The Music of David Salminen

Posts tagged ‘music’

Spring concert: The Cosmic Light Horizon

Vardas Pictures 1 083                                                                            April 7, 2018 ~ 3 pm to 430 pm (with an intermission)  ~  Classic Pianos Recital Hall, 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, Oregon 97202 ~ phone (503) 546-5622 ~ all ages ~ donations welcome ~

Salminen’s concerts, since his cosmological series of concerts began with “Beyond Termination Shock” in 2005, are often remarked upon by people as being musical meditations. This particular concert was inspired by the astronomical phenomenon known as the Cosmic Light Horizon, which refers to the limit as to how far back in time our telescopes can see into the history of the Universe, and begs the question, “What is beyond that Horizon?” Metaphorically, we can go farther and use music as a way to contemplate “What is beyond the beyond?” as a kind of impossible query, like a Zen Koan. In honor of the late Stephen Hawking, this concert is dedicated to him and inspired by a direct quotation taken from an interview on National Geographic’s StarTalk, “The boundary condition of the universe… is that it has no boundary.”

From critics and fans: “At David’s concerts, “We, the listeners, become the music.” ~ Cheryl Kolander, Aurora Silk.    “contains the very spark of life” ~ Julia Sopalski, for The Anchorage Times.    “Salminen uses his rather unconventional methods to create [music] bursting with life, feeling and spectral intensity.” ~ Metro Magazine, Anchorage, Alaska

For more information ~ see the website:  ~ or email:



do-re-mi… the creative process


It may well be that Western music’s “major scale” is a musical metaphor:  do is the moment of commitment. re is establishing contact with the work you’re doing, the process. mi is when you start to feel the process taking on a life of its own. mi-fa is a crisis point, wherein you suffer some disillusionment with certain presumptions and expectations. sol is when the power returns… you’re more than halfway there! But also here is temptation, the temptation to “coast”. la is when you re-commit, on a deeper level, knowing that in following the process, you have a chance to enter into the truly creative – something unforeseeable. si-do is the transition to letting go of the “push” and just allowing the result to manifest itself! ~ David Salminen’s re-working of a very old tradition, inspired by J.G. Bennett’s explanation of Gurdjieff’s mysterious law of heptaparaparshinokh, found in Bennett’s book: “Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales”.

David Salminen’s Oct. 28, 2017 concert in Portland, Oregon, USA

David’s next concert, in Portland, Oregon, on Oct. 28, 2017, 1 pm, is inspired by thinking about “The Relative Brightness of the Stars”. It will happen at the Recital Hall inside of Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR, USA 97202.

It turns out that stars, just like us humans, have life cycles… most stars can be found in what astronomers call “the main sequence”… but there are many outliers, as well. The stars are similar to us, or – as we are each and all made of star dust – we are similar to the stars. (No admission charge; donations to help cover expenses and support David’s efforts are welcome.) Please share this announcement with your friends as you see fit.


inspiring the July 10, 2016 concert in Portland, Oregon

bluemarbleearth_npp_8000-NASA imageNASA image – public domain

David Salminen’s concerts over the past few years start from an idea or a feeling generated by a Cosmic perspective about our place in the Universe, or our understanding of some aspect of the Universe. The July 10, 2016 “EARTH – YOU ARE HERE” concert comes more from a feeling than an idea – a feeling for our home planet, a place so rare – unique really, to the best of our certain knowledge – that we cannot overemphasize its importance to us, in terms of place and time.While I am not closed to the idea of life on other worlds – even on many planets throughout the Universe, what we know for sure at this point is that our home planet, Earth, is the place, in the whole of the Universe, that we know is hospitable to life forms such as us. In this sense, the oneness of life here on Earth, as well as our individual lives as we each experience life, is central – the very center – of the Universe.  “Each of us – whoever and wherever he may be – is then the center, and within him, whether he knows it or not, is that Mind at Large, the laws of which are the laws not only of all minds but of all space as well. For as I have already pointed out, we are the children of this beautiful planet that we have lately seen photographed from the moon. We were not delivered into it by some god. but have come forth from it.” page 274 of Joseph Campbell’s book “Myths to Live By”.


When I can remember myself…

Vardas Pictures 1 083

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.


“Music, as the beauty of sound…”

“Music, as the beauty of sound, proceeds from a transcendental affirmation that is beyond all self-hood. Music in nature does not differ, in any essential way, from music in art. The thrush and the nightingale, the bull, the stallion and the lion are all artists re-creating in sound the cosmic affirmation which brought them into existence. From the time that earth first received its atmosphere, the music of wind and waves was there, a thousand million years before life had ears to hear it.” – an excerpt from “The Dramatic Universe” by J.G. Bennett (Vol III, p. 112)


announcement: the Portland “Synchronicity” concert 3/30/2014

The Second Law of Synchronicity – David Salminen – live in concert – exploratory piano improvisations

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 pm
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland, OR 97205

This concert is a chance to listen to music under special conditions which may facilitate the perception of synchronicities (before, during, and after the event). There is little needed in the way of explanation, but some explanation is in order:

The First Law of Synchronicity is the principle of Common Presence – the feeling of simply being here together in this moment, not somewhere else, and not later than… this moment! Being is the operative word.

The Second Law of Synchronicity is the phenomenon of Mutual Adjustment – without the necessity of a before and after process in time. We’ve all seen or heard this kind of thing somewhere, as in the synchronized flight of a flock of birds (especially murmuration) and in really “tight” performances by musical groups.

With a little bit of luck, this unique concert will facilitate special individual experiences within the heart-mind – one’s own personal meaning factory – of what is going on both within us and around us, synchronistically. Connections and insights arise out of music spontaneously, when time & space have been set aside for such experiences.

Diving into the sound stream, as in a concert of this kind, and catching and releasing various things along the way, is done by way of analogy to the cosmic process. This process, like the famous I Ching of the Chinese people, is a “book of changes” – gradual, sudden, recurrent, unique, and so on – and all of it merely part of the flow. The ideas inspiring this concert come in part out of the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the I Ching, a book which has been a friend of the performer’s for over forty years. The 1949 forward to the book, by C. G. Jung, aptly describes the mystery of synchronicity in contemporary terms, as in the following on page xxiv. “The ancient Chinese mind contemplates the cosmos in a way comparable to that of the modern physicist, who cannot deny that his model of the world is a decidedly psychophysical structure.”

My brief notes re “The Laws of Synchronicity” (actually six in number) are adapted from The Dramatic Universe, a four-volume work by J. G. Bennett, section 10.26.3. He cites Jung’s I Ching forward, in this choice bit clarifying synchronicity as denoting:  “a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves, as well as with the subjective (psychic) state of the observer or observers.”

Donations to help make additional events like this more feasible are gratefully accepted. For more information, please call 503.762.6387 or visit


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