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2015 Ojai Music Festival

5 days, 40 events, 9 venues, 100+ musicians and 31 composers. An involving, fun, fresh and theatrical immersion in new music.

The Latest Update

2015 Festival Wrap Up

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival
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“ESSENTIAL” “AFFIRMING” “BREATH-GIVING” “DISCOVERY” “ADVENTURE” “FUN” “ABSOLUTELY, SPECTACULARLY WONDERFUL”

…were just some of the accolades we received from almost 10,000 people who attended the 2015 Ojai Music Festival from June 10 to 14. The music, the beauty of the valley, and the conviviality of the audience, the artists, and the people of Ojai all made for another outstanding Festival.

Just a few of the highlights included:

• The mesmerizing West Coast premiere of John Luther Adam’s Sila: The Breath of the World, in a free performance throughout Libbey Park that drew more than 800 people of all ages and backgrounds.
• Music Director Steven Schick’s boundless energy, extraordinary commitment, and incredible versatility.
• The remarkable collaborations of Claire Chase & Jacob Greenberg, Maya Beiser & Wu Man, Vicky Ray & Gloria Cheng, ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga, just to name a few of the brilliantly diverse musicians who performed music by more than 30 different composers from Boulez and Messiaen to the young creators nurtured by ICElab.

We’ve included just one video highlight here, but people all around the globe can hear and see all this year’s concerts from Libbey Bowl on our website – www.ojaifestival.org/look-listen/2015-festival-streaming/ – or our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/OjaiFestivals.

We think New Yorker critic Alex Ross summed it up best in his July 5 review:

To attend Ojai is to enter a happily topsy-turvy world where longtime patrons are as avid for new music as they are for classic repertory. Works are sometimes criticized for being too accessible; such was a not uncommon reaction to a piece performed at this year’s festival, Michael Harrison’s “Just Ancient Loops,” in which the cellist Maya Beiser spun out soothingly euphonious lines. Conversely, after the clarinettist Joshua Rubin sailed through Boulez’s coolly spastic “Dialogue de l’Ombre Double,” a woman behind me exclaimed, “Now, that’s real music!” She employed the tone of relief that one hears at Lincoln Center when Boulez gives way to Brahms. What is different about Ojai? It has to do, I think, simply with the power of consistency: the festival stuck to its mission, year after year, decade after decade, until, at some point, its ideal audience became the real one.

And it’s not just critics who love the Festival. We’ll leave you with one final quote from an audience member who came to Ojai for the first time this year:

It was such fun! Even though I, at first, found the music difficult to understand (where was the melody?) after a day or two I learned how to listen in a new way. This greatly expands my appreciation for and definition of all music. I’m eager to see what’s next.

Until next year!

More Updates ▼

2015 Festival Wrap Up

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival
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“EssentiaL” “Affirming” “Breath-giving” “Discovery” “Adventure” “Fun” “Absolutely, spectacularly wonderful”

…were just some of the accolades we received from almost 10,000 people who attended the 2015 Ojai Music Festival from June 10 to 14. The music, the beauty of the valley, and the conviviality of the audience, the artists, and the people of Ojai all made for another outstanding Festival.

Just a few of the highlights included:

• The mesmerizing West Coast premiere of John Luther Adam’s Sila: The Breath of the World, in a free performance throughout Libbey Park that drew more than 800 people of all ages and backgrounds.
• Music Director Steven Schick’s boundless energy, extraordinary commitment, and incredible versatility.
• The remarkable collaborations of Claire Chase & Jacob Greenberg, Maya Beiser & Wu Man, Vicky Ray & Gloria Cheng, ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga, just to name a few of the brilliantly diverse musicians who performed music by more than 30 different composers from Boulez and Messiaen to the young creators nurtured by ICElab.

We’ve included just one video highlight here, but people all around the globe can hear and see all this year’s concerts from Libbey Bowl on our website – www.ojaifestival.org/look-listen/2015-festival-streaming/ – or our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/OjaiFestivals.

We think New Yorker critic Alex Ross summed it up best in his July 5 review:

To attend Ojai is to enter a happily topsy-turvy world where longtime patrons are as avid for new music as they are for classic repertory. Works are sometimes criticized for being too accessible; such was a not uncommon reaction to a piece performed at this year’s festival, Michael Harrison’s “Just Ancient Loops,” in which the cellist Maya Beiser spun out soothingly euphonious lines. Conversely, after the clarinettist Joshua Rubin sailed through Boulez’s coolly spastic “Dialogue de l’Ombre Double,” a woman behind me exclaimed, “Now, that’s real music!” She employed the tone of relief that one hears at Lincoln Center when Boulez gives way to Brahms. What is different about Ojai? It has to do, I think, simply with the power of consistency: the festival stuck to its mission, year after year, decade after decade, until, at some point, its ideal audience became the real one.

And it’s not just critics who love the Festival. We’ll leave you with one final quote from an audience member who came to Ojai for the first time this year:

It was such fun! Even though I, at first, found the music difficult to understand (where was the melody?) after a day or two I learned how to listen in a new way. This greatly expands my appreciation for and definition of all music. I’m eager to see what’s next.

Until next year!

2015 REVIEWS ARE IN!

Posted on June 25, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

2015 REVIEWS ARE IN

Each June, the Ojai Valley transforms into a creative laboratory where audience members, industry leaders, musicians, and members of the press gather to experience transformative programming. After each Festival, we assemble feedback and comments, as well as share press reviews. You can read snippets here and visit our website for more:

http://www.ojaifestival.org/2015-festival-reviews/

“…Schick was terrific at providing an atmosphere in which musical reactions might occur. The West Coast premiere Thursday afternoon of John Luther Adams’ recent “Sila” for dozens of musicians stationed around Libbey Park gave the impression of the trees taking audible breaths, the ground groaning, the wind in happy duet with the flowers and the stones dancing. I have never seen such contented-looking musicians and listeners.” – Los Angeles Times

“The Calders, in a sensational Ojai debut, could not have brought greater cohesion and character to these complicated, at times sprawling, masterworks. The programs were also a welcome reminder that Mr. Boulez, who turned 90 in March, served as Ojai’s music director a record seven times between 1967 and 2003.” – Wall Street Journal

“This listener enjoys the spirit of experimentation that presides in Ojai and the opportunity to hear music off the beaten path.” – Orange County Register 

LA Times Review:Feeling the sonic rush at the Ojai Music Festival

Posted on June 22, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Watch the Concerts Online!

Posted on June 16, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Missed the Ojai Music Festival? You’re in luck! The Festival has recorded all of its concerts to view online. Click here to see the playlist and begin the adventure from your  home!

http://www.ojaifestival.org/look-listen/2015-festival-streaming/

 

Ojai Music Festival dances to the beat of its own drummer: Steven Schick

Posted on June 9, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Loving the feature on Steven Schick on Orange County Register:http://www.ocregister.com/articles/music-664649-schick-percussion.html

 

WQXR- Q2 Music Partnership

Posted on June 2, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Q2 Music and the Ojai Music Festival are partnering to bring you on-demand audio from past seasons of the annual four-day festival of new music in Southern California, as well as a five-part series of festival concert audio hosted by noted choreographer and 2013 Ojai music director Mark Morris

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/mark-morris-hosts-john-luther-adams-and-charles-ives-ojai/

Virtual beats: Steven Schick teaches the art of drumming online

Posted on May 29, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

The New York Times 50 Essential Summer Festivals

Posted on May 29, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

We’re in good company…Check out The New York Times Essential Summer Festivals.

Probably even Stockhausen, who in 1959 wrote “Zyklus,” the first major composition for solo percussion, wouldn’t have predicted that entire festivals would one day be devoted to the genre. That’s in no small part because of the efforts of Steven Schick — who has commissioned many works, some of which he will perform this summer at Ojai….

John Luther Adam’s ‘Sila’ finds its breath at Meridian Hill Park

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

View the Washington Post Article

Ojai will welcome John Luther Adams “Sila” with its West Coast premiere on Thursday, June 10 at Libbey Park. We’ll get the ‘full’ version with 80 musicians from California Institute of the ArtsInternational Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and red fish blue fish. http://www.ojaifestival.org/

5 Questions to 2015 Music Director Steven Schick

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Our friends at I care if you listen (.com) managed to catch up with Steven Schick long enough to ask him a few questions, ranging from his musical influences to the friends who will be joining him in Ojai this June.

http://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2015/05/5-questions-steven-schick-2015-ojai-music-director/

Wu Man discusses playing the Pipa

Posted on May 26, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival
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Thanks to our friends at Cal Performances for sharing this video of Wu Man — she’ll make her Ojai debut this June alongside Maya Beiser on Sunday June 14.

Class #3 of OjaiU2015 is now live!

Posted on May 26, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

“Stories in Sound”

with Ojai 2015 Music Director Steven Schick

Percussion is story-telling – physical story-telling, made so by the act of producing it. How you hear something depends on how you see it. Theatricality also plays a role. Percussion in part as theatre? How does the story change when you change the ways in which the sounds/music is produced?  

What You’ll Learn in this Class
Each piece of music for a perussionist requires a unique array of instruments needed to perform it. how you go about constructing that unique instrument has a lot to do with the story you want to tell with the music.

This class consists of ten short videos – seven  lessons by percussionist and 2015 Ojai Music Festival director Steven Schick – and three examples of sounds and music. In all, they should take less than an hour to watch and you can view them one after the other or bookmark the page to come back later. You can access the class here.

The course so far
We had more than 1000 visits to the first two classes 1. The Beat of the World and 2. Physicality of Sound. OjaiU is a project of the Ojai Music Festival. Share this course with your friends.

Class #2 of OjaiU2015 is now live!

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Class #2 of OjaiU2015 is now live!

“The Physicality of Sound”
with Ojai 2015 Music Director Steven Schick

When you think of sound as something physical, it changes how you think about making and hearing music. Yes sound is ephemeral, it starts to disappear in the air just as soon as you’ve heard it. But while it’s alive it has energy, it has mass, it has impact. Steven Schick talks about the physical act of producing sound, the choreography of making music that is defined by the quality of the stuff you hit and the way you hit it. 

What You’ll Learn
How you see music – the performance of it – is related to how you hear it. The act of producing a sound is part of the definition of that sound. And music is the choreography of sounds physically produced. Learn what defines an instrument and how by becoming an active listener you change your relationship with music and its performers.

This class consists of nine short videos – six  lessons by percussionist and 2015 Ojai Music Festival director Steven Schick – and three examples of sounds and music. In all, they should take less than an hour to watch and you can view them one after the other or bookmark the page to come back later. You can access the class here.

Last Week
We had more than 500 visits to last week’s class The Beat of the World. OjaiU is a project of the Ojai Music Festival. Share this course with your friends.

The First Class of OjaiU2015 is Live!

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

The First Class of OjaiU2015 is Live!

“The Beat of the World” with
Ojai 2015 Music Director Steven Schick

Our world is alive with sound. And with rhythm. Rhythm helps organize and define sound. From big rhythms like the planets circling the sun to small ones like the ticking of our hearts, we live rhythms every day. Our music is based on rhythm. But the world is also full of sounds that aren’t regular, that don’t repeat predictably, and as a musician – a percussionist – considers the sounds that will become a musical language, it is the tension and release, the juxtaposition and clash of sounds and rhythm and texture and color, and the unpredictability along with the predictability that makes music so compelling.

What You’ll Learn
Learn how a percussionist listens to the world around him and finds music in the sounds. You’ll also learn how to refine how you listen – to listen intentionally – to develop your sense of a musical vocabulary.

This class consists of ten short videos – six  lessons by percussionist and 2015 Ojai Music Festival director Steven Schick – and four examples of sounds and music. In all, they should take less than an hour to watch and you can view them one after the other or bookmark the page to come back later. You can access the class here.

Sign up for OjaiU!

Posted on April 20, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival
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OjaiU

We’re drawing connections between the larger world and the sounds we hear about us to the music that comes out of it and how our musical language has evolved. This free course is made up of four classes that should take approximately one hour each to complete. Our instructor is OMF2015 music director percussionist Steven Schick, who will explore with us the art of percussion.

In the first class we’ll explore the percussion found in nature and in our environment around us. In the second we’ll explore how objects become musical instruments. In the third, we’ll see how the context and physicality of percussion tells stories, and we’ll conclude in the fourth class with how our musical language of sound has and is evolving.

Each class will consist of video lectures, musical examples and demonstrations and listening assignments. Classes begin Monday May 11, with a new one released each Monday after that for four weeks.

Click Here to sign up and learn more about OjaiU 

TAMARA NUZZACI PARK NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

The Ojai Music Festival Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Tamara Nuzzaci Park as Executive Director beginning June 1, 2015. Park succeeds Janneke Straub as Executive Director.

Park joins the Ojai Music Festival with more than a decade of non-profit experience in the arts and cultural sectors, most recently serving as an independent consultant who collaborates with non-profit boards and executives to identify and achieve their strategic goals. Much of her work has been focused on resource development, program evaluation, retreat facilitation, and designing and guiding planning processes. She has worked with a wide range of organizations including the Curtis Institute of Music, Play On! Philly, eighth blackbird, Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Vail Valley Youth Foundation, and the Breckenridge Music Festival. Prior to that, Park served as the Executive Director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Personnel Manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also held positions of progressive responsibility at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with the school’s stakeholders on the design development and construction of a new facility, Lenfest Hall. Park received her Master of Science degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband Jin and daughter. 

“Tamara brings a rare set of abilities in both fundraising and financial operations,” said President of the Board of Directors David Nygren. “Her reputation of a strong work ethic, generous spirit, and excellent leadership will coalesce our wonderful team. We are thrilled that she and Tom Morris will guide our Festival towards Ojai’s 75th anniversary in 2021, amplifying its global prominence, and deepening its roots in Ojai. I join everyone in welcoming Tamara and her family to Ojai.” “Ojai is a rare and wondrous festival experience,” said Tamara Nuzzaci Park. “The chance to contribute to the important musical dialogue that takes place here each summer is an opportunity of a lifetime. I find the organization’s visionary leadership and remarkably clear mission inspiring and look forward to joining everyone in insuring its vibrant future.”

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR THOMAS W. MORRIS ANNOUNCES FUTURE MUSIC DIRECTORS

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016

Vijay Iyer: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017

Esa-Pekka Salonen: 72nd Festival June 7-10, 2018

“Over almost seven decades, the Ojai Music Festival has had a reputation as a creative laboratory for both artists and audiences. Deeply committed to nurturing experiences that can only be rendered through innovation, creativity and risk-taking in its programming, Ojai is an intense, involving and immersive weekend of music, discussion, and community, all in the sublime setting of Ojai. Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer and Esa-Pekka Salonen are the perfect musical visionaries to propel Ojai into its next 70 years.”– Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 69th Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced the artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new Music Director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals.

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016, and to curate this milestone, Mr. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Mr. Sellars’ partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with Music Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny with Music Director Dawn Upshaw.

For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program that is deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting some new traditions and setting out some fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary, he is known for ground-breaking interpretations of classic works. Whether Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, he strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. Mr. Sellars has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has also led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals. Initial plans for the 2016 Festival will be announced in May 2015.

The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. Mr. Iyer, a Grammy nominated polymath whose career has spanned the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, was named Downbeat magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. As The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Mr. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. As a composer he has had works commissioned and premiered by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, International Contemporary Ensemble, violinist Jennifer Koh, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Publisher Schott Music has said, “Vijay Iyer is a polymath in the truest sense of the word. He is a leader across a wide range of disciplines, but his extraordinary talent as a pianist and composer has caught the world’s attention and led to an impressive array of creative collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, orchestras, chamber and new music ensembles.”

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2018 as Music Director. (This information has been updated from a previously announced plan that showed Mr. Salonen returning to Ojai in 2017.) One of today’s foremost artists, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut as Music Director in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music, and later returned in 2001 to serve again as music director. Mr. Salonen is currently the principal conductor and artistic advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as music director for 17 years, and the first-ever creative chair at the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Through his unwavering dedication to new music and technology, he is a revitalizing force, striving to bring the symphony orchestra into the 21st century. His compositions move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Mr. Salonen’s Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. It was recently announced that Mr. Salonen will serve as composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic for the next three seasons. 

Only 8 weeks until the Festival begins!

Posted on April 10, 2015 by Ojai Music Festival

Final preparations are being made all around the Ojai community as the opening of the 2015 Festival approaches.  Single tickets are on sale through the Festival website.  If you can’t make it to Ojai this year, you can still participate online. All concerts from Libbey Bowl, the main Festival venue, will be live-streamed on our website, and we are proud to reintroduce OjaiU, our free online education program.  This year, OjaiU is led by Music Director Steven Schick, who will draw connections between the larger world and the sounds we hear about us to the music that comes out of it and how our musical language has evolved.  There are four sessions: World Beat, The Physicality of Sound, Stories in Sound, and Hitting Things: A Vocabulary in Language.  Registration required!  More information at www.ojaiu.org.

Overview

The Music Director of the 2015 Ojai Music Festival is percussionist, educator, conductor, and new music advocate Steven Schick. The program he has envisioned includes concerts, poetry, theater, interactive performances, film screenings and talks – a total of 24 events featuring works by 31 composers performed by more than 100 musicians – presented from sunrise to late at night, in and around Ojai. Six events — including the Festival’s major commission from John Luther Adams –will be presented at no charge to the public this year.

Highlights of the 2015 program include a tribute to Pierre Boulez, who served as Music Director seven times between 1967 and 2003. In celebration of his 90th birthday, the Festival will present the West Coast premiere of a multi-media portrait of  Boulez, developed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with sets designed by Frank Gehry and music performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble. Four other concerts will feature music by Boulez and composers with whom he is closely associated: Ravel, Messiaen and Bartok.  In addition, Music Director Steven Schick and French composer, director and percussionist Roland Auzet will present the United States premiere of the multi-media work, “La Cathédrale de Misère.”

Other concerts will include multiple works featuring percussion instruments — solo, ensemble, and in combination with other instruments — performed by Steven Schick, ICE, and red fish blue fish; and both contemporary and world music performed by renowned pipa player Wu Man.

The centerpiece of the free concerts will be the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World, a monumental, alluring and mystical 70-minute work for 80 musicians and singers, inspired by Sila, the spirit that animates all things in the Inuit tradition. Performers will include ICE, red fish blue fish, and students and recent alumni from CalArts. Presented in Libbey Park, audience members will be encouraged to move freely around the musicians to experience the work from multiple visual and acoustic perspectives.

We expect to sell more than 7,000 tickets, engage more than 3,400 people in free events and reach more than 14,000 people worldwide through live-streaming and OjaiU, four interactive online programs that explore musical topics related to this year’s Festival. One week later, the Festival moves to Berkeley, California at Cal Performances for “Ojai at Berkeley.”

 

Project Media

John Luther Adams, Sila: The Breath of the World
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World premiere performance at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, July 25, 2014. Performance begins at 4:45.

Paul Drescher, Schick Machine
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Features: Steve Schick

Excerpts of a performance given in 2009 at University of California, Davis.

Roland Auzet, La cathedrale de misere
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Features: Steve Schick

Excerpts of a previously recorded performance given in France. The work is a staged realization of German artist Kurt Schwitter’s Ursonate (1922-1932), one of the earliest examples of sound poetry.

Start and End Dates

06/10/201506/14/2015

Location

Ojai, California

20 updates
Last update on July 14, 2015

Project Created By

Ojai, California
The annual Ojai Music Festival is an intensive and immersive musical experience bringing together creative artists and inquisitive audiences around intrepid programming. The Festival takes place over four days in June with more than 25 events from dawn to late night, in venues both indoors and out, across the village of Ojai. Each year we…

In Collaboration With

Music Director
Guest artists
New York, New York
Venue for Ojai North
Berkeley, California
Producer, Pierre Boulez: A Video and Musical Celebration

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