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Truly live music is the key for Jarre

HIS new tour is taking him to venues around Europe, but Jean-Michel Jarre has a special place in his heart for Britain

HIS new tour is taking him to venues around Europe, but Jean-Michel Jarre has a special place in his heart for Britain

The Frenchman, a well-known pioneer of electronic music, is around the half-way stage of 150 concerts.

The Solihull News spoke to the musician as he limbers up for the UK leg - something he’s particularly looking forward to.

“In some ways the interaction between you and the audience is the same everywhere - it either works or it doesn’t.

“But every country has its own habits and I always seem to get a warm response in northern Europe - a bit of a geographic paradox.

“As a Frenchman, to have such a great reception in the UK is always special.”

And hailing, as he does, from Lyon - France’s second city - he always looks forward to coming to its twin city - Birmingham

“It’s a big city, but not quite on London’s scale. I find it’s got an energy of its own, which I always enjoy when I perform there.”

Jean-Michel has been in the business for over 40-years, but it was his hit album Oxygene, released in 1976, that really thrust him into the limelight.

But does the 62-year-old have any inkling about why his music has been so successful in the UK?

“It’s difficult to say, I suppose there’s so much music that comes in from America - they might like something with a European-vibe.”

The 2010 tour is a mix of old hits and new, improvised material, an attempt to make every “concert different.”

“It really is like nothing else,” said Jean-Michel. “I don’t mean that in a pretentious way, in terms of it being better - or worse.

“I just mean that it’s very different from other types of concert. I wanted it very much to be a live show, at a time when more and more concerts have pre-recorded elements.”

Since the Frenchman’s music has often been branded futuristic, it’s appropriate that his new tour takes its name from a book by sci-fi supremo Arthur C Clarke.

“I became good friends with him actually. I think when he was writing people were always thinking about the future and what it would be like.

“Now things have got a lot darker and we’re wondering if we’re even going to be here much longer. I hope that this tour captures a bit of the old optimism.”

Jean-Michel Jarre will be performing at Birmingham NIA on October 8. Tickets are available on 0844 338 8000.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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