“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.
Posts tagged ‘meditation’
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 email@example.com
DAVID SALMINEN – in concert – cosmic piano improvisations
Experiences in Synchronicity
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 pm
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205
David’s concerts invite the audience to play with the possibilities of opening up to the wholeness of life – known and unknown, big and small, friend and foe. This wholeness is often thought of in metaphorical terms as the river of time. Yet, the experiences of meaningful coincidence labeled as synchronicity are not necessarily dependent on time relations. People, events and sensations flow into and out of one’s present moment embrace, and there is a constant re-mixing and re-blending into new harmonies of meaning beyond passing sensations. While music itself is the very symbol of harmony, the kinds of harmony we speak of here are merely reflected in music as such. New harmonies of various kinds are discovered in listening, really listening… When listening becomes a general attitude of receptiveness towards the mystery – beyond, within, or between sounds and sound patterns – something different from music is possible. At his concerts, David always shares some tips on how to listen “fresh” and notice new things… the audience members are free to make their own discoveries:
“Unconstrained by concepts of necessary harmony, repetitions or fixed rhythms, the music swells into the space, forming a matrix for an intense experience of group meditation. We, the listeners, become the music.” Cheryl Kolander, author/artist, Aurora Silk
Donations or sponsorships to help support these musical discovery events are greatly appreciated.
for more information, call 503.762.6387 or visit https://davidsalminen.com/music/
“I constantly have three treasures; Hold onto them and treasure them. The first is compassion; The second is frugality; And the third is not presuming to be at the forefront in the world. Now, it’s because I’m compassionate that I therefore can be courageous; And it’s because I’m frugal that I therefore can be magnanimous; And it’s because I don’t presume to be at the forefront in the world that I therefore can be the head of those with complete talent.”
Te-Tao Ching, Chapter 67. Translated by Robert G. Henricks from the Ma-wang-tui Texts. This is a most excellent translation. It incorporates the 1973 discovery, of early copies of Lao-Tzu’s classic, in the village of Ma-wang-tui in Hunan Province – published by Ballantine Books, 1989.
Prelude to my concert in Portland, Oregon, Oct 27, 2012 – 3 pm – at the Sherman Clay Pianos facility (no tickets necessary): Now I’m really gearing up for the concert this Saturday, which is dedicated to the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. I can’t pretend to follow all the scientific details and speculations about sub-atomic particle physics, what’s next in terms of research into the Higgs boson and how it operates, etc. But I still believe that it’s useful for non-scientists like myself to try to follow the gist of it. And also – as a non-scientist artist, I think that it’s important for members of the society at large to contemplate what these contemporary developments on the frontiers of discovery might mean to us. So, I’m dipping into several books on the topic – even one published just after the Higgs boson discovery was first announced out of CERN in Europe on July 4, 2012. You know, (you may know this) the physicist who’s work was central to predicting the existence of Higgs bosons some 40 years ago, particles which are said to go along with and somehow interact with quarks and gluons… a veritable “zoo” of sub-atomic particles… in order to give them “mass”, a fellow named Peter Higgs, was still alive to see this validation of his theoretical work! That alone is interesting to me, that a person might say to the world that such and such a “thing” must be there, according to his calculations and ideas, somewhere in the virtually unseen world, and then to be validated some decades later when the technology and testing procedures catch up with his predictions. So, I’m enjoying some far out reading, and imagining different ways to make music to match…
Sat, March 24, 2012, 3 pm – no charge, but donations welcome
THE COSMOLOGICAL CONSTANT: DARK ENERGY – Sherman Clay Pianos
131 NW 13th Ave (parking across the street) – Portland, Oregon
The program will consist of improvisations (although not without much hidden preparation) inspired by the notion of the vast unknown. In cosmology, the unknown can be symbolized by the still unexplained “dark energy” that could account for the evidence of recent years showing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating into the future at a remarkable rate. The unknown is also perhaps exemplified in our own lives, by the experience of the interplay in psychological terms between the various levels of personal consciousness and the great, largely unknown collective unconscious postulated by C.G. Jung. With the help of an attentive audience, I’m hoping to musically evoke a sense of relaxing deeply into these cosmological and psychological worlds in ways both restful and exhilarating… this is an artistic/poetic music meditation, of course, not a scientific experiment. Aside from a few suggestive ideas here and there, I leave it to you as to how you will listen to the piano improvisations I create, and as to how the meaning or experience you create for yourself will unfold. I hope you can join us – and feel free to invite your friends!
The free concert at 3 pm, Saturday, October 29, 2011 – “Into the Dark” – at the Sherman Clay Pianos recital hall in Portland feels quite imminent to me now. After all, it’s been coming together as a musical inspiration for about nine months, initiated really by a perhaps offhand comment from my friend Anthony Blake… but it is part of a much longer arc of creativity:
Beyond what I have written elsewhere, let me try to explain… I am on a long-term journey to create musical occasions in which we can get at something deeper than a “spectacle” or an “experience” – both of which are fine, as far as they go. I hold dear the ancient idea of music in various cultures. For instance, I relish the attitudes of the classical Greek culture, which held that “music is a moral law” (Plato) and the ancient Chinese, who expected the Emperor to “set the tone” – as a musical pitch, literally – for the coming year. I am most inspired, however, by a more modern approach as found for instance in Kepler, who was looking for a “harmony of the spheres” corresponding to the actual observational data that was being collected in his time – for the first time, as far as we know, in human history – about the movement of the planets. For much of my life, I myself have been looking at these things as metaphors for new kinds of self-perception for us as individuals and for even the human race as a whole. Years ago I read in a book by a particular musicologist who I greatly respect, about the usefulness of the Ptolemaic point of view (the earth is the center of all things, with various heavens or layers of reality above it) as an aid to meditation, as compared with the post-Copernican model, which is – according to some – less amenable for most of us as a metaphor or picture of spiritual unfolding. This bothered me; why should contemporary meditation or mysticism be dependent on outmoded models of the universe! I suppose that I have always been something of a mystic, but I am also the son of a scientist… and somehow, I have always, also by nature I guess, been looking for progress in mysticism that could be parallel to, and not divorced from, the development of the sciences of our time. These days, due to the immense progress being made “as we speak” in astrophysics and cosmology, much of it having to do with researches into the nature of gravity, and the application of what is called “gravitational lensing” – which has been poetically referred to now as “Einstein’s Telescope” *– there are whole new vistas of understanding and contemplation opening up that are just waiting for us to enter, to appreciate, and to share.
*”Einstein’s Telescope -the hunt for dark matter and dark energy in the universe” is the title of a fine book by Evalyn Gates