Source: The New Yorker.
he wildfires that consumed large tracts of Southern California last December came close to ravaging the rustic-bohemian town of Ojai, which has long been the seat of the Ojai Music Festival, America’s most vibrant new-music gathering. Advancing from the north, the east, and the south, the fires got within a few miles of the town before a determined firefighting effort and a lucky shift in the wind held them back. Today, if you survey the Ojai Valley from an overlook you will see charred mountainsides looming over an island of green. Not surprisingly, the 2018 festival, which took place over four days in early June, felt different from past editions, which have unleashed wild sounds in idyllic surroundings. The idyll remained, but it seemed more fragile this time. The sounds could be heard as flashbacks or as forebodings.