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'A Deep Dive into Six Classic Albums', online class at Stanford University. Oct 5 - Nov 9

Posted August 28, 2023

Over the past five decades, Joni Mitchell has created a body of songs and recordings that defies definition. Her influence on subsequent generations of musicians, from Prince to Taylor Swift to Diana Krall, is almost unmatched. She is the bridge between the rise of the folk singer after World War II and the current generation of multimedia musical artists. In this course, we will study six recordings that marked Mitchell’s transition from an ethereal folk performer to a badass jazz/rock innovator who collaborated with such major figures as Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. We will look closely at her lyric style and her unique approach to musical composition, tuning, and sound. The instructor will present perspectives and insights into Mitchell’s writing, and together we will discuss the following albums: Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, For the Roses, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, and Hejira. The instructor will circulate some reading about Mitchell’s work, focusing on a different theme each week. More information here