Jarre biography 1998-2007

20131222-234905.jpgThis is the fourth part of our biography. See first, second, third parts.

In 1998, Jarre offered DJ Claude Monnet to compile several remixes of tracks from the Oxygène 7-13 album from international artists (Appolo 440, DJ Cam, Hani, Tetsuya Komuro, Takkyu Ishino, Loop Guru, Monnet himself, to name a few). The result of this new musical commitment was Odyssey through O², a dance album featuring numerous remixes of Oxygène 8 and 10 in different dance music styles. The album contained a program named Jarkaos, a small device for producing pictures while listening to the music, in a shortened fashion that Jarre did both in “Oxygène Tour” and during the french TV special “DJ d’une nuit” (One-night DJ).

After the World soccer cup France won at home on 12th of July 1998, Jarre and the Paris mayor organize a concert next to the Eiffel Tower for the 14th of July (National Day), in the same place as the Three Tenors performed days before. The concert, called “Electronic Night”, features Jarre and TK Tetsuya Komuro, and is based upon the Odyssey through O² album. People expecting a show similar to the one in 1995 feel frustrated, waiting for french superstar to perform his usual hits while listening to unknown DJs mixing Jarre elements. A part of the crowd leaves the Champ de Mars unhappy, but another part (the younger people) enjoy it much to their likes.

mil-egypt-jarre-cai01_copy_0Jarre was one the main artists to host a show on New Year’s Eve in december 1999. His concert in front of the Egyptian Pyramids, one of the 7 wonders of the world, was quite a struggle for him, but he was able to realize it, unlike many other projects that same day. What made Jarre’s project so original is that the concert was splitted in two parts, for a total of three hours of music by himself and the rest being played by local bands. The name of the concert was “The Twelve dreams of the sun”, and was introduced by Laurie Anderson snippet videos. Jarre promoted the new album “Metamorphoses” he had been working on for months with young DJ Joachim Garraud, who was a main part of the technical aspects of the project (and especially the countdown to year 2K). A crowd of 120.000 cheered Jean Michel and one of his special guest, brit-egyptian singer Natacha Atlas. The concert was one of the first grand events followed on Internet by two million people. 300 television networks payed to get a 20 minute live coverage of the crucial moments of the concert. 2 billion people followed the concert on television.

On 31st of January, 2000, Jarre gives a pre-listening act of Metamorphoses in Man Ray club of Johnny Depp’s for a restricted number of people. Fans are a bit annoyed they can’t cheer their idol. In February 2000, Jarre issues Metamorphoses, his first “vocal album”, which contains duets with female singers from different horizons and some instrumental work. The sound of Jarre is an overthrow of Jarre’s previous sound, much more digital and clinical. Jarre has been massively using ProTools for producing the album and his gust for eastern beats and trip-hop alike music make it a whole different from all he has done before. The fans are quite upset about that shift, and the album’s success is not enough to bring a tour together, despite a great first single, “C’est la Vie”, with Natacha Atlas.

jarreaokinawaIn January 2001, Jarre gives a concert called “Rendez-vous in Space”. It consists in a duet with japan superstar Tetsuya Komuro. All of the music is new material. 20.000 people and Japanese televison are hooked by this performance. Unfortunately, it does only exist on bootlegs. During the show, snippet videos of Arthur C. Clarke (a friend of Jarre’s) display his thoughts on diverse man’s relation to space. Jarre then released a promotional album for Bang & Olufsen stores calles Interior Music at 1.000 units only. In june of 2001, Jarre gives two concerts for charity within his UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador role in Athens. Two concerts, called “Hymn to the Akropolis” take place in Herode Atticus Theater (open air). Jarre composes a new song, Acropolis for this purpose. Part of the money is devoted to building an hospital for children. 10.000 people watch Jarre perform.

In 2002, Jarre releases his last album with Francis Dreyfus records due to his contractual obligations, Sessions 2000. This expeditious disc is nothing near a Jarre album, who defines – if I may say so – by the perfection of sound design and its originality. Sessions 2000 is moreless an attempt from Jarre to smooth jazz, with only a few tracks and no thread behing them. At that time of his life, Jarre has a stirring private life, and his affair with famous actress Isabelle Adjani is about to eclipse his music.

Aalborg6-1.jpgFew people noticed the concert Jarre helds in Aalborg, Denmark on September the 7th. The stage is in a middle of a windmill park and 40.000 people stand through battling rain to applause the french musician. Part of the energy used on stage is provided by the windmill itself. The concert is called Aero, a tribute to the wind and features new material. “Tout est bleu”, the second single from the Metamorphoses album is remixed into “Light my sky”. Jean Michel plays MIDI flute, a nex device for him. During the show, Jarre lists all of the use men did from the wind, as a narrator teeling short stories. It is a very poetic and yet powerful show, with huge fireworks, despite the rain. At the end of the show, photograph testimonys show the park as a giant muddle of pud.

In 2003, Geometry of love is issued on a limited version for a hype nightclub in Paris called the “VIP Room”. It is chaired by Jean Roch, a close friend of Jean Michel. On the cover of the abum, there is an digital-blurred photograph of Adjani’s most intimate anatomy. The sound of the album is more ambient, chill-out and groovy than the previous one, even it is kind of a twin album. Highlights of the album are Geometry of Love I and II. Jarre signs with Warner music who get the rights on the music back to release it on their catalog. Weeks before Jarre and Adjani break up, it becomes a case media for “celeb” magazines, when Jarre flirts with actress Anne Parillaud he’ll marry later on.

In 2004, Jarre and Warner music published AERO, which stands for Anthology of Electronic Revisited Originals. The new album that was recorded and broadcated to 5.1 format. Both DVD and super-stereo, it is widely acclaimed as a technological breakout, even though Jarre did have no time to compose much original material to stay on top of his schedule, preferring a best-of album. Other composers had made experiences on 5.1. devices, but nothing ever near the quality of this album. He composes his older tunes in a cinematic audio, and the result is very impressive. AERO has proven to bring fans back to Jarre. On the video track of AERO, you can see a one-take footage of Anne Parillaud’s eyes in close up listening to the music in live motion.

2311787473_5e715219bb_b.jpgLater that year, Jarre did his first ever concert in 5.1. conditions in the “Forbidden City” in Beijing. The concert was held to celebrate the year of China in France, and was first planned on French and Chinese president to attend it, what didn’t occur in final place. No fireworks could be shot, in respect to the ancient buildings of this sacred place. After much discussions, Jarre lost Chinese authorities to have a former Tiananmen square prostest (1989 massacre by the Chinese government) student perform, but only relatives to Tiananmen protesters, underground rock band members. Jarre held an historical concert in Forbidden City, and shortly after the concert, was relocated by side-car to the Tiananmen square for a showcase featuring a famous Edith Piaf song, “La Foule”. There he pronounced in front of a billion of Chinese viewers the three words of motto of French Republic : “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. Jarre performed with both classical and traditional orchestras Fishing Junks at Sunset. A new version of Acropolis, Journey to Beijing, duetting with an ehru player. The concert was the first musical DVD to be certified THX (the George Lucas stampmark), with both concerts on each DVD and a special CD.

In the beginning of 2005, Jarre gave two small-sized concerts, a showcase consisting of a single song (rendez-vous II) in Denmark to celebrate the bicentenary of Hans Christian Andersen, playing the laser harp. Two intimate concerts took place in Monaco, salle des Etoiles, in front of 1.500 and 1.000 people.

Jarre was invited by Lech Walesa to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Solidarnosc in Gdansk, in a concert called Solidarnosc Live. The background for the concert is the shipyard of Gdansk and the concert is amazing. 170.000 people cheer Jean Michel’s performance, and 6 million people watch him on polish TV, which is a new record for that country. A DVD of that concert was made avalaible prior to the concert, and it is entitled “Solidarnosc live”. Later that year, Jarre played at the LinX Live Event in Belgium, a concert to celebrate the birth of the first HD filming and editing center in Europe.

In 2006, a concert was hosted in a small village in Saharian Morrocco, Merzouga. The show was called “Water for life”, and was the peaking point of the international year for deserts, by UNESCO. Jarre used the tall screens on stage to send alarming messages to the wide world on the situation of soft water in southern countries. These political statements did not overshadow the joy of the happy Moroccans who were gifted to see the show. Most of them had never heard of Jean Michel Jarre of their lifes! 10.000 people danced in the desert to the music of Jean Michel.

In 2007, Jarre was working on an adaptation of the “Petit Prince”, a book by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, but Warner company didn’t want it. He issued in a few months a hi-tech dance album called Téo & Téa, who divided the fans of Jean Michel Jarre like never in the past. The sales for the album were ridiculous. In late 2007, Jarre signed with EMI, and re-recorded Oxygène to high definition techniques, played it live in LinX Alfacam studios with new transitions between the pieces, and released it as a whole package, called Oxygène 5.1. New Master recording and Oxygène Live in your living room (for the live DVD). The sound of the new Oxygène album is extraordinary.

In December 2007, Jarre performed Oxygène live in theaters with ancient synthesizers he used for Oxygène back in 1977. These concerts, very intimate, were highly appreciate both by critics and fans.

Read the next part ofthe biography.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s