Standard Sounds

Annie O Presents: Jean-Michel Jarre

We have a secret weapon at The Standard, and it comes in the form of a French-Moroccan music maven named Annie O. After years in the music industry representing such greats as Lou Reed, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Pearl Jam, and Peter Gabriel, we nabbed her to curate The Annie O Music Series, a regular concert series in the airy Penthouse of The Standard, East Village.

On Monday, May 16, Jean-Michel Jarre, "The Father of Electronic Music" comes to The Penthouse. The electronic music pioneer, who has played for as many as 3.5 million people at once, comes to The Standard for an intimate showcase of his new album, Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise, out on May 6th. 

Be one of the first to experience his new album, and read 
Annie O's interview with the man himself to get ready for the big night. 

ANNIE O: The Heart of Noise and The Art of Noises. Can you explain the connection between these two great titles and how the title of this album came about? 
JEAN-MICHEL JARRE: The Heart of Noise is a tribute to Luigi Russolo, who proposed in 1913 in his futurist manifesto The Art of Noises a number of conclusions about how electronics and other technology will allow futurist musicians to "substitute the limited variety of timbres that the orchestra possesses today with the infinite variety of timbres in noises, reproduced with appropriate mechanisms." Russolo states that noise first came into existence as the result of 19th century machines. I think that all the collaborators on my Electronica project are at the heart of noise.
When you did Electronica 1: The Time Machine, were you always intending to do a 2nd volume, or did it emerge organically? How long did it take you to finish the 1st volume?
When I started my Electronica project, I wanted to collaborate with artists who have influenced me, who are a constant source of inspiration, and who are linked with electronic music. So I reached out to them, and as everybody said yes, I ended up with more than 2.5 hours of music. This is the reason why I split it into two albums. They were all initiated more or less at the same time, but it took more time for some tracks to be finished than others…so there is no difference for me between the 1st volume and the 2nd volume. They were made with the same passion, love, and energy. It was more a question of timing.
How did you go about selecting the artists?
As I said, when I started my Electronica project, I wanted to collaborate with artists who have influenced me, who are a constant source of inspiration, and who are linked with electronic music. I wanted to gather people from different generations who have marked one way or another the electronic music scene over the past four decades.
Tell me a little bit about the work process. Did you have to travel a lot to work together with so many different artists?
The specificity of the project is that I met physically with every artist and didn’t just send files via the Internet. I’m glad to have been able to share a moment with them in their homes and working environments. I travelled for 5 years with this project and met so many amazing people. Some of them came to my studio in Paris or worked with me on the road in my mobile studio, but I spent a lot of time between Paris, London, Berlin, LA, and NY.
Growing up in Casablanca and listening to French music, Christophe was an idol of mine, and I was lucky enough to become his friend a few years ago. “Les Mots Bleus” is a classic, and he is having a great comeback. How was the collaboration this time around?
We met in a great studio in Paris (Studio Ferber) and we had been introduced to each other by our producer and publisher at the time, Francis Dreyfus. The connection went really well because we have a lot in common, even though he’s a singer. He’s addicted to the perfect sound. With him I spent more time writing lyrics and working on the whole concept and visual. We reconnected again on his last album (Les Vestiges du Chaos), on which I wrote the title song, and I invited him on Electronica 2 on the track called “Walking the Mile.”
Are you planning a US Tour for this album?
I’m starting my world tour in Europe with Sonar Barcelona on June 17th, and later the tour until Mid-December in Europe. In 2017, I have plans for Asia, the Pacific, and the US.
What are your thoughts on the explosion of electronic music in recent years? Was that part of your vision as “The Father of Electronic Music?”
I’m glad electronic music is everywhere, but we should not forget that in EDM the most important letters are the “E” and the “M.” Electronic music is not only music for clubs—that's just one way to experience and enjoy it. I’m very positive about this in general and glad that EM is in good shape!
Your grandfather was an inventor, oboe player, and engineer, and your father was a legendary music composer. Did you ever think about doing anything else than what you are doing?
Music is my life, I have no other choice. This is what I am—not only what I am, but also how I grew up in this world.
What can we expect next from you? A collaboration with Gorillaz?
This I can’t comment on. Ask Damon! But you know, I’m just coming out from the studio after 5 years of work and now preparing the tour, so I feel like I need to breathe a bit of air.
Are you looking forward to your event at The Standard, East Village to introduce your new project?
I am very happy to be in NY for a few days in May, and very much looking forward sharing the project at The Standard. I like these moments where I can share the stories around projects with an audience, even more when we have an intimate setup. See you all there!

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