Greetings, One & All~
As we emerge from a long, hot summer (including the hottest month ever recorded in July, both here in The Old Pueblo and on Planet Earth) and arc toward the turning point of the autumnal equinox, allow me to contribute a few cool new items to your list of fall festivities, along with your Poem of the Month and your Photos of the Month, in this simply scintillating September issue of your A 440 Newsletter. Be cool and be in touch!
It’s the first of the month, and you know what that means: a new STC single drops today on all your favorite streaming and downloading platforms! I’ve learned from STC guitarist, principle composer and tech guru Chris Screven that one key to streaming success is embedding our new original music in playlists that compare it to other better-known artists and bands. For the most part, I defer to Chris and our bassist, flutist and mixmaster Joe Townend on this marketing matter, as they know far better than I who we sound like; but I had to chime in on Passage to Funky, our September single: this one sounds to me like Tom Waits’ New Orleans house band on Tom’s night off, jamming in a French Quarter nightclub at 3 AM.
Rob Paulus Project
Virtuoso bassist & violinist Rob Paulus and yours truly laid down a sound foundation for Rob’s soulful sonic architecture at Saint Cecilia Studios on August 21st & 22nd, with ace engineer Steven Lee Tracy at the board (that’s Steven hooking Rob up for bass and violin in the iso booth, with my pan-global percussion kit in the foreground). We’ve got rhythm tracks for over a dozen songs in the can, with blueprints for upper stories of vocals and lead strings on the drawing board. Watch this space for further development!
Abigail Fischer Project
Classical vocalist, multi-instrumentalist & sound healer Abigail Fischer and I channeled the creative energy of the Blue Supermoon in two magical days of recording at Allusion Studios on August 30th & 31st, with engineer par excellence Jim Pavett at the console (that’s Abigail below, deeply immersed in a playback in the control room at Allusion). We have rough mixes of our first eight songs in the can, with plans for Abigail to return to Tucson this fall to bed-track four more tunes, complete all our overdubs and dig into the final mixing of our collaborative album, tentatively titled Remembrance: Music For Spiritual Alignment. Stay tuned!
Thanks to the masterful mixology of Ben Sedano at Tiny Dog Entertainment over in LA, and the patient perseverance of LA-based Norwegian-American world jazz vocalist, multi-midi instrumentalist & composer Solvei (ably aided and abetted by yours truly on drums & percussion and the above-mentioned Rob Paulus on acoustic bass & violin) we’re within a few tweaks of having the full album Sol: Connection mixed and ready to master (that’s Solvei below, clearly liking what she’s hearing during an overdub session here in The Boom Boom Room at Rancho Improvisoso). This passionate and compelling blend of tribal rock, soulful pop and eclectic worldbeat–jazzed up with in-the-moment improvisation–is slated for a late 2023 release. Prepare to be inspired!
The next rendezvous in the never-ending, ever-expanding Wilde Boys spiral will find R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman in Santa Fe NM on October 10th-12th for a 7:30 PM concert at the fabled Lensic Performing Arts Center, preceded by a Program Notes discussion at 6:30 PM, and augmented with a lecture-demonstration for college students at the Institute of American Indian Arts and two matinee assemblies for younger school kids at the Lensic. As a prelude to the historic full solar eclipse that weekend, these events promise to be intensely illuminating!
info & tickets at
The coastal California redwood rhizome surrounding Canyon Ranch Woodside has become sacred ground for me over the course of the five previous retreats I’ve conducted there, so I’m excited and delighted to return for a brand new transformational weekend event on October 20th-22nd. For this extraordinary experience entitled Conscious Creativity: A Harvest of Sound and Word, I will partner with Woodside’s Senior Spiritual Wellness Leader Jeanne-Marie Mudd to explore your limitless potential, amplify your well-being and create pathways to enhanced abundance in your life and work through the profound power of vibrational sound and intentional word. Watch this space for a website posting with more information and registration details!
Sunday September 24th is the last Sunday in September, and you know what that means: your peripatetic pan-global percussionist will return to Unity in the Valley in Sahuarita AZ at 10 AM to join folk-rock goddess and Unity music director Amber Norgaard and all the friendly folks at Unity for another scintillating Sun Day morning of spiritual uplift!
Photos of the Month
Having watched them hunt, I’ve always thought roadrunners look and move like fierce little feathered velociraptors. The way this one eyeballed me, I was grateful it’s only 18 inches long beak-to-tail and a foot tall claws-to-crest, and (probably) didn’t consider me edible!?
Norfolk pines are not known to do well in the desert, but this little one seems to have found a spot it likes, and is thriving with plenty of shade and water and just a sliver of direct sunlight at mid-day between the ramada roof and the sago palm.
Revisiting the prehistoric creature motif, this huge grasshopper took a liking to that brief sunny patch on the Norfolk pine and didn’t seem to mind posing for a close-up!
This beautiful beetle’s spirit had already departed its earthsuit when I discovered it among the river stones, next to the ramada waterbowl and our Avalokiteshvara statuette; but its iridescence proved to be durable beyond death, which I imagine would please the Goddess of Compassion!
Our hummers love to perch in the shade among the tangled branches of the gnarled old Texas Ranger right outside our breakfast room window, waiting for a turn at the nectar feeder overhead. This little beauty blended in so well I almost didn’t notice it!
I think this is the same Colorado River toad I rescued before and featured in last month’s A 440, back for another refreshing swim in the pool before being gently netted and released.
Like the giant Colorado River toad, the tiny Spadefoot toad estivates most of the year underground and only comes out during monsoon season, going through its entire reproductive cycle from mating to tadpole to mature toad in a few weeks. This wide-eyed little wonder is making good use of its impeccable post-rescue camouflage while warming up and drying off after an early morning dip in the pool.
The late monsoon skyscapes here in the Sonoran Desert have been an endless source of wonderment, what with brilliant rainbows, spectacular sunsets, and of course not one but two August full moons: here are just a few reasons to keep looking up!
I could go on for another page or two with an over-abundance of entertaining and inspiring nature moments, but I’ll save the next batch for your next A 440 and close out your September portfolio with this little sweetie, who came by just after sunrise this morning to browse the monsoon greenery and drink from the full rain barrel. Enjoy!
Poem of the Month
One Evening in Late August
The camera dollies back suddenly
and the aperture narrows to tunnel vision
rendering details reverse telescopic.
A clenched fistful of coals in the chest,
a floating gallery of ancestral faces,
then the relaxation into pure love.
In the morning, a wrung-out sponge
more empty space than living tissue:
so fragile, so durable, so incurably resilient.
© Will Clipman 2023
~May the autumnal equinox bring you balance and harmony~
One can preserve one’s innocence without being naive.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator
Simply Scintillating: Your September A 440 Newsletter
Greetings, One & All~