We meet Jean-Michel Jarre, 67, at a luxury Berlin hostel to talk about his latest project, "Electronica 1 + 2". The Frenchman has invited 30 well-known musicians to record two concept albums with him - the DNA of electronic music, so to speak. The first part will be published in October, the second in April.
eclipsed: In the "Electronica" project, you tell the story of electronic music and its legacy from your perspective on two albums. How much time did you put into this project?
Jean-Michel Jarre: I worked on it for four years and haven't had a holiday for three years. This project has grown bigger than I thought. An endless story also because I tend to constantly change something about the music. I also wanted to meet everyone involved in person. Nowadays, artists who have never met in person, who have never spoken to each other, send files to each other. I want real encounters, that's much more delightful.
eclipsed: What makes the guitarist of The Who a pioneer of electronic music?
Jarre: There are many reasons for this. Pete Townshend was the first musician to integrate electronic sounds and sequencers into rock music. A typical example is the song "Baba O'Riley" by The Who. The song is a tribute to Terry Riley, and my first job was as an assistant in the studio where Terry Riley worked (see also the article on minimal music in this issue). Pete Townshend also invented the genre of rock opera. As a student, I was heavily involved with the operas of Richard Wagner, who always sought collaboration with artists from other disciplines. Wagner finally inspired me to work with video and light at my concerts.