image: NASA – Hubble telescope – outer space… stars & galaxies
DUE TO PROBLEMATIC CONTINUING WEATHER CONDITIONS IN PORTLAND AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS, THE JANUARY 15, 2017 CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED – IT WILL BE RE-SCHEDULED, BUT WE DON’T HAVE A NEW DATE, AS OF YET.
David Salminen’s improvisational concerts, in addition to being live demonstrations of the pleasures and surprises of the spontaneous moment, are vehicles for communicating ways in which listening to music can foster creativity in anyone, in any area a person has a need for it… these events are not simply about music. Really, so much in our lives could be improved, made better, etc. with a little bit more creativity, and we all possess unlimited potential for it – fresh ideas & new ways of seeing, hearing, and doing things. Dedication: In appreciation of Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016, an American composer and the champion of “deep listening”.
At David’s concerts “We, the listeners, become the music.” Cheryl Kolander – Aurora Silk
For more information: https://davidsalminen.com
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NASA image – public domain
David Salminen’s concerts over the past few years start from an idea or a feeling generated by a Cosmic perspective about our place in the Universe, or our understanding of some aspect of the Universe. The July 10, 2016 “EARTH – YOU ARE HERE” concert comes more from a feeling than an idea – a feeling for our home planet, a place so rare – unique really, to the best of our certain knowledge – that we cannot overemphasize its importance to us, in terms of place and time.While I am not closed to the idea of life on other worlds – even on many planets throughout the Universe, what we know for sure at this point is that our home planet, Earth, is the place, in the whole of the Universe, that we know is hospitable to life forms such as us. In this sense, the oneness of life here on Earth, as well as our individual lives as we each experience life, is central – the very center – of the Universe. “Each of us – whoever and wherever he may be – is then the center, and within him, whether he knows it or not, is that Mind at Large, the laws of which are the laws not only of all minds but of all space as well. For as I have already pointed out, we are the children of this beautiful planet that we have lately seen photographed from the moon. We were not delivered into it by some god. but have come forth from it.” page 274 of Joseph Campbell’s book “Myths to Live By”. http://www.portlandmercury.com/events/18292535/earth-you-are-here
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Our earnest looking and listening, into the essence of all things, really does matter – to the universe, and to the evolutionary possibilities of life on this planet… somehow, it all matters. However, our half-baked opinions about – and reactions to – practically everything under the sun, are of little account in the big scheme of things. Dec. 9, 2015, 9:11 p.m. Pacific Time
Pinwheel Galaxy – Hubble Space Telescope image
cosmic, mysteries, dark energy, dark matter, pianos, Portland, Oregon, dark energy, dark matter, intelligence, meditation, mind
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
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 https://davidsalminen.com/music/
related ideas and resonance: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/imagine/201004/cosmic-convergences-einstein-talks-about-music-improvisation-rabindranath-tagore
COSMIC SYMMETRIES – free fall concert – piano improvisations
Saturday, 3 pm – November 16, 2013
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205
Among the benefits of music especially associated with this type of concert are:
1) the facilitation of flights of fancy without a defining program or form, 2) an escape from our society’s constant reminders of who we are conditioned to be (an escape which can, paradoxically, improve our memories), and 3) the evocation of a sense of wholeness, that emerges in the cosmic musical experience like a healing balm, against the ubiquitous modern complaint of feeling scattered.
Salminen’s music “contains the very spark of life, and the listeners catch that spark.” Julia Sopalski, For The Times
for more information, phone 503.762.6387, or visit
https://davidsalminen.com/music/ (includes recordings)
For many years, I nursed a hope that great music, in and of itself, could awaken a moral conscience in people. As Plato put it and apparently believed: “Music is a moral law.” This hope continued for a number of years even after I was introduced to the notion of a necessity for successful performing musicians with ethical aspirations to introduce sophisticated means of “rehearsing the audience”. This introduction happened in 1974, in sessions with the visionary futurist and exceptional amateur musician Anthony Hodgson. Investigating this question of music vs. “music plus” on my own, again and again, with audiences open to rehearsing – as well audiences that remained non-rehearsed or even non-rehearsable (resistant to listening sensitivity exercises) I gradually began to see things differently.
1974 was a big year for me in several ways… Aside from starting to introduce some of Hodgson’s music listening exercises to my own concert audiences, I graduated from Clark University with a degree in psychology. And – something I will try to write about in detail some other time – I had a particularly exceptional experience while performing some of the G. I. Gurdjieff – Thomas de Hartmann piano compositions for a group at Boston University, that opened me up to the sense of St. Paul’s famous line “Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I do not know.” 1974 was also the year, for better or worse, that I became a working professional musician in Los Angeles, California.
I had been involved with the Gurdjieff-de Hartmann literature from 1972 on, having been introduced to that unique repertoire by J.G. Bennett and various “Gurdjieff Movements” teachers – notably Pierre and Vivien Elliot, and Anna Durco – who along with Bennett himself, had been at least for awhile in contact with Georges Gurdjieff and/or Thomas de Hartmann personally. This training and experience in an esoteric art form was built upon many previous years of traditional lessons and classes in Western classical music, and some familiarity with jazz technique and theory as well.
Various musicians in the Western classical tradition have affirmed this striking notion that art in and of itself may be practically amoral, and must be intentionally linked with imperishable values if it is to have significant ethical weight. But the idea is by no means universally accepted. Two outstanding examplars of “music plus” from the world of popular music would seem to be the late John Lennon, and Bono. In the classical world, I think that obvious proponents of the principle of linking art with something more than art include Dame Myra Hess, Pablo Casals, and Albert Schweitzer. Historically speaking, the great Baroque era composer J.S. Bach was as clear as anyone has ever been about this ethical basis: “All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hubbub.”
Albert Schweitzer said about himself that his life was his best “argument” for his beliefs. Nonetheless, he was also actually a very articulate thinker and writer. I recently came across the following article, profound and amazing in its relevance to the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that began March 11, 2011. Although not about music or even referencing music per se, the article strikes a tone that is quite congruent with the search for a universal harmony:
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…
Sat, March 24, 2012, 3 pm – no charge, but donations welcome
THE COSMOLOGICAL CONSTANT: DARK ENERGY – Sherman Clay Pianos
131 NW 13th Ave (parking across the street) – Portland, Oregon
The program will consist of improvisations (although not without much hidden preparation) inspired by the notion of the vast unknown. In cosmology, the unknown can be symbolized by the still unexplained “dark energy” that could account for the evidence of recent years showing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating into the future at a remarkable rate. The unknown is also perhaps exemplified in our own lives, by the experience of the interplay in psychological terms between the various levels of personal consciousness and the great, largely unknown collective unconscious postulated by C.G. Jung. With the help of an attentive audience, I’m hoping to musically evoke a sense of relaxing deeply into these cosmological and psychological worlds in ways both restful and exhilarating… this is an artistic/poetic music meditation, of course, not a scientific experiment. Aside from a few suggestive ideas here and there, I leave it to you as to how you will listen to the piano improvisations I create, and as to how the meaning or experience you create for yourself will unfold. I hope you can join us – and feel free to invite your friends!
The free concert at 3 pm, Saturday, October 29, 2011 – “Into the Dark” – at the Sherman Clay Pianos recital hall in Portland feels quite imminent to me now. After all, it’s been coming together as a musical inspiration for about nine months, initiated really by a perhaps offhand comment from my friend Anthony Blake… but it is part of a much longer arc of creativity:
Beyond what I have written elsewhere, let me try to explain… I am on a long-term journey to create musical occasions in which we can get at something deeper than a “spectacle” or an “experience” – both of which are fine, as far as they go. I hold dear the ancient idea of music in various cultures. For instance, I relish the attitudes of the classical Greek culture, which held that “music is a moral law” (Plato) and the ancient Chinese, who expected the Emperor to “set the tone” – as a musical pitch, literally – for the coming year. I am most inspired, however, by a more modern approach as found for instance in Kepler, who was looking for a “harmony of the spheres” corresponding to the actual observational data that was being collected in his time – for the first time, as far as we know, in human history – about the movement of the planets. For much of my life, I myself have been looking at these things as metaphors for new kinds of self-perception for us as individuals and for even the human race as a whole. Years ago I read in a book by a particular musicologist who I greatly respect, about the usefulness of the Ptolemaic point of view (the earth is the center of all things, with various heavens or layers of reality above it) as an aid to meditation, as compared with the post-Copernican model, which is – according to some – less amenable for most of us as a metaphor or picture of spiritual unfolding. This bothered me; why should contemporary meditation or mysticism be dependent on outmoded models of the universe! I suppose that I have always been something of a mystic, but I am also the son of a scientist… and somehow, I have always, also by nature I guess, been looking for progress in mysticism that could be parallel to, and not divorced from, the development of the sciences of our time. These days, due to the immense progress being made “as we speak” in astrophysics and cosmology, much of it having to do with researches into the nature of gravity, and the application of what is called “gravitational lensing” – which has been poetically referred to now as “Einstein’s Telescope” *– there are whole new vistas of understanding and contemplation opening up that are just waiting for us to enter, to appreciate, and to share.
*”Einstein’s Telescope -the hunt for dark matter and dark energy in the universe” is the title of a fine book by Evalyn Gates
3 p.m. Saturday, October 29, 2011 – solo piano concert – Portland, Oregon
DAVID SALMINEN – INTO THE DARK
Sherman Clay Pianos auditorium – 131 NW 13th Ave, Portland, Oregon (parking across the street)
on March 24, 2014