The Music of David Salminen

Archive for October, 2012

October 27, 2012 concert in Portland, Oregon

Prelude to my concert in Portland, Oregon, Oct 27, 2012 – 3 pm – at the Sherman Clay Pianos facility (no tickets necessary): Now I’m really gearing up for the concert this Saturday, which is dedicated to the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. I can’t pretend to follow all the scientific details and speculations about sub-atomic particle physics, what’s next in terms of research into the Higgs boson and how it operates, etc. But I still believe that it’s useful for non-scientists like myself to try to follow the gist of it. And also – as a non-scientist artist, I think that it’s important for members of the society at large to contemplate what these contemporary developments on the frontiers of discovery might mean to us. So, I’m dipping into several books on the topic – even one published just after the Higgs boson discovery was first announced out of CERN in Europe on July 4, 2012. You know, (you may know this) the physicist who’s work was central to predicting the existence of Higgs bosons some 40 years ago, particles which are said to go along with and somehow interact with quarks and gluons… a veritable “zoo” of sub-atomic particles… in order to give them “mass”, a fellow named Peter Higgs, was still alive to see this validation of his theoretical work! That alone is interesting to me, that a person might say to the world that such and such a “thing” must be there, according to his calculations and ideas, somewhere in the virtually unseen world, and then to be validated some decades later when the technology and testing procedures catch up with his predictions. So, I’m enjoying some far out reading, and imagining different ways to make music to match…


The October 27, 2012, 3 pm concert in Portland, Oregon

Concert musings re the 10/27/2012 event… For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading the book (published in 1993, Houghton Mifflin company) by Leon Lederman with Dick Teresi, entitled “The God Particle – if the universe is the answer, what is the question?” – which was the origin of the controversial “God Particle” nickname for the Higgs boson. I’ve been looking at a lot things, actually, in an effort to prepare my mind to do a musical exploration of “The Exploits of the incomparable Higgs boson” on October 27, 3 pm at the Sherman Clay Pianos recital hall in Portland, Oregon… Among the many things I’ve discovered is that Lederman is extremely funny – I recommend his book to anyone who enjoys literary humor. It’s the best funny bone book I’ve read since Robert Benchley’s “My Ten Years in a Quandary” (1936, Blue Ribbon books/Harper & Brothers). Many of the more recent books explaining particle physics take themselves too seriously… and this is how I would express it… As many artists know, a painting you are making, or a novel you are writing, takes on a life of its own. The first time this happened to me, with someone else’s composed music that I was performing for a live audience, I was really shocked. How could this music, in its actualization, seem to be more real than I am? How come it had a life of its own, and was expressing itself in ways quite different to the expressive ideas that had informed my preparatory rehearsal? If you remain totally serious about your manifestations, and imagine your rational self to be totally in control, the results are likely to fall flat… Well, enough said – please share this post with your Portland friends who are open to magic in the broadest sense. Based on certain peculiar experiences I have had over many years, all I do when I sit down to create or play music is “invoke magic”. As the great Amer-Indian folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie used to sing… God is alive, magic is afoot… and as her more irreverent friends used to sing… Magic is alive, God is a foot!

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