The Music of David Salminen

Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

Contemplation – looking and listening into the essence of all things

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 by Hubble Telescope-heic0602a

Pinwheel Galaxy – Hubble Space Telescope image

a favorite book

tony

The informal review below is actually from a letter I wrote to the author, Anthony Blake, concerning his marvelous tour de force entitled:

“A GYMNASIUM of BELIEFS in HIGHER INTELLIGENCE”

Some of my references may be obscure to most people. Feel free to write to me about them if you find yourself with a burning question or two:

Really, I just wanted to say how much I’ve been enjoying your new book. I hardly know how to express my enthusiasm for it! Perhaps my sense of connection is greatly enhanced because of our recent meeting – the Gathering. In any case, I feel really connected with your project, and I have been moving through the book steadily – over half way through it now – not skimming, but really taking it in.

It is truly “food” for me, and in a nutshell, it satisfies a long frustrated wish to discuss many left over issues – or loose ends, if you will – from John G. Bennett’s books and talks, and of course the Sherborne courses in the 1970’s. Yet, what is most satisfying to me about your book is that I feel you have succeeded in going way beyond your own oft-mentioned “footnotes to The Dramatic Universe” assessment (however apt that may have been in reference to some of your earlier writings) to something much more vast and inclusive.

The subject of higher intelligence proves to be much, much bigger than any one genius or school (as if I need to tell you that!). In other words, as I’ve already mentioned to a number of people, the full title, “A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence” seems to me to be exactly what you have created. And I am finding that “working out” in that kind of a facility is very satisfying indeed.

I have found myself creating my own customized index to your book. For instance (and these are highly personal – I wouldn’t expect them to necessarily make any sense to anyone else, including you): pp. 59-60 has a hint or secret re meditation; p. 85 – makes a connection to my feelings about nature; p. 124 – the idea of a collective tuning device – something I love and always try to bring into my “cosmic improvisations” concerts;  p. 139 – communing with the stars – this suggests an inspiring and imaginative practice, already a  whim of mine these past several years; p. 142 – another substantial hint, about healing; p. 159 – presents a key to “waking up”;  p. 162 – the allusion here to Albert Schweitzer and his tremendous claim: “my life is my argument” – wonderful.

I mention these references I have made for myself simply as an indication as to how I am “working” with this new book. I apologize again for the fact that out of context as they are, my personal index items would not necessarily make any sense to anyone else. My point, again, is simply to give you some indication as to how I am taking this information in and making something of it for myself.

One more item, on page 234: Here I found you making use of one of my favorite Mullah Nassr Eddin stories, about the graveyard and the horsemen! I myself have often re-told the story to others, in an effort to inspire a sense of the way we humans go in and out of different kinds of mutual connection.

A great book – it evidences your many years of continuing to work upon, digest, and build upon what your many teachers and colleagues have taught or suggested, or in many cases merely intimated – beginning literally a couple of generations ago… or a couple of epochs ago… etc.

“fasting of the heart”

Yen Hui, said to be the favorite follower of Confucius, asked for advice from the old sage regarding a proposed journey to the state of Wei, where a certain Prince Hui was treating his country and the death of his people “with scant regard”. The young Yen Hui wanted to see if there was anything he could do to help out, and in fact he thought that in going to the state of Wei,  he was following previous counsels from Confucius about visiting “the state that is in real trouble.” But Confucius saw that Yen Hui was not yet ready to go on such a mission, and so he told his follower to “Go away and fast, then I will tell you what to do.” Yen Hui complained that because his family was poor, he had already been fasting, for months… and then Confucius countered with the observation that Yen Hui’s fasting was not the kind of fasting that was required for generating insight, and gave this marvelous description to Yen Hui, of something deeper, “Your mind must become one, do not try to understand with your ears but with your heart. Indeed, not with your heart but with your soul. Listening blocks the ears, set your heart on what is right, but let your soul be open to receive in true sincerity. The Way is found in emptiness. Emptiness is the fasting of the heart.” (this post is a summary of a much longer passage in the Martin Palmer/Elizabeth Breuilly translation of The Book of Chuang Tzu, published in 1996 by ARKANA – Penguin Books)

listening consciousness

There are so many ways to listen to music… but a quiet, inquisitive way of listening, allowing one’s consciousness to be brought forward into contact with the movement of the sound as body experience, higher or lower, or in two or more places at once, when one is just listening with a continuous letting go into the flow of it… This kind of listening allows something to happen to the whole of oneself, refreshing and renewing .

Antennae Galaxies-NASA-227979main_image_1086_946-710

a reflection on listening

The absolutely wonderful concert pianist, teacher and author Mildred Portney Chase (1921-1991) had this to say about listening: “I still remember my teacher Josef Lhevinne saying that I needed to listen more…. I tried harder, but what was I doing? Tensing my ear?  … Some things have surfaced since that time. I remember when I discovered silence. Silence! The mother of sound.” (an abridged quotation out of Chase’s 1974 book, Just Being at the Piano, published by Peace Press)

Cosmic Improvisations –

David Salminen’s spontaneously created piano improvisations aim at helping to foster a broader & deeper awareness of the cosmoses in which we live and breathe, all together.

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”.

David Salminen’s summer piano concert, Portland, Oregon

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:

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

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

 

 

announcement: the Portland “Synchronicity” concert 3/30/2014

The Second Law of Synchronicity – David Salminen – live in concert – exploratory piano improvisations

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 pm
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

This concert is a chance to listen to music under special conditions which may facilitate the perception of synchronicities (before, during, and after the event). There is little needed in the way of explanation, but some explanation is in order:

The First Law of Synchronicity is the principle of Common Presence – the feeling of simply being here together in this moment, not somewhere else, and not later than… this moment! Being is the operative word.

The Second Law of Synchronicity is the phenomenon of Mutual Adjustment – without the necessity of a before and after process in time. We’ve all seen or heard this kind of thing somewhere, as in the synchronized flight of a flock of birds (especially murmuration) and in really “tight” performances by musical groups.

With a little bit of luck, this unique concert will facilitate special individual experiences within the heart-mind – one’s own personal meaning factory – of what is going on both within us and around us, synchronistically. Connections and insights arise out of music spontaneously, when time & space have been set aside for such experiences.

Diving into the sound stream, as in a concert of this kind, and catching and releasing various things along the way, is done by way of analogy to the cosmic process. This process, like the famous I Ching of the Chinese people, is a “book of changes” – gradual, sudden, recurrent, unique, and so on – and all of it merely part of the flow. The ideas inspiring this concert come in part out of the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the I Ching, a book which has been a friend of the performer’s for over forty years. The 1949 forward to the book, by C. G. Jung, aptly describes the mystery of synchronicity in contemporary terms, as in the following on page xxiv. “The ancient Chinese mind contemplates the cosmos in a way comparable to that of the modern physicist, who cannot deny that his model of the world is a decidedly psychophysical structure.”

My brief notes re “The Laws of Synchronicity” (actually six in number) are adapted from The Dramatic Universe, a four-volume work by J. G. Bennett, section 10.26.3. He cites Jung’s I Ching forward, in this choice bit clarifying synchronicity as denoting:  “a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves, as well as with the subjective (psychic) state of the observer or observers.”

Donations to help make additional events like this more feasible are gratefully accepted. For more information, please call 503.762.6387 or visit https://davidsalminen.com/

Portland, Oregon – concert – November 16, 2013

COSMIC SYMMETRIES – free fall concert – piano improvisations

David Salminen

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)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Salminen-cosmic-improvisations/125096377595660?ref=hl

http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

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