The Music of David Salminen

Posts tagged ‘music’

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

October 27, 2012 concert in Portland, Oregon

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…

David’s spring piano concert – Portland, Oregon

Sat, March 24, 2012, 3 pm – no charge, but donations welcome
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!

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