The Music of David Salminen

Practice Tips – a Blog…

13 April 2022 ~ The power of the human voice… in humming to oneself, or even groaning (mindfully and on purpose), in wordless singing, and in adding positive tone to the words we speak in conversation with others or in conversation with the Unfathomable… is something very worthwhile to explore. There is nothing new about this. The origins of chanting, singing, and talking… go way, way back in history and herstory, way back to times long before written records began being kept, such as those of the Sumerians. But I would wager that many of us, in our busy modern lifestyles, hardly make any use, on a regular basis, of our ability to vocalize these days, and miss out on the healing benefits thereof. There is a wonderful book about all of this, “Toning – the Creative Power of the Voice” by Laurel Elizabeth Keyes (1907-1983). I wish I could have met her… But regardless of that, her way of working with voice and tone continues and will continue. “Toning” – by whatever name – has been and is being now rediscovered by many people the world over. It is the kind of thing that cannot be copyrighted or owned – not seriously, that is – for it is the birthright of humans everywhere.

11 April 2022 ~ Sometimes, when approaching something quite difficult for you – like improvising within a scale or chord progression that’s new to you, or looking at the beginning of a piece of music that’s new to you, it is enough to just go at it for 5 minutes or so! Something will come of it!

Creativity comes in many forms: “Vera Rubin, an astronomer who has contributed greatly to our knowledge about the dynamics of galaxies… describes her recent discovery that stars belonging to a galaxy do not all rotate in the same direction; the orbits can circle either clockwise or counter-clockwise on the same galactic plane. As is the case with many discoveries, this one was not planned. It was the result of an accidental observation… Rubin was lucky to be among the first cohort of astronomers to have access to…clear spectral analysis of nearby galaxies – a few years earlier, the details would not have been visible. But she could use this luck only because she had been, for years, deeply involved with the small details of the movements of stars. The finding was possible because the astronomer was interested in galaxies for their own sake, not because she wanted to prove a theory or make a name for herself.” ~ excerpted from the book Creativity – the psychology of discovery and invention, page 2 (first Edition 1996) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I highly recommend this particular book. It’s available from various booksellers; Amazon offers a Kindle version, as well.

“It may seem like a contradiction, but the truth is that the more complete the intention, the greater the element of spontaneity that enters with it. If you look at the work of a really great artist, the intensity of the intention that he brings to his work is the condition which allows spontaneity to enter. Do you understand? … Let us take musical improvisation. It is not true to say that when you improvise in music there should be nothing intentional about it. You have got to be able to see what comes by itself, how a theme will grow by itself and how you have to follow it. Out of what seemed to be merely an interesting theme, Beethoven could see spontaneously arising something which was really a divine inspiration. There was a transition from the one to the other, all by a number of spontaneous steps, but he was able to recognize them.” ~ excerpted from an exchange between JG Bennett and one of his students, 19 July 1964, quoted in the book Sunday Talks at Coombe Springs ~ by J.G. Bennett (Ken W.F. Pledge, editor). This 300 + page book (First Edition 2004) published by Bennett Books, was still available as of 2021 from both Bennett Books, and Amazon. It covers many themes, in addition to intention & spontaneity.

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