The Music of David Salminen

Posts tagged ‘nature’

The Sun and the Air – winter concert – Portland, Oregon, USA

black hat photo by C Vardas

David Salminen in concert – solo piano

3 p.m. Sunday, January 31, 2016 – open to the public – no tickets necessary – donations to support the artist and the work are welcome.

Portland Piano Company

711 SW 14th Avenue, Portland Oregon

http://portlandpianocompany.com

There’s something special about the sun and the air at this time of year, different from the warmer seasons. Whether the day is gray or rainy or sunny, it is… winter… nature is resting, somewhat. While many of us are looking forward toward Spring, and the return of longer days, and the rush of greenery as it comes out of hiding, the special quality of winter days and nights is not something to be taken for granted. Contemplating any particular season is an avenue into a deeper relationship with all the seasons – and life in general.

Salminen’s concerts are a kind of guided tour toward finding wholeness and oneness for the individual, in larger and larger contexts – thus the tag “cosmic”. The poetic themes, images, and ideas of any one concert represent particular facets of a deepening human awareness, and the healing of any sense of isolation or alienation from life & nature, the solar system & the galaxy, oneself, and other people. Music, being a time-based art form, offers the opportunity to play with transformational impulses in process, as on-going moments that have both continuity and non-continuity. Non-continuity is when something new breaks into the stream of consciousness that is of a different kind, even while being an integral part of the whole “piece”. It is that dynamic quality of music which gives us a different way of understanding our lives – different from things like  philosophy (words) or imagery (pictures). Of course, philosophy and imagery and all the arts each have their place, but music is something else, and David, in his concerts, strives to realize that “something else” explicitly.

“Music is the only language that can give voice to the ineffable. The feelings that arise listening to David’s work share a kinship with the witness and awe many of us feel when seeing the interstellar wonders scoped by Hubble. But the greater gift in his music is the invitation to explore those inner worlds that saints and sages have been messaging us about for ages. This is the music of the spheres of the highest order, a taste of the wine-dark endlessness that embraces our origins and our destiny.” James Farrelly, Caretaker of Sheep at Asteroid B-612

Examples of David’s concert music are available on his website – things like “The Efficiency of Black Holes” and “Andromeda”, and more.

 

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musing along…

It is a whim of mine to imagine the possibility of greater “in sync” feelings for the cosmos, available – in reality – for each one & every one of us on this extraordinary planetary home we call Earth… a planet which has been described by our astronauts in space, a little ways out from their home, as a beautiful “blue marble”.

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

http://www.portlandpianocompany.com

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:

https://davidsalminen.com/music/   – as well as –    http://vimeo.com/52173622

For more information, call 503-762-6387 or email david@wholeworks.net

 

 

“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)

David’s long-term project

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

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