There is a particular Bach fugue that I like to practice (I am a keyboard artist) to the mental rhythm of “I love you, (wife’s name)”. It works for me, as a kind of meditation. I leave out the exact identifications here, of both the fugue and my wife, as that sort of thing is different for every musician/husband, artist/wife, plumber/partner, et al.
Archive for the ‘water’ Category
(photo credit – NASA image – public domain)
“Earth – You Are Here”
David Salminen, piano improvisations
July 10, 2016, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 – phone 503.775.2480
free admission and open to the public – donations welcome
The idea behind this “Earth – You Are Here” concert is suggested by the NASA images of Earth from space, beginning from the time of the Apollo missions of the late 1960’s and continuing. These images remind us of the unity of humanity and the wholeness of life as we know it – from a cosmic perspective. David’s improvisations build intuitively and spontaneously on the extraordinary resonances that are possible with the modern grand piano, via the 88 keys as entry points, in activating the sounding board as a vehicle for a holistic experience of endlessly evolving complexes of harmony and harmonics.
BY THE WAY – If you can’t attend in person – please check this out, for the fun of it:
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.
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)
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 .
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”.
THE NATURE OF WATER – Sunday, August 17, 2014 – 3 pm
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave, Portland Oregon
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:
For more information, call 503-762-6387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org