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Wednesday May 22, 2013 12:00 PM PDT
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Ojai Music Festival
805-646-2094 ext. 104

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The Ojai Music Festival serves up some of the most thought-provoking music and programming, continuing a musical conversation that was begun more than six decades ago, and which has over the years included hundreds of musicians and composers, including some of the most illustrious names in music -- Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez and Michael Tilson-Thomas.

So are you getting the most out of the conversation?

We want to help!

Introducing OjaiU, a three-week online course launching Wednesday, May 15 designed to help you listen smarter and get deeper insights into music. This is not a “program notes” exercise. It’s built around the ideas that animate thinking behind a festival like Ojai, featuring insights by performers, critics and experts, and encouraging interaction between participants interested in stretching their music understanding. Each class will consist of videos, listening examples and discussions and will take about 30 minutes to complete.

We’ll use music and ideas core to this summer’s Ojai Music Festival (June 6-9, 2013) as examples. After participating in the course, if you attend the Festival you’ll have better insight to what you’ll hear. If you won’t be in Ojai, you can watch and listen to the live or archived streams of many of the concerts.

The course is led by Douglas McLennan, editor and founder of ArtsJournal.com, and features guest instructors including Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, choreographer and 2013 Music Director Mark Morris, filmmaker Eva Soltes, Los Angeles Times’ classical music critic Mark Swed, music and dance critic John Rockwell, composer John Luther Adams, provost and dean of The Julliard School Ara Guzelimian, and pianist Jeremy Denk

    The three classes include:

    Class #1: Ideas and the Power of Music 
    Great art says something about the culture around it. Just how that happens is easy to see in visual art or theatre or dance. But music is largely an abstract art form. So how does music engage ideas? Does music have important things to say about our contemporary culture?

    Class #2: Music in its Place 
    Music is an evocative art. A few bars can set you in the Old West, a busy city or a faraway country. Music can also express identity. But how? Certainly by quoting cultural references we all know. But the relationships between composers, their music, and the places they want to evoke can be much more complicated. The music of composers such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives and John Luther Adams not only works to evoke place and identity, but also to interact and adapt to the places, context and circumstances in which the music is being performed and heard.

    Class #3: Dance and Music, a Love Story (It’s a little more complicated than that)
    For many, it’s tough to imagine dance without music; the two are inextricably linked. So does dance come out of music? And if so, is dance a subordinate art? Or is it more subtle than that – a collaboration, a partnership or dialogue? We’ll explore the relationship.