The French artist and composer Jean-Michel Jarre is the son of Maurice Jarre, the composer of film music including Dr. Zhivago, and the French resistance fighter France Pejot. Jean-Michel has organized and performed in megaconcerts before more that 3 million enthusiasts of modern electronic music and light effects.
Jean-Michel Jarre records with Edward Snowden – after the Guardian brings them together
Link to original article (The Guardian): http://bit.ly/1qMxhAC
When we interviewed him last year, the French electronic pioneer asked for our help in putting together a track with the NSA whistleblower.
The Guardian’s coverage of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks has had a wide variety of repercussions, but perhaps none are as improbable as the latest: a collaboration between the 32-year-old whistleblower and French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, on a techno track to be released this weekend.
“Edward is an absolute hero of our times,” said Jarre, whose piece with Snowden, called Exit, appears on his forthcoming album of collaborations, Electronica Volume II: The Heart Of Noise, the former CIA employee making an unlikely appearance on a list of special guests that also includes the Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan and rapper Peaches.
“When I first read about him, it made me think of my mother,” said Jarre. “She joined the French resistance in 1941, when people in France still thought they were just troublemakers, and she always told me that when society is generating things you can’t stand, you have to stand up against it. The whole Electronica project is about the ambiguous relationship we have with technology: on the one side we have the world in our pocket, on on the other, we are spied on constantly. There are tracks about the erotic relationship we have with technology, the way we touch our smartphones more than our partners, about CCTV surveillance, about love in the age of Tindr. It seemed quite appropriate to collaborate not with a musician but someone who literally symbolises this crazy relationship we have with technology.”
The collaboration, which features Snowden speaking, rather than singing, came about after Jarre gave an interview to the Guardian last year, to promote the release of the forthcoming album’s predecessor, Electronica I: The Time Machine. He asked if it would be possible for the paper to put him in touch with Snowden – whose revelations about surveillance carried out by the US National Security Agency were published in the Guardian – for whom he’d devised a “hectic, obsessive techno track, trying to illustrate the idea of this crazy quest for big dataon one side and the manhunt for this one young guy by the CIA, NSA and FBI on the other”.
The Guardian passed on a contact for Ben Wisner, Edward Snowden’s solicitor. “I had no idea if he would be interested,” Jarre said of his contact with Wisner, “but he loved the idea, thought Edward would love the idea and put us in contact. I sent him a demo of the music, then had a meeting with Edward over Skype, 90 minutes of conversation, where I gave him the understanding of what I wanted to do, we talked about his situation, the reason why he did what he did, then we recorded his vocals.”
Jarre subsequently travelled to Moscow to meet Snowden. “I wanted to film him, because I want to play the track on stage. I think it’s important if I’m playing at festivals with a young audience that the statements in the track are promoted and exposed. We spent three hours together, we filmed him, we talked about a lot of things.”
Snowden declined to speak to the Guardian about the track, but in the video Jarre shot in Moscow, he claimed to be a fan of electronic music – “The melodies I remember with the most fondness are from video games” – and said he was “really surprised” by contacted by the author of the 12m-selling album Oxygène and holder of the Guinness World Record for attracting the largest concert audience in history. “It was something I wasn’t expecting. As an engineer, someone who’s not really cool, it was something of a treat to collaborate on a big cultural project.”
Photo credit: The Guardian