When I can remember myself a little more consistently, it is music that I believe in… along the lines of the famous Leonard Bernstein remark – to the effect that his response to violence would be to pursue music more passionately than ever, or Albert Schweitzer’s famous footnote to all his philosophizing about “reverence for life” – something to the effect that his life was his argument. Many good and generous people have made possible my development as a musician, by showing up and giving attention to my spontaneous aspiration toward harmony via mellifluous string plucking at the piano, and this has helped make my life meaningful. Remarkably, the making happen & the taking in of music & art, and any effort toward value realization, gives one courage – courage from the inside – a courage not dependent on external recognition. This kind of courage is linked to maturity and self-realization – not as a claim, but as an aim.
Archive for the ‘music’ Category
“Know your strengths and own them and don’t apologize for them.” attributed to Annabel Acton (seen on the Forbes.com website, 5/11/16) – As a kind of example… I have been able to improvise at the piano, quite amiably, since the beginning of my own memories, from around the age of 5. More importantly, as I discovered in the fall of 1980, it is possible to improvise with great purpose and result, given special circumstances. Describing such “circumstances” could result in a very long story – and one that I hope to be able to share someday. Meanwhile – let me just say that I am very, very grateful to all the people who have attended my musical meditations over the past 30-odd years, with the kind of openness and attitude that facilitates a methodology driven by spontaneity.
David Salminen in concert – solo piano
3 p.m. Sunday, January 31, 2016 – open to the public – no tickets necessary – donations to support the artist and the work are welcome.
Portland Piano Company
711 SW 14th Avenue, Portland Oregon
There’s something special about the sun and the air at this time of year, different from the warmer seasons. Whether the day is gray or rainy or sunny, it is… winter… nature is resting, somewhat. While many of us are looking forward toward Spring, and the return of longer days, and the rush of greenery as it comes out of hiding, the special quality of winter days and nights is not something to be taken for granted. Contemplating any particular season is an avenue into a deeper relationship with all the seasons – and life in general.
Salminen’s concerts are a kind of guided tour toward finding wholeness and oneness for the individual, in larger and larger contexts – thus the tag “cosmic”. The poetic themes, images, and ideas of any one concert represent particular facets of a deepening human awareness, and the healing of any sense of isolation or alienation from life & nature, the solar system & the galaxy, oneself, and other people. Music, being a time-based art form, offers the opportunity to play with transformational impulses in process, as on-going moments that have both continuity and non-continuity. Non-continuity is when something new breaks into the stream of consciousness that is of a different kind, even while being an integral part of the whole “piece”. It is that dynamic quality of music which gives us a different way of understanding our lives – different from things like philosophy (words) or imagery (pictures). Of course, philosophy and imagery and all the arts each have their place, but music is something else, and David, in his concerts, strives to realize that “something else” explicitly.
“Music is the only language that can give voice to the ineffable. The feelings that arise listening to David’s work share a kinship with the witness and awe many of us feel when seeing the interstellar wonders scoped by Hubble. But the greater gift in his music is the invitation to explore those inner worlds that saints and sages have been messaging us about for ages. This is the music of the spheres of the highest order, a taste of the wine-dark endlessness that embraces our origins and our destiny.” James Farrelly, Caretaker of Sheep at Asteroid B-612
Examples of David’s concert music are available on his website – things like “The Efficiency of Black Holes” and “Andromeda”, and more.
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 .
Musical improvisation has been an essential part of me since early childhood, although it has become vastly more sophisticated (I daresay), since I “went professional” in my 20’s, through decades now of intentional nurturing. Is my predilection for improv and spontaneity opposed to all the classical training I had in childhood, as well as in college, or complementary to it? I lean towards the notion of complementarity. One thing is for sure – any time I work on standard classical repertoire, I am well reminded of how challenging and worthy of respect the re-creative way of doing music really is!
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)
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.