Greetings, One & All~
We’re finally getting some measurable precipitation here in the Sonoran Desert after what had been up until recently a non-soon instead of our typically thunderous and rain-rich monsoon season, and all desert creatures (including yours truly) are truly grateful. . . and shaking the rainstick for more! There’s a commensurate deluge of good tidings in this August issue of your A 440 Newsletter, so kick off your shoes and splash around in all the cool news!
Her motto “Exploring the Source of Inspiration” says all you need to know about my long-time friend and colleague Shea Stanfield and her brilliant new blog Starlight Scribe, which is shining an international spotlight on homegrown Arizona arts and artists. I’m humbled and honored to be featured in the current edition, where you can check out all past installments and subscribe to future posts.
On Sunday August 7th at 4 PM The Wilde Boys (R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman) will kick off a 2022-2023 series of Southwest concerts in support of their new Canyon Records release Spiral Rendezvous in Montrose CO, previewed with an interview on Tuesday August 2nd at 10 AM MST on PBS affiliate KVNF Radio.
concert tickets & info:
* Watch this space for more upcoming concert dates, including this two-night stand at Old Town Center for the Arts in Cottonwood AZ on Friday & Saturday October 21st & 22nd. Our shows at OTCA typically sell out early, so I wanted to offer an advance heads-up on these performances, with an image from our last SRO engagement at central Arizona’s premier small concert venue!
tickets & info:
The above-mentioned new album Spiral Rendezvous drops from Canyon Records on August 19th. I’ll post a direct link for CDs, downloads and streaming in the September issue of your A 440 Newsletter. This is the first new studio recording by Nakai, Eaton & Clipman since their 2009 GRAMMY-nominated Dancing into Silence, and will take you even further out in our sonic spiral and further in to your own rendezvous with joy!
My monthly musical services at Unity in the Valley with my soul sister Amber Norgaard have become as much an integral element of my calendar cycle as my A 440 Newsletter. Our next re-Unification is on Sunday August 28th at 10 AM, and as you can see below, we’ll be all smiles again then as we were after our July 31st offering. All are welcome to these uplifting Sunday morning gatherings in Sahuarita AZ. I like to go early and walk the labyrinth before anyone else arrives!
I’ll be back in the redwood rhizome of coastal California over Labor Day Weekend for my next Canyon Ranch Woodside wellness retreat: Passion, Purpose & Personal Power on Thursday-Sunday September 1st-4th. The event-specific calendar for September isn’t quite up yet as of today (there are lots of other amazing retreats listed for August) but in the meantime you can find out all you need to know about the multifarious menu of transformational experiences Woodside offers at
As Guillaume Henri has sagely opined in these pages: Everything that has ever happened or ever will happen is happening right now. Case in point: the 2003 Will & Cantrell CD Listen With Your Heart. Cantrell Maryott and I have been musing together in one form or another for about ten thousand years, our latest project being Indigo Social Club with the incomparable Marshall Jones and the inimitable Rob Paulus. At a recent ISC concert, I was re-introduced to our avant garde vocal-and-percussion duo album and reminded how extraordinary it is: Cantrell channels the goddess big-time, and I lay down some exhilarating grooves. Turns out this under-the-radar gem is actually still available for streaming or downloading, or as a CD for those (like me) who still prefer to hold a physical record with artwork and liner notes in their hands. I’m not a huge fan of Amazon (it’s everything, everywhere, all at the same time, to ironically paraphrase the current movie title) but that’s where I found us, so I just wanted to pass the link along:
And speaking of Indigo Social Club, here’s a cool under-the-radar phone cam video of our rendition of the George Gershwin/DuBose Heyward classic Summertime, shot at one of our recent Pastiche gigs by Peter Underwood: Hot Fun in the Summertime!
I had assumed multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Cass Anawaty was speaking metaphorically when he suggested the title for the new Evenfall EP Ubiquity on Heart Dance Records, but evidently the music he and internationally-renowned multi-flutist Sherry Finzer and yours truly have created together is literally ubiquitous, as evidenced by Patrick Van de Wiele’s delightful review in the Dutch music blog Cultuurmania. I’ve provided a loose English translation* below, but the original is much more fun!
*When primordial elements work on each other to achieve that mystical alchemy, known as life, a whole new world is born. In the beginning that may seem simple and shy, but then it opens in an elegant spiral-shaped dance, while all creatures harmonize to a universal rhythm. A Milky Way of Sound appears from the vastness of intergalactic silence, in which everything becomes possible!
The band Evenfall is the electronic ambient project of multi-instrumentalist and engineer Cass Anawaty and Ambient/New Age Flutist Sherry Finzer, supplemented here with guest artist Will Clipman. The latter is known for his work with R Carlos Nakai and Canyon Records. Will was nominated no less than 7 times for a Grammy Award and is a pan-global percussionist. This new digital EP contains 4 tracks, which you can categorize under Ambient, but also under Chill-Out. Cass Anawaty and especially Sherry Finzer were already discussed here. The silky sounds of flute and percussion come into their own on a base of synthesizer. In this way Evenfall creates an escape and relaxing trip.
Photos of the Month
Now that our family of great horned owls has moved out (the young ones will establish territories of their own, but the adult mates will return to Rancho Improvisoso next Spring to reclaim their nesting site) other birds who had wisely made themselves scarce in the presence of those aggressive and fearless alpha predators are beginning to frequent our walled yard and our surrounding wild grounds again, to our delight.
The first image is of the male Scott’s oriole on the kitchen window hummingbird feeder, half of a nesting pair that summers here; the second is an indigenous Gila woodpecker juvenile who “smelled the coffee” and clung to the screen door of our breakfast room most of one morning recently; the third is Harriet III: the third generation of our beloved Cooper’s hawk family, enjoying a quiet moment at the waterbowl this afternoon; and the fourth is Harry Jr. following Mom in for a drink just moments ago, still sporting traces of his fledging down feathers as he tests his wings.
We also have a nesting pair of Arizona cardinals and their young one, but they wouldn’t hold still long enough for a portrait!
Poem of the Month
The great horned mother glides
across the full blood moon eclipse
and silently alights in her nest
high in our date palm
with supper for her young.
In the morning she will gift us
with two gorgeous tail feathers
and her wisdom: there is no
holding on to that which has passed,
only flying forward into the possible.
Early on the morning of the one day
we have at home together
between my arrival and your departure
the young ones decide it’s time to fledge,
big brother confronting us with puffed-up
Chaplinesque bravado under the ramada.
Most days the world eats vulnerability
for breakfast; but the great horned father
chose this place well and with good reason,
knowing we’d left our dead grandfather tree
standing knowing he would love so to perch
at its tip in midnight breeze, framed by Orion.
Even in broad daylight mother and fledglings
are consummately camouflaged amidst its bare
branches, desiccated cones and shedding bark:
little sister sits in the highest seat today,
wing-shoulders thrust forward like knees
for balance and spread to cool her body
in the hot dry Santa Ana wind.
Mother and big brother venture farther
and longer afield these days, while little sister
lags behind, reluctant to leave the sanctuary
of our walled garden with her sturdy perch
on the stone Celtic cross and the never-empty
waterbowl, until finally one morning she too
flies off to make her own way in the world;
she’ll return on the night of your birthday
to sing you a plaintively celebratory song.
A week later I spy the great horned father:
a darker darkness within the gathering dusk,
his white breastplate ablaze, laving his talons
and dipping his dripping beak to sip, scanning
the nesting site with his fierce unwavering gaze
before he launches into this night’s hunt,
leaving behind a whisper of his wisdom:
there is no up or down on the surface
of a sphere, only inward to the core or
outward into the beyond; there is no
hierarchy as we hurtle through emptiness,
only hanging on for dear life and
holding on to each other as best we can.
Everything that has ever happened or
ever will happen is happening right now:
we dip into the well of time but shallowly,
surface ripples circumscribed concentrically
within our dark and narrow cylinder of sight,
while down beneath the bottomless depth
owl medicine opens into limitless light.
© Will Clipman 2022
~Wishing you refreshment and renewal in the depth of summer~
The potential of the present moment is realized by acting mindfully rather than habitually.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator
Monsoon Tidings: Your August 2022 A 440 Newsletter
Greetings, One & All~