Theosophy and the Society in the Public Eye

The Ojai Music Festival

Alex Ross – USA

Public Eye 2 The New Yorker

[extracts from The New Yorker (July 6 & 13, 2015): 88-89]

At first glance, it is a mystery how the prosperously rustic town of Ojai, California, came to host one of the world’s great festivals of modern music. . . . In the nineteen-twenties, the Indian guru Jiddu Krishnamurti and various personalities connected with the Theosophical movement took up residence in Ojai. . . .

Public Eye 3 J  Oranges
Many years ago, Krishnamurti told a friend, “If I had nowhere to go in the world, I would come to Ojai. I would sit under an orange tree; it would shade me from the sun, and I could live on the fruit.”

On second thought, no one should be surprised that such an institution took root in Southern California. The esoteric sects that proliferated in the state at the turn of the last century had myriad connections to modernism in the arts. . . .

Public Eye 4 Besant Hill School Eos Dorm
Besant Hill School

. . . At a morning concert at the Besant Hill School—an institution whose founders included Krishnamurti and Aldous Huxley—I.C.E. [the International Contemporary Ensemble] presented Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “In the Light of Air,” for viola, cello, piano, harp, percussion, and electronics.

Public Eye 5 Anna Thorvaldsdottir
Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir

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