The Music of David Salminen

Posts tagged ‘listening’

Portland, Oregon concert, Sunday 3 pm March 12, 2017

“The Call of the Cosmos” …come join me for the unveiling of new piano improvisations linking spontaneity with classical impulses… a relaxing tribute to  multi-sensory imagination… learn how to listen to the Cosmos with X-ray vision!

David Salminen in concert, 3 pm Sunday, March 12, 2017 (Please remember that our clocks “spring forward” at 2 a.m. that Sunday morning.)

open to the public – supported by donations

CLASSIC PIANOS Recital Hall (503) 239-9969

3003 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Website & map:

for more information please email: david@wholeworks.netngc6357-winter-wonderland

NGC 6357 – located in our galaxy – about 5,500 light years from Earth – Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/L. Townsley et al; Optical: UKIRT;  Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The Jan 15, 2017 “Cosmos” concert has been cancelled


image: NASA – Hubble telescope – outer space… stars & galaxies


David Salminen’s improvisational concerts, in addition to being live demonstrations of the pleasures and surprises of the spontaneous moment, are vehicles for communicating ways in which listening to music can foster creativity in anyone, in any area a person has a need for it… these events are not simply about music. Really, so much in our lives could be improved, made better, etc. with a little bit more creativity, and we all possess unlimited potential for it – fresh ideas & new ways of seeing, hearing, and doing things. Dedication: In appreciation of Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016, an American composer and the champion of “deep listening”.

At David’s concerts “We, the listeners, become the music.”                  Cheryl Kolander – Aurora Silk

For more information:
Phone: 503-762-6387

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

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

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:   – as well as –

For more information, call 503-762-6387 or email



Experiences in Synchronicity

An intriguing idea on how to listen to music – simple and direct – from the Ukranian-born composer Thomas de Hartmann (1885-1956): “Look into the depths of eternity.” David Salminen’s concert today, 3 pm March 30, 2014, at the Portland Piano Company in Portland, Oregon, will afford circumstances conducive to practicing that kind of listening. Join us if you can! But if you can’t, and you’re nonetheless interested in listening to music more effectively – drop me a line. Maybe we can find a way to chat about it. Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205
Donations to help make additional events more feasible are gratefully accepted.
For more information, call 503.762.6387


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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