Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Pauline Frechette – The Sacred Mountains of Ojai Review

Pauline Frechette – The Sacred Mountains of Ojai Review

December 4th, 2017. It’s a seemingly meaningless date. It’s a regular work day, a Monday and it’s not a holiday. It was the 338th day of the calendar year, it was the 49th Monday of 2017 and it’s within the window of the Sagittarius.

None of the things I just mentioned are important, yet December 4th, 2017, is a very important date. It’s important because it was on that day, at 6:28pm, the Thomas Fire, the massive wildfire which attacked Ventura County and Santa Barbara in California, was first reported.

This fire, fueled by the raging Santa Ana Winds, burned over 280 thousand acres, destroyed at least 1,060 structures and caused over 2.2 billion in damages making it California’s eighth most destructive fire in history.

This fire took over 1,000 firefighters and 39 days to reach 100% containment after the rains finally ended the last few flames. Thousands were displaced out of their homes and the citizens of Ojai were damaged the most as Ojai was the heart of the fire.

While tragedy and devastation are horrific events, they are also events that bring out the better qualities of humanity. This is when volunteers emerge, and people show kindness, care and assistance to their fellow man. A time when firefighters, many who are volunteers themselves, put their lives on the line to assist their fellow man. A time when many brave and caring citizens step forward to help freighters and those who have lost their homes. While a fire is horrifying, the heroism it engenders is something to be admired, something to be proud of.

And that’s what happened in Ojai. Hundreds and hundreds of volunteers arrived to show their aid and support. There were food and donation drives and people were taken care of. There were volunteers who stayed behind in the evacuation zones to feed anybody left in the area including those who decided to defend their homes.

While this was a tragedy, there was something inspiring and uplifting about seeing everybody come together to help one another. I, along with many Californians and US citizens, tracked the Thomas Fire, but months later, I eventually forgot about it. At least, until I came across a beautiful new classical song.

I was looking for new music and I found that Pauline Frechette, a Billboard Charting singer, composer and lyricist I had reviewed before, had released a new classical song. The song is full of emotion. There’s beauty and sorrow, fear and elation and a blend of notes and design which tell a story. You can hear her passion as she plays the piano and I knew this was telling some tragic yet triumphant story.

Well, that story brought me back to the Thomas Fires. Pauline was living in Ojai at the time of the fires and had to evacuate, but she made the decision her home would come out unscathed. You can even see the photo which is on the cover of this release which is a real shot of the mountains burning near her home.

While some may call it a change of the winds, or a stroke of luck, I call it Pauline’s pure determination that caused the fire to change course and miss her home. This song, The Sacred Mountains of Ojai, tells the story of the fire and her and the communities’ brave fight against it.

It’s beautiful, empowering and elegant. I encourage you to download or stream and listen to it and then tell others to do the same. The inspiration and beauty of the piece is much needed to soothe those who have suffered losses in fires or other natural tragedies

You can learn more about Pauline Frechette at and watch her music video, which includes paintings by local Ojai artists who memorialized the tragic events,

Ron Powers



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