> This is the first of my fan interviews with Jarre fans from around the world. This month’s report is special from Romania. Lahavana, chief editor of newly created Jeanmicheljarre.ro, was kind enough to answer my questions. Here we go:
1- Under which circumstances did you discover Jarre?
The discovery wasn’t actually my own – the first listening of Oxygene (or maybe Equinoxe, I cannot know for sure) happened when I was only a few days old, since my folks used the old Unitra reel-to-reel to soothe me into sleep.
2- When since do you consider yourself as a fan?
I think that there are 2 stages of being a fan:
1. the stage when you are not as much interested in the person but the music and you keep listening and listening, sometimes without even knowing if the composer is male or female (in the case of a more ambiguous name…). this is the stage when you simply live the music, you interpret it in your own way, it is, more or less, “yours” (one might say, a more passive stage);
2. the stage when you’ve pretty much “consumed” the music and you go deeper – discover the mind behind the music and try to guess the way that music was intended/created/thought out (a more active stage). So, having in mind these 2 stages (which are usually very much age-related, as well, and also, depend on how many years you’ve spent dwelling on the artist’s music) I think I’ve been a fan in stage 1 (not counting the early years, when I was simply a child responding to nice music) since around 1991 or 1992, when the La Defense concert was aired on Romanian TV. That’s the time when I actually got to hear new music of JMJ (I had only listened to Oxygene and Equinoxe until then) and I judged for myself (or rather felt) whether I like it or not. And then, for stage 2 – last year, 2008, when JMJ suddenly “popped out” in the Romanian media and I got the bright idea to start looking for news on the internet. There had been 0 news about him in RO since 2000 and his Giza concert, so I simply lingered in a passive “stage 1” attitude.
3- What are your three favorite albums?
4- Do you collect Jarre items and if so, which kind (discs, merchandising,…)?
I suppose I collect media 🙂 interviews, pictures, articles, videos – anything I can find.
5- Did you ever want to make your own music?
No, never. I am not musically inclined.
Yes, actually in architecture – I took a Scenography class and the final project asked us to “design” a concert (sets, coregraphy, costumes, images, anything we thought appropriate) for a musical artist of our choice and preference. I chose JMJ, of course, and during the first stage of the project, I studied his concerts closely from a visual point of view and I must say I’ve learned quite a lot.
7- Do you speak about Jarre to your fellow mates of family and what are the most usual reactions?
My family – the highest degree of complicity on the subject was between me and my father. Mother simply enjoys the music (stage 1 fan 😉 ). Friends? None of my close friends have any real liking for his kind of music, but he is known to them, just not their cup of tea. I have made some new acquaintances lately (through the official forum), who share the same liking for their music, and they all have similar stories to mine – having been introduced to his Oxygene at an early age and then growing into liking his music in general when they got old enough to pass judgement.
8- What do you search by being on Jarre forums?
On a subconscious level, perhaps trying to be closer to the mastermind behind the music? – I am a member of only one other musician’s forum (a band), and they are my “other great love” as a friend so nicely put it – perhaps these two names I hold (personally) as the best in my musical preferences, so there 🙂 Of course, forums are great to keep updated in a nice and quite human way – by word passed from one human to another 🙂
9- Has there been a moment when you wanted to drop it all?
There is nothing exactly to drop – perhaps the situation will change now, just as my JMJ fandom has acquired brand new responsibilities – the romanian site and forum we’ve started. However, I think not, because (at least with me), such things are like friends – I never forget/drop/throw away something that I like/liked. Might become less active about administrative things on the forum and site in the distant future, might even pass the job on to someone else, but everything else still remains. It’s like I might quit my job in an architecture studio, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am an architect and that’s what I do – that’s my craft and trade.
10- If you had to describe Jarre to a person that does not know Jarre at all, what would you tell him first?
Well, to a Romanian (someone around my age): “French, electronic music, Oxygene, the concert in 91 with the big skeleton”
To a younger Romanian: “Here, watch/listen to this – that’s Jarre – he’s invented music a little, you know?”
To anybody else: “French, electronic music, Oxygene, go listen”
… And of course, would direct them to our site 😉
11- If you could meet Jarre one-to-one for five minutes, what would you tell him?
I’ve long given up on preparing the “5-minute-speech”, merely because I’d probably load it with too much, take too long to say it and end up not saying the really important things. Therefore, I shall simply speak whatever I feel is important at that moment – hopefully, that’s the right thing to do 🙂
12- What other artists (electronic artists) do please you?
Strictly speaking of electronic artists… well, in order of preference: Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, and a bit of Kraftwerk (more out of nostalgia – de gustibus). Also, Vangelis – and I’ve set him apart because, from my point of view, he’s in a separate category in itself (just like JMJ, actually, tho they are generally viewed and referred to as electronic music artists), a separate category in both the music he creates and my level of preference.
13- What is, in your opinion, the greatest concert of Jean Michel? And why?
That is indeed very hard to tell, because there are so many factors. Some concerts were simply HUGE, others were plain beautiful, some had a very strong emotional charge, others had a big significance, and some were musically flawless, other were innovations in terms of lighting and surround… so you see, very hard to choose, so I will name the one that holds most importance to myself – Debrecen, Hungary, May 2009.
Hope these will help you and please forgive my talkativeness – I simply enjoy talking about this subject very much 🙂
—© JMJarrefan 2009 – And thanks for Lahavana for her very nice answers. Read me next month with other fan interviews.