The Music of David Salminen

Posts tagged ‘breakthrough’

David’s summer concert – Portland, Oregon

 David Salminen, pianist – in concert

“The Zone of Avoidance”

(cosmic improvisations)


(photo by Christopher Vardas)

Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 2 pm

Portland Piano Company

711 SW 14th Ave in Portland, Oregon 97205       phone 503.775.2480

Admission: this event is offered to the public, on a “pay what you want”  basis.

The “Zone of Avoidance” – or ZoA – is a term coined by the astronomer Edwin Hubble, after whom NASA’s famous & awe-inspiring space-based Hubble telescope is named. For many years, optical astronomers avoided looking into or across our Milky Way’s galactic equator, because of the obscuring effects of interstellar dust. Early optical “efforts” were better spent looking elsewhere – anywhere else – than directly into the ZoA!

However, in recent years, it has become possible for us – embedded though we are on a spiral-arm of the Milky Way galaxy – to finally look straight into & through the ZoA, using innovations like radio astronomy and infra-red imaging. At the right wavelengths, the visually opaque galactic plane becomes transparent, and the ZoA changes into whole new realms of interest and possibility!

Artistically, the “avoidance” notion is a veritable cornucopia of metaphor. So much of the world we live in seems opaque to us… yet it can be very productive to turn our attention toward our own private “ZoA’s”, looking with different eyes. In another metaphor, to be really experiencing the flow of music is an ever fresh and by definition “harmonious” way to explore perceptions.

Always evolving, the music David manifests comes out of long experience in cultivating the mutual benefits to both performer and audience in putting attention on the creative process in music, rather than the roles of  “presenting” something or “receiving” something. The traditional roles of performer and audience are still there, of course, but the aim is to activate another dimension of appreciation – the spontaneous element in all art. In any event – in all forms of music presentation – it can be postulated that there are still the same three creative elements: an expressive manifestation through an artist – the attention and inner life “river rafting” of listeners – and the ineffable mystery of music itself.

Salminen’s education in classical music included: the David Hochstein Music School in Rochester, NY (Louise Young, Chuck Mangione); Clark University in Worcester, Mass (Relly Raffman, Wesley Fuller); the Sherborne Academy in England (J.G. & Elizabeth Bennett, Anthony Hodgson, et al.); and the University of Alaska (Jean-Paul Billaud, Dean Epperson). Another major influence was Vipassana meditation training with The Ven. Vira “Bhante” Dharmawara.

Transition: In 1979, after twenty years of classical training, David’s connection with music began to change. His emerging knack for improvisation brought him into new musical situations with dancers and singers & also with meditative musical healing – a dynamically audible working through and re-blending of the energies of experience. This work – or play – has led to many concerts over the past 30-odd years, of extemporized music exploring extra-musical themes – often cosmic in nature. Combined with guidance in music appreciation, this format fosters a creative blending of the known with the unexpected…  so much so, in fact, that people coming to David’s concerts often find that afterwards they hear anew the joyousness of other music – both live and recorded.

Music recordings, videos, blog, etc.

More videos:

For more information: phone (503) 762-6387     email

Salminen’s music “contains the very spark of life, and the listeners catch that spark.”      Julia Sopalski, The Anchorage Times

Salminen “uses his rather unconventional methods to create [music] bursting with life, feeling, and spectral intensity.”                   Metro Magazine, Anchorage, Alaska


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