Friday, June 06, 2008

30 Second Spot - Ojai Music Festival - Important Outdoor Concert

Weeks ago I got an email from the Ojai Music Festival inviting me to "Bloggers Night" on June fifth. The invitation didn't actually make it clear that I was being offered a free ticket but it did stress that this event was in honor of music critic Alan Rich's new blog.

Mixed Meters has ragged on both Alan and the festival in the past. You might want to read my posts: In Which Wealth Has Its Privileges and Rich Critic, Poor Critic. I would like you to read them.

The invitation touted before and after concert receptions and a "special bloggers section with wireless capabilities". How cool is that? We bloggers could instantly report on every wrong note as it happens.

Libbey Bowl Ojai Music Festival (c) Gamma Infinity
Mixed Meters announces rather prominently (at the top of "Hey Over Here on the Left") that "This is not a music blog" but it does not stress that Mr. Mixed Meters (that's me by another name) does not fancy himself a music critic. I do like to quote silly things critics write. But that's different.

Mr. Meters does fancy myself a sort of composer - actually a "failed composer" - but still a composer, you know a person who creates music. And he/I believes that his/my time is better expended actually creating music than attending concerts especially those which portend long drives, bad acoustics and music of low interest to me or low relevance to my actual career (as a music copyist/engraver/editor).

In other words, a year from now (and forever after until my memory forgets), I will consider the evening of June 5, 2008 better spent writing one minute of my own music than attending Bloggers Night at the Ojai Festival. I've done this sort of thing before: read this and that.

So ... instead of attending Bloggers Night, I hiked up to my local Starbucks, laptop in messenger bag, and composed music. I entitled the piece "Ojai Music Festival - Important Outdoor Concert". Musically it has nothing to do with the music presented in Ojai. Or the Ojai Festival. Or anything really. I enjoyed writing it. People kept interrupting me to talk about music.



"Ojai Music Festival - Important Outdoor Concert" (c) June 5, 2008 by David Ocker, 67 seconds.

Let me explain the word "important" in the title. It refers to my Theory of Musical Importance. A composer gains a bit of Importance from each commission, performance, recording, prize, award, news article, interview etc.

A composer's pieces are programmed because of the composer's importance not their talent. (Okay, if your blood pressure just soared reading this please go read the MM post which includes my musical manifesto and Flight of the Rhino. Whatever that means.)

Blame Music bumper sticker (c) David Ocker
Here in Southern California the Ojai Festival is now second only to the LA Philharmonic in its ability to award importance to composers or reward them with increased importance. Until recently Ojai probably was neck and neck with the Monday Evening Concerts for second place. (I believe both Ojai and MEC have a common origin in the person of Lawrence Morton - and possibly others.)

Read Lawrence Morton's obituary at the NY Times.

Read about 30 Second Spots.

The picture of Libby Bowl comes from Gamma Infinity.

Oh ... one more thing:
Dear Ojai Music Festival -
Thanks for the invitation. I can't make it that night. I've got other things to do.
David.


Post Script: Here's a link to a blog post about this very concert at Ojai by Brian of Out West Arts (an opera blog). He must have gotten the same invite I did. Brian also talks about importance - but of blogs not of composers. Unlikely that he reads MM.

Important Tags: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 comment:

Daniel Wolf said...

David --

I share your sentiments about Lawrence Morton (as much a roadblock as anything for new music in LA), but let's not forget that the Monday Evening Concerts were founded by Peter Yates (as Evenings on the (Yates' house) Roof), who was a much more interesting musical personality.