The first China concerts (October 1981)

Concerts in China
5 concerts in Beijing (2), Shanghai (In-door)
Entrance Payable
Dates October 21 and 22 in Beijing, October 26, 27 and 28 in Shanghai
Length From 6 songs to 14 songs
Crew 3 synthmen, 1 drummer
Audience 120.000
Notes: Jarre was the first Occidental artist to perform in post-Mao’s China.

When Jarre first comes to China, it’s a bit like an alien lands on another planet. Jarre introduces synthesizers to a whole new audience. Jarre orked two years before this concert happen. Hours of discussion on about every matter isn’t to though for Jean Michel, who always fights back. For his first tour, Jarre embarks three other musicians : Frédérick Rousseau and the two men behind Space Art group, Dominique Perrier and drummer Roger Rizzitelli. Mark Fisher (who worked previously for Pink Floyd) is hired for the visual part of the concert. 70 people travel with Jean Michel to make his dream come true.

And technical problems are enormous. In order to provide the electricity for the musicians, blocks of the capital city are black-outed. Jarre involves the Beijing City Symphonic Orchestra, and adapts a tune from Chinese folklore into “Fishing Junks at Sunset”, with all the barriers of langage you can think of. The song is written as a dialog between acoustic instruments of the east and latest synths, like Jarre’s Fairlight CM-I. And most of all, Jarre plays an amazing new instrument: the laser harp, designed by Bernard Szajner. Jarre composes several unrealeased material for the concerts, including “Souvenir of China”, “Arpégiateur”, “Orient Express” and “Night in Shanghai”.

Chinese people buy tickets for this futuristic show, and Oxygène 4 is played on the streets. Jarre reaches stardom in a country who knows neither the Beatles, Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra. The second concert in Beijing was broadcasted on Chinese radio (500 millions audiors) and TV (30 million viewers). A year later, Jarre made a double LP of his chinese adventures, called “The Concerts in China“. A VHS was also released.

  • The Overture
  • Arpegiator
  • Equinoxe 4
  • Fishing Junks at Sunset
  • Band in the Rain
  • Equinoxe 7
  • Orient Express
  • Magnetic Fields 1
  • Magnetic Fields 3
  • Magnetic Fields 4
  • Laser Harp
  • Night in Shanghai
  • The Last Rumba
  • Magnetic Fields 2

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