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Three Questions With Jean-Michel Jarre

Legendary composer, performer, record producer and pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre answers three questions.

Synth History: What are a few of your all-time favorite synthesizers and why?

Jean-Michel Jarre: EMS VCS 3, my first synth ever, still working and present on each of my albums as a ritual.

ARP 2600 for its sharpness and warmth.

Osmose from Expressive, amazing for its live possibilities.

The OP1 from Teenage Engineering. Looking like a toy, but built like a NASA project!

Synth History: Can you recall a magic moment that happened in the studio whilst recording?

Jean-Michel Jarre: When my Memorymoog went totally crazy while I was recording and this unexpected drone was so cool that I decided to keep it as part of the track.

Synth History: You’re known for your impressive live shows. What is the process like for preparing for them?

Jean-Michel Jarre: Having hesitated between painting and music in my teenage, I have always conceived the visuals of my shows. So I am always starting by creating mood boards and different graphic ideas and when I have enough different sketches, I choose which song will work with one graphic style.

Synth History: Bonus question: What was it like collaborating recently with Martin Gore?

Jean-Michel Jarre: Martin is one of the most eclectic musicians I know, able to compose brilliant melodies as well as being totally experimental. He did a brilliant reprise of Brutalism, one track of my new album Oxymore.

Oxymore comes out Oct. 21st, inspired by French electronic music pioneer Pierre Henry.

Synth History Exclusive.


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