The Music of David Salminen

musing along…

It is a whim of mine to imagine the possibility of greater “in sync” feelings for the cosmos, available – in reality – for each one & every one of us on this extraordinary planetary home we call Earth… a planet which has been described by our astronauts in space, a little ways out from their home, as a beautiful “blue marble”.

In connection with the pursuit of a deeper understanding of Solar Flares, I recently discovered a most satisfying book entitled “The Sun Kings”, by Stuart Clark. Among other things, Clark tells the story of Richard Carrington, the English amateur astronomer who first “connected the dots” (otherwise known as sunspots) on our nearby Star with the occurrence of bizarre electrical phenomena here on planet Earth, ca. 1859. It’s an extraordinary story… a little bit of which I will have to weave into my introductory talk to the Nov. 23 concert. I am reminded, reading of the struggles and sacrifices of Carrington in the cause of scientific understanding, of Isaac Newton’s famous statement: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Truly, if we are to make progress in our understanding of all & everything, we must know something of, and respect the accomplishments of, at least a few of our predecessors! Even more – as R.W. Emerson said – a key to progress is to simply to: “Hitch your wagon to a star.” I really like that idea… both in the sense of respecting the thought leaders of previous times, and in the esoteric sense of intuitively or otherwise linking oneself to the Sun itself, the central & leading causative factor in the evolution of our solar system/solar family. This Earth, for which more and more people, thankfully, have a concern – as one might properly have for one’s mother – is not just a big rock unto itself. It is part of a highly evolved, multi-billion year old system. Going further with such speculations is not merely a mental exercise. Indeed, what we are required to do, is to go beyond the mind! And what else is art for? What else is music for?

Details about my Nov. 23, 2014 concert…

… a quick note today to reiterate my invitation to friends & acquaintances, known and not yet known, to my November 23, 2014 piano concert in Portland, Oregon, USA. Details here:

Please join me in this musical meditation on the mysterious activities of our own star, aka The Sun, Sol, etc. By way of explanation… I’ve occasionally been told that such extra-musical themes are too abstract – not personal enough. However, to me, my and our relationship to the cosmos and the immediate cosmic neighborhood is actually very personal. All life on earth depends on the sun. Life is as “personal” as it gets! And we all have intuitions at times that connect the smaller cosmoses with the larger… A few of my favorite quotations hopefully illustrate this connection: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” (Carl Sagan) – “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars…” (the Desiderata – authorship unclear) – “The solar system is our cosmic home and we should know it as a man knows his own hearth… we should seek to know the sun… as a manifestation of creative power, the carrier of the cosmic plan…”  (J.G. Bennett, British philosopher-scientist – Vol. 1 of the Dramatic Universe, p. 442).our sun NASA-Europe photo- solars-ystem-NASA site PIA03149_br1

I ran across this a few years ago and was quite “struck” by the implications (although perhaps not intended by the author): “Just like living creatures on Earth, stars are born, change as they age, and die.” from the Illustrated Atlas of the Universe, page 152 – written by Mark A. Garlick (2006)

Maybe we have a lot in common with stars, planets, etc. Our cosmic belonging-ness is , at any rate, part of who we are, and I invite my friends and music fans in Portland, Oregon, to the November 23, 2014 concert, contemplating Solar Flares and other kinds of outbursts, the variety of effects that result, and the hidden forces within stars that bring such things about.

More details are posted at


3 pm, November 23, 2014

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


– open to the public – no tickets necessary – no admission charge for this event

– donations to support more presentations of this kind are gratefully appreciated

– for more information on the music & David, and how to purchase CD’s please call: (503) 762-6387 – or email:

P.S. I’ve been really enjoying the contemplation of solar flares… so many people now seem to be registering some psychological or perhaps even spiritual influences (energetic, at any rate), when we are really “bombarded” by X-ray and other electromagnetic aspects of flares, as we were in late October, 2014. The scientists and scientific websites often talk about the upsetting of digital communications at these times, but as to the effects on living bodies… not so much. So I am looking at the metaphors. I am fascinated, for example, that there is something largely unpredictable going on deep inside the sun which results in spots that are creative in terms of flares and even CME’s. Here’s an informative science site: Coronal Weather Report: CMEs and Flares (Page 1)

our sun NASA-Europe photo- solars-ystem-NASA site PIA03149_br1

our sun NASA-Europe photo- solar-system-NASA site PIA03149_br1

The 10 favorite books game…

1. “I Ching” (Wilhelm/Baynes trans.) Consulting this oracle in 1972 on the subject of going to a school called Sherborne (J.G. Bennett, Principal), I twice got this hexagram, months apart: “In relation to the human world, it denotes the creative action of the holy man or sage, of the ruler or leader of men, who through his power awakens and develops their higher nature.”
2. “The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton” – Many times have I come back to look at this passage – from the Appendix III. He was speaking to a group of monks from various religions, at Calcutta, October, 1968: “… the monk in the modern world… is a marginal person who withdraws deliberately to the margin of society with a view to deepening fundamental human experience… Thus I find myself representing perhaps hippies among you, poets, people of this kind who are seeking in all sorts of ways and have absolutely no established status whatever…”
3. “Gurdjieff – Making a New World” by J.G. Bennett. One of the parts I have returned to again and again, in the Chapter called The Law of Reciprocal Maintenance: “The world was brought into existence because ‘being’ and ‘time’ are mutually destructive. Everything separate and closed within itself must perish for lack of a principle of renewal. There is partial renewal by borrowing energy from outside, but this is not enough. Full renewal requires full mutuality. It is by Universal giving and receiving of energies that Cosmic Harmony is maintained.”
4. “Culture, Crisis, and Creativity” by Dane Rudhyar – particularly the chapter on the Inner Space of Tones: “In the piano… if large chords are struck, integrating the sounds produced by the strings of properly distanced keys, and the pedal is pressed allowing for total sounding board resonance, the gong-tone effect is obtained… in which tones replace words and seek either to convey a message or to release a magical transformative impact.”
5. “The Heretics” by Walter Nigg: “The heretic has this in common with the prophet and the saint: that he is religiously alive… and prepared to sacrifice everything for his faith. He is the extreme antithesis of the indifferentist…”
6. “A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence” by Anthony Blake – this book is, for me, a catalyst for experiences! “There is no reason to suppose that intelligence is restricted to organic or quasi-organic forms and species. But we will leave the question of communing with the stars or other inorganic bodies to some other place.” … (David took that as a challenge!)
7. “The Aquarian Conspiracy” by Marilyn Ferguson, who was a keynote speaker at a holistic health conference I went to in 1981 or ‘82. I expected her to be just another speaker – but I went to hear her anyway. It turned out that her talk was an energy channeling… not labeled as such, but that’s certainly how I experienced it.

8. and 9. and 10. I met a mysterious man in 1969, going only by the name of Richard, with a perfect star in the lines on the palm of his hand. He told me to read 3 books which, he said, would put me on a different path in life. They did. The 3 were: “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein & “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Expery & “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse.

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:


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