The Music of David Salminen

The water theme is offering me a chance to see some things about myself and life a little more clearly… I just don’t know how many people share my view of the potential of music to open up perceptions and creative thinking, insight, and so forth… but those are the sorts of things that keep me going, with my impressionistic improvisations. Many years ago, when I started to have some remarkable experiences in the performance of composed music, I got motivated to learn a hundred or more special pieces that I thought had “messages” – but then, little by little, I found that what I heard was not necessarily at all what others heard!

Therefore, little by little, I gave in – to an appreciation of the unique subjectivity that everyone of us has. In that sense everyone is a genius – every person sees things or understands things that no one else does! The “message” of water that I recently happened upon in the Chinese Book of Changes/I Ching – that water “does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions.” … that message has begun to take on a profound significance to me. My hope with this concert is to encourage people to appreciate their own individual and unique “essential nature” !

This August 17 concert is free of charge, by the way (although donations to help defray costs and make more presentations possible are greatly appreciated). Here’s a link to the venue, with all the pertinent info: http://portlandpianocompany.com/press-events/

THE NATURE OF WATER – Sunday, August 17, 2014 –  3 pm

Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave, Portland Oregon

http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

There is no admission charge for this event, but donations to support more presentations of this kind are gratefully received.

Water itself is the inspiration behind the August 17 set of improvisations. Water is a major symbol running through cultures worldwide; but it is useful as such only when we are able to open up to its signals. Luckily, clues are everywhere! From the I Ching (Wilhelm/Baynes translation, Hexagram #29): “Water… flows on and on, and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions.”

For Salminen and many of his fans, it has become axiomatic that the subtle and enjoyable discipline of real listening is what actually makes a musical event come alive.  David will introduce this concert with a short talk providing useful hints about listening, and on how new music can be an inspiration toward new forms of understanding. His general philosophy about inspiration is that it is a plural medium – thus the “media” – from which we all draw nourishment. It is not something possessed by individuals.

The “doing” of improvisation has been David’s primary music teacher since he had an “opening” experience in 1979 while working as an accompanist with dozens of dance-teachers-in-training. However, that “opening” as well as Salminen’s ongoing presentations of “cosmic improvisation” was and is grounded in classical training. He took his first piano lessons in 1959 and continued for nine years at the David Hochstein Memorial Music School in Rochester, New York. These years were followed by studies in psychology, music theory, non-Western music, and avant-garde music at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1969-74. The academic years were joyfully interrupted by a year of consciousness studies at the International Academy for Continuous Education at Sherborne, England, with the philosopher John G. Bennett. Subsequently, while living in Alaska in the late 1970’s, David’s development as a pianist was greatly accelerated under the tutelage of the French-born piano virtuoso Jean-Paul Billaud, who connected him with the Leschetitzky and other European traditions of music practice, technique, and interpretation.

Examples of David’s concert music can be found at:

http://davidsalminen.com/music/   – as well as –    http://vimeo.com/52173622

For more information, call 503-762-6387 or email david@wholeworks.net

 

 

How does one return to oneself, one’s sense & feeling of oneself, during the course of a busy day? I have been experimenting with “music mantras” for quite some time now. Instead of worrying about how to stop a tune that keeps running thru my head (which seems to be a common complaint in these times) I have experimented with intentionally placing a tune into my “mind” first thing in the morning, and allowing it to come up as it will during the day. I’ll run with it for awhile, and then just carry on with my business, whatever that may be. Two of the most effective tunes I’ve used for this are Finnish folk songs I memorized as a child during my early piano lessons. Someday I will have to record my piano versions of these two contrasting Finnish folk tunes, “I love you from the heart” and “I am a singing boy” – they are just marvelous. Another melody – actually a complicated melding of two contrasting themes – that arises often in my consciousness lately, as for instance right when I’m waking up in the morning, is the famous “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” by J.S. Bach. I don’t know why I love these particular tunes so much – but obviously such choices are very personal or idiosyncratic. Here is a recording of the Bach-Busoni version of my beloved “Wachet auf” – by the wise and subtle pianist of a previous generation…  Solomon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnGbzrH5NWs

“Music, as the beauty of sound, proceeds from a transcendental affirmation that is beyond all self-hood. Music in nature does not differ, in any essential way, from music in art. The thrush and the nightingale, the bull, the stallion and the lion are all artists re-creating in sound the cosmic affirmation which brought them into existence. From the time that earth first received its atmosphere, the music of wind and waves was there, a thousand million years before life had ears to hear it.” – an excerpt from “The Dramatic Universe” by J.G. Bennett (Vol III, p. 112)

An intriguing idea on how to listen to music – simple and direct – from the Ukranian-born composer Thomas de Hartmann (1885-1956): “Look into the depths of eternity.” David Salminen’s concert today, 3 pm March 30, 2014, at the Portland Piano Company in Portland, Oregon, will afford circumstances conducive to practicing that kind of listening. Join us if you can! But if you can’t, and you’re nonetheless interested in listening to music more effectively – drop me a line. Maybe we can find a way to chat about it. Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205

http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

Donations to help make additional events more feasible are gratefully accepted.
For more information, call 503.762.6387

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DAVID SALMINEN – in concert – cosmic piano improvisations

Experiences in Synchronicity

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 pm – 430 pm

Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205

http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

Donations to help make additional events more feasible are gratefully accepted.

for more information, call 503.762.6387 or visit http://davidsalminen.com/music/

Image

DAVID SALMINEN – in concert – cosmic piano improvisations

Experiences in Synchronicity

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 pm
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205

http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

David’s concerts invite the audience to play with the possibilities of opening up to the wholeness of life – known and unknown, big and small, friend and foe. This wholeness is often thought of in metaphorical terms as the river of time. Yet, the experiences of meaningful coincidence labeled as synchronicity are not necessarily dependent on time relations. People, events and sensations flow into and out of one’s present moment embrace, and there is a constant re-mixing and re-blending into new harmonies of meaning beyond passing sensations. While music itself is the very symbol of harmony, the kinds of harmony we speak of here are merely reflected in music as such. New harmonies of various kinds are discovered in listening, really listening… When listening becomes a general attitude of receptiveness towards the mystery – beyond, within, or between sounds and sound patterns – something different from music is possible. At his concerts, David always shares some tips on how to listen “fresh” and notice new things… the audience members are free to make their own discoveries:

“Unconstrained by concepts of necessary harmony, repetitions or fixed rhythms, the music swells into the space, forming a matrix for an intense experience of group meditation. We, the listeners, become the music.” Cheryl Kolander, author/artist, Aurora Silk
Donations or sponsorships to help support these musical discovery events are greatly appreciated.

for more information, call 503.762.6387 or visit http://davidsalminen.com/music/

related ideas and resonance: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/imagine/201004/cosmic-convergences-einstein-talks-about-music-improvisation-rabindranath-tagore

 

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