On September 14th 2018 Jean-Michel Jarre releases his ultimate Best Of PLANET JARRE – 50 YEARS OF MUSIC. This series will lead you through Jean-Michel Jarre’s special moments of the past 50 years.
This episode covers the very special trip to China in 1981 where Jean-Michel Jarre was invited to perform as the first western musician in 30 years.
In 1981, I’m invited to perform in the most extraordinary place : China. For the first time, for a western musician, for 30 years, I have the oppportunity to play in China. And for me, and for them, it was like playing on the moon.
Then I decide to do an album around his project, that will be The Concerts in China. The concerts in China is actualy a live album but it’s also a studio album beacuse half of this double album is new. So for me, I always considered the Concerts in China is a new album. And also, it’s the period where I really start to explore also the new sequences. It’s the beginning of MIDI and then I have a lots of tracks such as Apergiator, based on long sequences and orchestration, and arrangement of sequences and also it’s the continuation of the concept of experimentation. Experimenting with chinese sounds of the street, of noise in a track as Souvenir of China, for instance.
And then it was also an extraordinary situation to play in stadiums, both in Beijing and in Shanghai, and having lots of chinese audience, with us on stage and with extraordinary electronic instruments and very futuristic stage design and project/show. In a country that would close the doors the next following months. So it has been something very special, for me of course, but also for the chinese people.
This whole story started through the british embassy, which gave my albums to the Chinese radio. And they played it, they played for the first time non-chinese mlusic, and then I been invited in Beijing, for a masterclass at the official public music school of Beijing. And then I left there a synthesizer, the first electronic music instrument in China, and they created around this first visit, and thuis first instrument, the first class of electronc music in China.