7 page-interview in the newest Sound on Sound magazine.


Wandering room by room through his studio on the outskirts of Paris, Jean–Michel Jarre is giving Sound On Sound a guided tour of his creative HQ. Passing through a corridor, he invites us to glimpse into a storage cupboard where shelves heave with synthesizers from various eras. In a live–playing area, where Jarre rehearses for his concerts, the lights of an ARP 2500 twinkle in a corner, while the 67–year–old musician proudly leads us towards his Coupigny, the first synthesizer he ever used when studying under the guidance of modernist composer Pierre Schaeffer in 1969. “Very warm frequencies,” Jarre nods.

The last time SOS visited the studio, in 2008, the facility was still under construction, with only the control room completed at the time. “I suppose a studio like this is always moving,” he says. “It’s what I like actually. I always approached studio environments like a place where not everything has to be there forever. Just changing things. It’s something which is great also when you start a new project, to change your habits.”

In the control room today sits a circle of instruments pulled out of storage for Jean–Michel Jarre’s latest project, Electronica, including a Moog 55, a Memorymoog, a Big Briar Theremin, a Fairlight CMI, an EMS VCS3 and Synthi AKS and an ARP Pro/DGX. “I like to say ‘OK, this is going to be my range, my palette of colours,’ and then try to limit myself as much as I can on this,” he explains. “I think limitations are the key. The difficulty these days is actually there is no limit. And there is nothing worse than having no limit.” Read more…