring song here at Rancho Improvisoso, where we are blessed with over one hundred of these unique organisms growing wild on our land. I rescued this one from the base of the south-facing wall of The Boom Boom Room when it was being renovated right after I moved to Rancho Improvisoso in 1997, and transplanted it to the shade of a palo verde nurse tree, emulating the natural symbiosis that exists between these two iconic Sonoran Desert plants. The saguaro was six inches tall then; now it is over twelve feet tall and producing the gorgeous white blossoms that feed Mexican free-tailed bats, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Soon the luscious red-purple fruit will appear, and later in the summer the Tohono O’odham will commence their annual wine-making harvest.
Saguaro Blossom #1, ICU Imagery
Saguaro Blossom #2, ICU Imagery
Poem of the Month
Having just returned from presenting my fourth annual wellness retreat at Canyon Ranch Woodside, and having–as always–written right along with my workshop participants, I have a brand new Mythic Persona Poem to share as your June Poem of the Month. Many thanks to the Canyon Ranch Team for another transformational experience among the redwoods of coastal Northern California, and especially to the brilliant and beautiful guests who brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our creative experience!
In the Sequoia language
I am called Nampilc Mailliw:
the resilience of the redwood rhizome.
I am older than the deepest loam
of the forest floor, yet as young
as a fresh green sprig at the tip of a new branch.
I originated when a fallen seed cone
was struck by a beam of sunlight penetrating the forest canopy
and then deluged by a sudden rainstorm,
and my purpose is to contribute
in some small but significant way
to the continuation of this larger community
of which I am a part.
I may appear to you in myriad forms
depending on your point of view: if you look up
I may be ghostly fog wafting in over the ridgetop
to cool and moisten your exposed skin; if you look down
I may be an electric yellow banana slug
inching its way across your path; if you look behind you
I may be an unidentifiable flash of movement
leaving only a quivering twig in its trail; straight ahead
I will be your way forward into the ever-unfolding now.
My voice can be the subtle rustling of leaves in the breeze,
the abrupt caw of a raven echoing through the trees,
a woodpecker’s staccato rhythm as it burrows into my trunk
in search of the bark beetles who may eventually kill me,
or the burble of water emerging among my gnarled roots
from a hidden spring. However you hear me, listen deeply:
there is ancient wisdom embedded in that sound!
I am my own environment.
I am at home within myself.
My branches reach skyward.
My roots probe earthward.
I am at once ever-changing
and immovably grounded.
I am nourished by that which is subtle and obscure;
That which is obvious and brazen is distasteful to me.
I hunger for essential elements
and thirst for undistilled purity.
My superpowers are stillness and silence,
for in that calm and peaceful hub of the galactic wheel
all music and language are born:
spiraling outward with precise illumination,
igniting the senses with transformational information,
generating inspiration and communication.
I welcome into my tribe all who bring attention to the moment
be they two-legged, four-legged, six-legged, eight-legged,
many-legged, winged or no-legged: all
who enter my realm with gratitude and generosity
experience a profound tingle of well-being
and depart with a full heart.
My future is multifarious: everything that has ever happened
or ever will happen is happening right now, and I
am the nexus of all those possible vectors.
It is up to me to be both fully present
and completely transparent: a lens
through which that which must be
will become all that it can be.
© Will Clipman 2022
(composed at Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat, Woodside CA, 5/26-30/22)
Looking Up, ICU Imagery
~May your summer solstice season be defined
by clarity, confidence and commitment~
Humility is the wellspring of accomplishment.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator
Sizzling Summer Solstice: Your June 2022 A 440 Newsletter
Greetings, One & All~