Les dernières infos de la planète Jarre - Latest news from Planet Jarre !!!
mercredi 15 décembre 2010
Jean Michel Jarre has been awarded by la SACEM with the "Grand Prix des Musiques Electroniques 2010" on the 29th of November 2010 in Théâtre Marigny in Paris. A broadcast of the ceremony will take place on channel France 4 on Monday 27th December at 11pm (french TV).
Jean Michel Jarre a reçu le "Grand Prix des Musiques Électroniques de la SACEM 2010" voici une vidéo de son passage dans la cérémonie qui a eu lieu le 29 Novembre 2010 au Théâtre Marigny à Paris. Retransmission de la cérémonie sur France 4 lundi 27 Décembre à 23h.
mardi 30 novembre 2010
mardi 9 novembre 2010
Jean Michel Jarre has been informed that his concert in Kosice scheduled for November 16th next is cancelled : the Slovakian promoter, Jan Poliak from EPG Rock On ! could not comply with the contractual financial conditions.
This news has caused great disappointment and prejudice to the Artist and his staff, at such late notice.
Jean Michel Jarre and his Management have instructed Mr Jan Poliak to give immediate full refunds to all the fans who have bought tickets.
Jean Michel Jarre Management.
mardi 12 octobre 2010
dimanche 10 octobre 2010
mardi 5 octobre 2010
dimanche 19 septembre 2010
31/7: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Gothic and spiritual ambiance.. Monsignor Barrio gave for the first time, a special agreement to build the stage on the stairs of the cathedral.. The result was quite spectacular, with the façade of the church directly behind us.
The stage was at 6 meters high, and i got slightly dizzy during the laser harp! What I really enjoyed were the live videos in B&W directly projected on the walls in a ghostly, haunted mood. The whole atmosphere particularly during songs such as Rendez Vous 2 & 3 ,Chronology 2 and Fin De Siècle was very "Phantom of the Opera".. The concert was broadcast live on Spanish TV and the Spanish female director did a good job with a quite cinematographic approach.
28/8: Oslo, Norway
An outdoor concert took place for the first time in the central Oslo in front of the Royal castle. It was a kind of festival, with different bands and I closed the event by a concert starting at 10:30, with Royksopp playing just before us...
Coming straight from the south of France, it was quite a shock to be in Norway with around 10 degrees and a pouring rain.. Fortunately the rain stopped 2mn before we got on stage.
The crew was really happy to get together again after the August break, the mood was really warm, and we delivered quite a good show in front of a pretty young audience. The sound and the energy of the music plus the impact of the visuals demonstrated that the production is ready for any kind of big festival. Everybody was quite excited..
18/9: Beirut souks, Lebanon
After having been postponed twice because of logistics issues and then the Ramadan, the concert finally took place yesterday night at the Beirut souks in a totally crazy atmosphere..
Extraordinary city, being rebuilt so quickly by Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and Solidere, Beirut is so full of energy. The new generation who used to go to school under constant bombing have learnt the value of being alive and they hardly sleep, working during the day and having fun every night... Clubs such as the Sky bar or the White are full all the time with probably amongst the best sound systems on the planet.
At 37 degrees, the sound check was hot and hectic with a lot of technical problems due to the heat. The lebanese audience was definitely hot and we had great time in spite of a few problems on my side. The digisequencer refused to work (probably overheating too!), meaning we had no sequence in Oxygene 2 and Oxygene 5. Patrick came behind me to reset it while we were desperately improvising to give him enough time to reload the sequence.. Risks and magic of live performance..
Apart from this glitch, we had great time and finished the night at the Sky bar... This morning I visited my friend Bahia Hariri ( Rafik Hariri's sister), Unesco ambassador and President of the Rafik Hariri Fundation for Education, cultural development and for Women. We had an interesting conversation about the future of Beirut, Lebanon and the all Middle East. She talked me through all the activities of the fundation.. She is an extraordinary person and a luck for Lebanon and all Middle East..
We decided that we should get together more often to promote her projects.
lundi 30 août 2010
Je n'ai jamais dit que l'Internet était mort, pas plus que je n'ai évoqué l'expression "imposture moche" à propos d'internet, qui est un outil dont je n'ai pas à vanter les évidents mérites!
J'ai simplement avancé l'idée, qu'après une époque où Internet est considéré comme un espace de liberté, une grande toile fraternelle sur laquelle tout le monde échange tout, plus ou moins gratuitement, il se pourrait bien que les rebelles de la prochaine génération "prennent le maquis" du web en considérant qu'il est devenu la plus grande machine d'exploitation de tous les temps, contrôlé par des multinationales bien plus puissantes que les majors du disque ne l'ont été par exemple, dans le domaine de la musique ces dernières années...
Ceci est un exemple, parmi d'autres, nous montrant que, constamment, n'importe quelle info circule, n'importe comment, sur le web. Notre responsabilité et la plus grande difficulté de notre relation, dans les années à venir avec le web, va être de vérifier la véracité du flot d'informations que nous recevons à chaque seconde, en particulier quand on les relaie.. Bon courage.
Jean Michel Jarre
lundi 23 août 2010
lundi 5 juillet 2010
dimanche 27 juin 2010
First of all, I would like to pay tribute to all my fans around the world who are supporting my work constantly.
It has been one of the most encouraging elements of my life, and particularly this past year, for all the reasons you know.
The feedback, I receive from you all, night after night, in each city I am playing at the moment, is just great and gives me the energy to go on.
I want you to know that I share this Mojo Award with you all, around the world, because in a sense I feel that you deserve it also...
Jean Michel Jarre
vendredi 18 juin 2010
16 million people, 4 times as many as Paris.. a perfect mix of Ottoman beauty, European and Asian style, also a perfect mix of tradition and extreme modernity. A total surprise for all of us, the city has changed so much, yet managed to keep its soul at the same time..
Under a very hot temperature, we joined the band at the hotel, then went to see the stage and the crew. Everybody was excited to be together again. We had a dinner in a cool terrace by the Bosphorus organized by Zeynep our charming promoter.. The following morning we went with the musicians to some music stores where Claude and I bought some great and rare turkish cymbals..
Later we went to the venue by boat to do the sound check under 40 degrees... The instruments were so hot that I could not touch my Memory Moog. We did a decent rehearsal, the most challenging moment being to try the laser harp under the sun! We had to cover the captors and wait till sunset to check it..
Then the concert started at 21h40.. I had to climb the back of the grand stand to appear at the top of it, at the beginning of the show, quite an experience.. The concert went really well, in spite of the fact that we did not have our regular PA system and that I was really burning on stage with the extreme heat.. The turkish audience was as hot as the weather and we had a great evening together..
The following day, I had a few meetings, I saw a strange audio/ visual installation, part of a large art exhibition organised at the occasion of Istanbul being European cultural capital 2010. The audio part of this installation is produced by Aphex Twin. In the evening, we all had dinner at a beautiful villa owned by two sisters, lovely women, one being involved in an association taking care of autistic children in Turkey, the other is involved in Soufi music, and she played us incredible recordings of traditional turkish music.
Then we went all together by boat on the Bosphorus to the old part of Istanbul to visit some place they have in mind for a future outdoor concert. We'll see.. Anyway, the trip on the river in the middle of the night surronded by old Mosques, was awesome.
samedi 12 juin 2010
After Bucharest, I went for 2 days to Beirut to check the site before the July concerts there. Amazing city, I took a lot of pictures (they are on their way..). I shall tell you more about it in July. Then I spent the beginning of the week promoting the concerts in France.
And then yesterday I was in London to receive a life achievement award at the Mojo Music Awards. The ceremony took place at the Brewery and what happened was an absolute surprise for me..
Such a brilliant audience was attending the event.. Jimmy Page, members of Depeche mode, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Devo,
Florence and the Machine, Anthony and the Johnsons, Blur, Stone Roses, Jarvis Cocker, Roger Daltrey, Emilou Harris, Mark Almond from Softcell.. either receiving or giving an award. At the end of the ceremony, John Foxx from Ultravox presented the
award to me..
I have been so moved by what Phil Alexander, the chief editor of Mojo magazine and John said about my music and my concerts. How new, different and influential it has been until now.. what an honor coming from such brilliant artists and in London!!
John Foxx also had an interesting view, he said that in England, he was feeling that the style of british pop and rock music was initially coming from America. When he listened to Oxygene, he felt that this music was totally european and had nothing to do with the US, and for him it was the signal that something totally different was happening. John is a delightful man and a great artist I always admired and receiving this award from his hands was really special for me.
I was deeply impressed when I came on stage, in front of a such brilliant and warm audience so kind to me. I told them that it means a lot to me coming from MOJO, specially because I have always had a special relationship with England for artistic and personal reasons, and that I feel rather like a beginner, doing my first real world tour in 2010. There are so many things to do out there in so many fields. So I hope to come back in 20 years to receive eventually a life achievement award part 2...
Afterwards I discussed with Jimmy Page, such a nice and friendly man, and Anthony ( from A.& the Johnsons) about our mutual friend Laurie Anderson. She lost her copy of Zoolook and she would like a new one.. I discussed also with Jarvis Cocker, J.J. Brunel from the Stranglers who is from Normandy and speaks fluent french. He said he would come to the concert in Caen in November with his family. Mark Almond is going at the London gig at the O2 arena on the 10/10/10..
And then on the way back to Paris this morning, I met briefly Jude Law, Sienna Miller and their three children, going to Paris as well in the Eurostar, a very nice couple...
samedi 5 juin 2010
Taken by JMJ, who has decided to become his own photograph for this leg.
Liberec in color
Liberec in black & white
A poor lonesome robot far away from home
Liberec, 1910 or 2010
Claude in the move
Jérôme and Claude on the way to Bratislava
Debriefing after the show
Jérôme in the bus
In the bus
Ghosts in the cabin
The new tour bus
4am stop on a slovakian highway
Vincent and Luc, backstage in Liberec
Colorful Hungary, far from Soviet Union times
Chris Rowley, Fiona Commins, Claude Samard, Francis Rimbert and new member of the band, Jerome Gueguen
Self-portrait backstage in Budapest
The past few weeks have been difficult.
My Mum passed away the 21st of April… sad, painful, a boy always thinks his mother is eternal.
Then Dominique Perrier told me that he could not be with us in the tour for family reasons and I had to find a quick solution three weeks before Budapest. Fortunately Domino has a good friend, Jerome Gueguen, excellent musician, with whom he has been playing on other projects for a long time.
We rehearsed everything, Domino showed him every detail of his parts, and I must say that Jerome has been quite amazing.
The first concert went almost perfectly and Jerome found the way to be faithful to Dominique’s style plus adding his own personal touch.
I must say that the tour is really going well and every night we are delivering something special… The crew is becoming a real family and Jerome is already totally part of it .
The audiences are really great everywhere - lots of electricity in the air.. !
I also try to give the maximum of energy like if it was a one off every night..
Greece was special, because of the crisis you can feel people feeling abandonned by the rest of the world…More than ever artists and citizens of the world must be close to the Greek community, the cradle of civilisation which gave us so much in so many fields…we must never forget that.
Also for this reason, we really gave everything we had on-stage, both in Tessaloniki and Athens, to a fantastic audience.
Tessaloniki was the first outdoor gig of the world tour, however, the venue being a historical site, limiting weight and installations, we could not hang the cyclo.
I decided then that we should use the site itself, as it is, by projecting films and lights on the trees.
The result was quite fantomatic and very encouraging for the future outdoor gigs where we should have our big screen.
Liberec and Bratislava were also unique because of the venues and the audience. Bratislava is such a lovely city with a lot of good vibes for me. I really would like to come back soon for an outdoor concert by the castle (love to Iveta, Fred and Milan !).
A lot of things are in store for the second part of the year… Because of what happened to me recently, I decided to go not to far away from home this year. A lot of concerts in France, UK and other countries in Europe and going to the US, South America and Asia in 2011. My agent came to Athens and we made quite precise plans about all this.
Next week, I have to go to London to prepare the UK tour, with a possible second 3D filming of the autumn leg and to receive an award from MOJO magazine. I also hope to have the energy to finalise some of the new tracks I have for the coming concerts and new album sometime.
I thank you all, my dear and loyal fans around the world, for your support recently, it has been of a great help to me ...
jeudi 1 avril 2010
The first part of the tour is over, and while we're organizing the new leg, all the team is back home enjoying some rest. Now that I have more time, I want to explore different directions, and in particular the notion of silence. I am sure you have noticed how the first few seconds of silence at the end of a track feel like they still belong to that track. To the best of my knowledge, the only work of importance ever composed in this field is the minute of silence played in solemn occasions, but I find the arrangement a bit basic. I would like to compose a silent album that would retain melodies, and mix the warm grain of analog silence and some sampled silence as well. Expect to hear something soon. Or not.
mercredi 24 mars 2010
The Nantes Zenith is one of France's best venues, and we had an audience of connoisseurs that I liked a lot. From the stage we could feel the dynamism of that city, where concerts, expos and films do so well. Among our guests, many of our friends from Algam and La Boîte Noire, the leading musical instruments import company in Europe, as well as Joachim Garraud's family, and part of mine. We all had a warm gathering after the show.
Marseilles: Sun, the Vieux Port, relaxing time with the musicians. Marseille is the city of music and soccer, which is a hard thing to admit for a native of Lyon. Yet I said it on stage and it caused a little shock.
The show was one of the craziest since the tour began. The Dome has a pretty bad reputation for its acoustics, but Alain Courieux, Cédric and Arno somehow managed to set up their system, and we had a great sound. The show started red hot, and continued to ramp up in a stadium-like ambiance, it was electrified. The Marseille audience will be hard to beat!
Jean-Pierre Janiaud, the great sound engineer with whom I mixed Oxygene and Equinoxe, came backstage with Christophe, I was so happy to meet them again. Also my uncle Jean Nicolaï, in great shape despite his 95 years, and my dear Edith.
For Nice, I was afraid the audience would be quieter on a Sunday night, but it turned out I was wrong.. Many of the crew are from Nice, as well as the whole Arpege company, which provides our sound and video, and as I mentioned that on stage, the audience made it a point to not lag behind Marseille.
Ignace was here to fine-tune details in preparation for Bercy and the 3D film this week-end. Paul Charles had come from London to discuss the show dates for the rest of the year, which will prove challenging. Then we boarded "our" bus and spent the night watching the photos and films shot by Christine and Thomas, and arrived in Toulouse under a pouring rain.. Meanwhile my mother had arrived with Louisa and Gilles to attend the concert at the Zenith in Toulouse...
Le Zenith de Nantes une des plus belles salles de France, et un public de connaisseurs nous attendait, j'ai beaucoup aimé. On a pu sentir depuis la scène le dynamisme de cette ville où les concerts, les expos et les films marchent si bien. Nos amis d'Algam et de la Boite Noire, la plus grosse société européenne d'importation d'instruments de musique étaient là en grand nombre, ainsi que la famille de Joachim Garraud et certains membres de ma famille. Nos nous sommes tous retrouvés après, dans une ambiance vraiment chaleureuse.
Marseille: Soleil, le vieux port, détente avec les musiciens. La ville de la musique et du Foot et comme je l'ai dit sur scène, pour un Lyonnais c'est pas facile à dire!
Le concert a été un des plus délirants depuis le début de la tournée. Pourtant le Dôme a plutôt une mauvaise réputation sur le plan acoustique, mais Alain Courieux, Cédric et Arno ont fait un super travail sur les réglages des systèmes, et le son était super.
Le concert a démarré tout de suite dans un climat électrique et n'a cessé de monter dans une ambiance de stade. Le public marseillais sera difficile à battre...
Jean-Pierre Janiaud, un très grand ingénieur du son, avec qui j'ai produit les albums de P. Juvet à Los Angeles et au studio Gang, et mixé Oxygène et Equinoxe, était là, accompagné par Christophe. J'étais très heureux de le retrouver. Mon oncle Jean Nicolaï était là aussi, en grande forme (étonnant pour ses 95 ans) ainsi que ma très chère Edith.
Nice: J'avais peur d'un dimanche soir en mars à Nice et d'un public plus réservé, j'avais tort.. Beaucoup de gens de notre équipe ainsi qu'Arpège, la société qui nous fournit le son et la vidéo, dirigée par Christian Lorenzi, sont d'ici et le public a donc mis un point d'honneur à ne pas rester derrière Marseille..
Ignace était venu pour peaufiner certains réglages lumières en vue du show de Bercy et du tournage 3D de la fin de semaine. Paul Charles était venu de Londres pour discuter du planning des concerts de la suite de l'année, très chargé.. Ensuite nous avons pris "notre" bus et passé la nuit à regarder les photos et films de Christine et Thomas, et c'est sous une pluie battante que nous avons fait notre entrée dans Toulouse. Et ce soir ma mère est arrivée avec Louisa et Gilles pour assister au concert de demain...
mercredi 17 mars 2010
Arrived from Paris before 4PM under a warm sun, soundcheck was OK, feels good to be with the crew again. Did a live interview from the stage with France 3 evening news, then got a phone call from the Maire, former Prime Minister Alain Juppé, a very nice man, apologising for missing the show but Bordeaux was playing Greece tonight, and he couldn't affort to miss it as the Maire of the city.
The arena is an ice-skating rink, pretty cold, but the concert went really well and the audience was really into it for one of the best shows so far.. A good omen for the french leg.
Later that day, Pierre fell in the street and is still in the hospital with strong pain in the right foot.. Fiona is with him, we hope that he will be able to follow us to Nantes tomorrow..
In the meantime we had dinner with Gerard Drouot, our french promoter to discuss Bercy. He and his team are very enthusiastic about the show tonight.
Premier concert français à Bordeaux:
Nous sommes arrivés de Paris vers seize heures par un beau soleil. Soundcheck à 16h, tout se passe bien, je suis heureux de retrouver tout le monde après la tournée allemande de ces deux dernières semaines..
Interview en live pour le JT national de France 3 puis attente habituelle sur scène pour le direct avec Samuel Etienne. Appel d'Alain Juppé, maire de Bordeaux pour s'excuser de ne pas être là, mais Bordeaux joue contre les Grecs ce soir en coupe d'Europe, et il ne peut raisonnablement pas manquer le match en tant que maire de la Ville..
La patinoire de Bordeaux est un lieu difficile, froid par définition avec une acoustique qu'il faut maîtriser. Le concert s'est néanmoins très bien passé, un des meilleurs depuis le début aux dires de l'équipe, malgré un problème de séquenceur au début de Chronologie 6 (ah les aléas de l'analogique..). Le public Bordelais était debout pour la dernière demi-heure, ce qui est assez rare d'apres le promoteur local..
A la sortie, beaucoup de monde m'attendait pour une séance d'autographes et c'est là que Pierre, membre éminent de l'équipe, a glissé sur le trottoir et s'est abimé le pied droit.. Fiona est encore en ce moment même avec lui aux urgences. Nous espérons tous qu'il pourra venir avec nous à Nantes demain..
Pendant ce temps j'ai dîné avec Gérard Drouot et son équipe pour parler de Bercy..
lundi 15 mars 2010
The first time I went to Manheim was to see Pink Floyd's The Wall and I loved it. I said to myself, if one day I am doing indoor concerts I would like to play there.. And here we are few decades later.
This is the last concert in Germany for 2010 and we already have quite good recollections. Maybe it's the harmony in the crew. I must say that every one is top class, doing their job with dedication and talent... Everyone is improving their part everyday and we have a really good show now. I do hope that we are going to keep up like this back in France. Playing your own country is like going back to your family, warm but never easy...
Talking about family, this crew is turning into a family of its own. I feel responsible and I do care for it.. One important member is missing though, Thomas Alsina, always present for every concert since 1998. He's busy working in California on the release of yet another Apple product, but he'll be joining us in Marseille. We are all missing him.
New dates of concerts are coming in everyday from my agent in London and we have to make decisions about them. We are discussing with Alain Courieux about working with a DigiCo console for the next album and involving him in the recording and mixing process.
Peter the director for live video is doing a great job, always finding new ideas. I asked him to film some parts of the concerts. He has such a good eye. Dominique has created a new club with special backstage passes called Spam. The main character is a funny face sculpted into a potato by Domino himself.. Pierre is more and more into photography using my new Canon D7 and the results are pretty good, he knows the show by heart and he's got a good eye. You will see some of them on the blog soon. Louis from Aero prod is everywhere and it is a real pleasure to be with him on the road.
As I write this, we are on the bus, going to France, driven by Zippy. I wonder why all tour busses have such a similar style, a kind of 70's porno film type of decor, purple, black and white carpets seats and walls, with mirrors on the ceilings and glass snakes on the doors.. The Bus itself is in a dark pink robe, very chic..
And as is now usual just before going to bed, we drank sake, red wine and tasted saucisson de Lyon, the best in the world of course...
Chris, trying to make some money
My new hair dryer
This way nobody can steal my screen
Entering the arena from the back
Souvenir de Chine
Vintage-style live video feedback
Playing Big Brother like it's 1984
I like the new oblique position of lasers
We built a teleporter for Chronologie
I even get to sit
Saturday night in Munich was great, The show seems to be consistent now... The beginning was quite religious and then became hot and groovy, we all had a good time except Julien who had an argument with his console.
Then we were all invited by Klaus, the german promoter and his wife for dinner to celebrate this german tour ending the next day at Manheim. Everybody seemed working well all together, and Klaus said he really would like to put together a 2011 tour in the country. They're nice people to work with and we'll be back then...
Pierre has done a lot of photos tonight with his new camera and turns out to be quite good at it..
Tomorrow we leave quite early to Manheim, good night.
samedi 13 mars 2010
Those who already saw the show know that the new Adagio track is entirely about numbers, demographics and the pressure we impose on natural resources. Those numbers are dizzying. Every week, world population increases by over 1 million. It's hard to realize, that's a new large city every week, 1 million extra people to feed through agriculture, to provide with energy, health care, sanitation.
The slightest quantity becomes impressive when you multiply them by a population. Five little grams of toothpaste every morning seem innocent, yet multiplied by Europe's population, that's 2000 tons of toothpaste that flows to the rivers daily, along with 600,000m3 of urine. 12 billion dollars spent every year on dog and cat food. For every american person to eat a steak every day, that's over 100,000 cows per day. That same day, China consumes 68,000 fully-grown trees in the form of disposable chopsticks.
But there's hope: every single hour in the world, probably over 20 million people are making love, of which about 10,000 "succeed". During this hour, the earth has travelled over 100,000 kilometers in our solar system, at about 30 kilometers per second, and people will have exchanged over 8 billion emails, of which a good proportion is spam, and the rest contains the ideas of tomorrow, love declarations, lawsuits, and my words to all the people who subscribe to this blog via email.
Probably the smallest venue of the tour but one of the best sound so far.. All my choruses with the Moog Liberation and the AX-S sounded really great and the bass and drum sounds were quite precise. Everyday it seems that we are progressing by doing solid sounchecks where I check every track, sound-wise and visual-wise.
Christine Ferreyra has done really good photos soon published on the blog...
Tomorrow, en route to Munich... Good night..
jeudi 11 mars 2010
It is a privilege to play the city of Bach.. After a perfect sound check and some adjustments that I wanted to make with Olivier and Ansar for the Lights and Lasers, the concert started on time. Everybody was in a good mood. The photographer, Christine Ferreyra, arrived today. She has done amongst the best photos of the previous concerts and it is great to have her around for a few days..
The concert went rather well, with good energy on stage, I got a few problems with my in-ear monitors, and Francis had MIDI issues on his Synthex right in the middle of RV2, despite that the audience was really grooving up until the end.
Tomorrow, I would like to add some new video on Oxygene 4 which I originally planned..
I decided to add new tracks (apart from the Adagio I am playing at the Statistics moment) after March because I really want to focus on the sound, performance and visuals first. Fans will have quite a few surprises during the year anyway.
By the way, thank you for your great comments since the beginning of this leg of the 2010 tour, I really appreciate, and I'm trying my best to improve the show night after night.
mercredi 10 mars 2010
After two days off, I came back to Germany by train with my friend the musician/producer/dj Joachim Garraud. We spent a lot of time talking new instruments, new plug-ins, tours, new media and future projects... It is always a rare pleasure to spend some time with Joachim.
Then I arrived in Stuttgart for soundcheck. I met Eric Mandel from the french sunday paper JDD, a nice guy with who we talked about the tour and lots of other things.
Stuttgart has a reputation of being quite austere like some cities of south Germany, but it is not necessarily true. Tonight I had a good time on stage and for a tuesday night quite a warm audience. The concert went rather well and we seemed to have now found a consistent level of energy..
Next stage Leipzig..
dimanche 7 mars 2010
Yesterday was the fifth concert of the 2010 Tour, after general rehearsals in Belgium which went quite well considering the amount of work done.
I worked a lot on this project to get closer to what I have been having in mind for quite a while. First of all, I rearranged existing tracks for the instruments the four of us use on stage. I also spent time on the mix with Alain Courieux to get every part of the music we play as clear and precise as possible, and with Julien and Vincent to get the best possible sound in our ear monitors, an essential ingredient to play in the most natural way. Then we worked hard with Cedric Courieux and Arno to adjust our new L acoustics PA system for each venue. I did practice quite a lot as well, especially the new Theremin part and my various solos. All that was previously rehearsed in the studio with the musicians Claude Samard, Francis Rimbert and Dominique Perrier. I really wanted that, beyond the technical aspect of the music, every one would express every emotion in each track, our eight hands playing with the same feel.
The other endeavour for this 2010 project was also to design a scenography which could convey the magic of my outdoor concerts, with each song building its own visual world. With Ignace d' Haese, the lighting director, we drafted specific color schemes for the cyclo behind us and I asked him to consider the instrument on the stage like "actors" in a play.. I also made the decision to include video backdrops but to avoid any directly narrative content so that the music should let every one create their own story in their mind. With Hugo and Ansar, the Laser team, we improved the laser harp and thought through ways to use the laser on stage and in space with a 3D approach. That gives the feeling of total immersion into the show for the audience, and will come in handy when we film the concert in 3D in Strasbourg and Liege.
Once we put the last touch to the music in my studio in France, I could focus on the scenography in Belgium. For the first time I decided to inject some live video throughout a few songs, to share some close-ups with the audience, as the way we are playing the instruments is sometimes quite "special". All the live feeds are intentionally in black and white to match the vintage look of the analog synthesizers and to provide a better contrast with the high-tech look of the scenography. Peter is doing an excellent job catching the best angles of the performance. To that effect, we put eight cameras on stage, including a mini cam on my glasses to give a dynamic first-person point of view.
The last general rehearsal went rather well which is quite unusual.. Then we left Belgium for Katowice in Poland, by bus. In fact, I asked Chris Rowley our great production manager to travel as much as we can by bus. In these days where the sense of geography and distances is becoming more abstract because of planes and communication technologies, it is a great experience to go through each continent by road.. And I just love the community spirit and those moments we share with the musicians, Chris, Pierre, Louis or Fiona, drinking sake, discussing future shows or making music..
The first concert in Katowice was exciting because of the Polish audience, always warm and so special to me. Technically, we had all possible problems. It was difficult to install the whole production in time, then something went wrong in Julien's console and suddenly the mix we had on stage was awful. It was a nightmare to play with such a mess in our ears. We knew from the beginning that this hall was the most difficult of the tour... But again, the audience was great and gave us the energy to fight.
During the day off, we decided to visit Auschwitz, which is only 20km away from Katowice. I thought a lot about my Mum, a great figure in the french resistance. She was caught three times by the Germans, and was sent to Ravensbruck, another horrible deportation camp. Everything has been said about the camps, but when you actually see one for yourself, it is beyond all description. The most striking thing to me is to measure the ability of some human beings to be as systematically, massively and madly destructive. It is something that every teenager should see. You feel so sick afterwards.. Thank you Mum for having taught me tolerance after all you have been through.
Then, we set off to begin the German part of the tour to Braunschweig. This second gig went much better, more or less at the level of the general rehearsals.
Hamburg was the first large city, with a lot of media presence, plus my agent Paul Charles and Gerard Drouot, the french promoter.. It was much tighter this time, the show starts to sound the way I want, still some visual glitches to improve. I think that Paul and Gerard understood what I am aiming for with this project..
We left for Berlin, always challenging and difficult like every capital in the world. Not only is it the capital of classical and electronic music, but it has also been the heart of european culture for centuries.. It is always something to play Berlin.
Fortunately, the concert went really well, the audience was so great, a mixture of young musicians, people closing their eyes to focus on the sound, girls dancing, others taking pictures. They were all so enthusiastic, it was a huge encouragement for all of us..
Yesterday night was Oberhausen.. I think for the first time, we delivered what I had in mind, all week we have made the few necessary adjustments on stage and visually and the result was an incredible feedback from the crowd. Everybody stood up for the last 45 minutes, and we delivered such an energy on stage that everyone went really crazy.
I hope we can keep this level of quality next week and maybe even improve it. Then when I will feel we "have" the show, I shall be able to introduce some new songs, but first we need every one in the crew to become in total control and confidence...
Next step Stuttgart.. Stay tuned.
mardi 2 mars 2010
It is now a ritual, Saturday night we boarded "our" bus and took possession of our cabins like passengers of a steamship. By the time we were done making ourselves at home, the lights of Antwerp were gone and we were cruising eastward towards Katowice, and it felt as if the previous tour had never stopped. Claude is dozing in his front seat, Francis probably fell asleep watching a movie at the back, Chris and Dominique explored the kitchen for some sake and went to bed. As to me I am enjoying the hypnotic highway from my room. For a whole month we will live in this ship in apnea from the world, emerging every morning in a new city so different from the others. We're a circus and Europe is our playground.
jeudi 7 janvier 2010
2010 is off to a great start. Not that 2009 was bad, but 2010 is one step above.. After the 2009 tour ended, I wanted to evolve the concept a bit, to give a new meaning to the music, moving moods, bright and somber passages.. It will be quite different, and quite special. The new tracklisting is really powerful now, and I have been working with Marie-Jeanne, Thomas and Ignace to give it the visual force it deserves. There is still a lot of work, but we have a solid base, a solid team and fresh energy after the holidays. The promotion has already started, and I'm glad we have some interesting press articles.
The new concept also gave me inspiration for new tracks that I want to try, refine and sharpen during the tour, with a new album in mind later this year.. That and a few other surprises..
Another exciting change in 2010 is 3D. As you know I have been experimenting with 3D concerts for over a decade, so I'm observing with curiosity how Avatar is changing the movie industry. It is like the beginning of 5.1 for sound: sweat, pain but a whole new opportunity. I am working on a special 3D project linked to the 2010 concerts..
I hope 2010 will be as thrilling for you as it is for me. Thanks for all your kind comments, and happy new year to you all. Specially to you, yes, you.