Jean-Michel Jarre is an artist like no other. Over the last 40 years he has composed, recorded and produced timeless and unique music that has inspired and enthralled listeners the world over. It all started four decades ago with the French release of his debut OXYGENE, the landmark-album that launched his career. With its international release in 1977, it turned into a multiplatinum selling record that not only helped to popularise Electronic Music massively, but also continues to be highly relevant in today’s music scene.
Now, 40 years after the huge international impact of OXYGENE, and 20 years from its second volume OXYGENE 7-13, Jean-Michel Jarre is fulfilling a trilogy of albums with OXYGENE 3, containing seven newly composed and recorded pieces, consistently titled parts 14-20. His inspiration for the newly added parts on OXYGENE 3 was not to go back in time, but to add a sense of “now” to his iconic piece of work. Plunging into the environment of OXYGENE with its highly original dark, moody and at times quite upbeat musical language, Jarre references some of the music from his entire body of work on OXYGENE 3. It’s a state-of-the-art recording, embracing both classic and modern ways of music production.
“I don’t necessarily like anniversaries that much…But when I was recording Electronica, two years ago, I did a piece of music (today Oxygene 19) that made me think about what Oxygene could be if I was composing it today. Then I took the 40th anniversary of the first album as a deadline to push myself to see if I could compose this new chapter in six weeks, just like I did for the first one: probably to avoid thinking too much about, whether it was a good idea or not, and also to record everything in one go… The idea was not to copy the first album, but rather keeping the dogma of embarking listeners on a journey from beginning to end with different chapters, all linked to each other.
“What made the first Oxygene so different at the time, is probably the minimalist aspect, and the fact that there are almost no drums, and I wanted to keep this approach, creating the groove mainly with the sequences and the structure of the melodies only. When I did the first Oxygene in the vinyl days, I had a structure in mind divided in 2 parts fitting the A&B sides of an album. This time I enjoyed doing the same: one side being darker, the other being brighter. So when I think of it today, Oxygene 3 has actually two sides…
“I did the first Oxygene on an 8 tracks tape recorder with very few instruments, with no other choice than being minimalist. I tried to keep this minimalist approach for Oxygene 3. Some moments are built around one or two elements like in the first volume.”
Keeping in line with the OXYGENE-saga, the new album is further exploring the ambivalence between outer space and our vital living space. Therefore the album’s artwork is of crucial significance. A take on Michel Granger’s work for the first OXYGENE-album, Jean-Michel had a 3D-model of the skull created for the artwork of OXYGENE 3.
“40 years ago too, I discovered Michel Granger’s visual universe and immediately felt a total adequacy with the music I was composing. Since then, the cover artwork became famous, like an ecological warning signal, dark and surreal, evoking both outer space and that of our vital living space: this image, for me, has become inseparable from the music. I wanted the Oxygene 3 visual to remain in that same vein, and hence to re-visit Michel Granger’s original work, simply shifting «photographed-like» from another angle, which was exactly aligned with the approach I had to create this new chapter in music. To this end, I asked Michel Granger’s permission to perform a 3D model of his creation in order to change the angle of the visual, which he amicably accepted.” JMJ
Following the critically acclaimed and highly successful adventure ELETRONICA Volumes 1 & 2, which saw Jarre collaborate with 30 of music’s most iconic artists, OXYGENE 3 is also bringing his body of work full circle. During his journeys for ELECTRONICA, he was once again ensured by his collaborators what enduring influence he had on them, with quite a few of them even claiming to surely not have fallen into electronic music if it wasn’t for OXYGENE.
Having sold more than 80 million albums and staged some of the most spectacular, record-breaking events in modern history, Jean-Michel Jarre is about to embark on his highly anticipated ELECTRONICA-Tour, starting off on October 4thin Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and visiting most of the Europe’s biggest arenas before finishing off this first leg at Paris’ Accorhotels Arena on December 12th. During the ELECTRONICA-shows, excerpts from OXYGENE 3 will be premiered, promises Jarre.
OXYGENE 3 will be available on CD, Vinyl and in the Ultimate OXYGENE-Trilogy Box-Set, combining all three OXYGENE-albums on CD and Vinyl, with an attached coffee-table-book featuring rare photos and notes on the story of OXYGENE.
Jean-Michel Jarre ELECTRONICA Tour Dates
October 4 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – Cardiff, Wales
October 6 – Brighton Arena – Brighton, England
October 7 – 02 Arena – London, England
October 8 – Barclaycard Arena – Birmingham, England
October 10 – 3Arena – Dublin, Ireland
October 13 – First Direct Arena – Leeds, England
October 14 – The SSE Hydro – Glasgow, Scotland
October 16 – Festhall – Frankfurt, Germany
October 17 – Zénith – Strasbourg, France
October 19 – Barclaycard Arena – Hamburg, Germany
October 20 – Mercedes Benz Arena – Berlin, Germany
October 22 – Electricity Conference @ ISS Dome – Dusseldorf, Germany
October 23 – Palais 12 – Brussels, Belgium
October 26 – Falconer Theatre – Copenhagen, Denmark
October 28 – Spektrum – Oslo, Norway
October 29 – Hovet – Stockholm, Sweden
October 31 – Ice Hall – Helsinki, Finland
November 2 – Saku Arena – Tallinn, Estonia
November 3 – Kaunas Arena – Kaunas, Lithuania
November 5 – Atlas Arena – Łódz, Poland
November 6 – Spodek – Katowice, Poland
November 8 – 02 Arena – Prague, Czech Republic
November 9 – Nepela Arena – Bratislava, Slovakia
November 10 – Papp Laszlo Sport Arena – Budapest, Hungary
November 11 – Polivalent Hall – Cluj, Romania
November 13 – Boris Trajkovski Arena – Skopje, Macedonia
November 15 – Arena Stožice – Ljubljana, Slovenia
November 17 – Stadthalle – Vienna, Austria
November 18 – Hallenstadion Zurich – Zurich, Switzerland
November 19 – Arena Nürnberg – Nuremberg, Germany
November 21 – Munsterlandhalle – Munster, Germany
November 22 – Heineken Music Hall – Amsterdam, Netherlands
November 24 – Halle Tony Garnier – Lyon, France
November 25 – Arena – Geneva, Switzerland
November 26 – Zénith – Dijon, France
November 28 – Zénith D’Auvergne – Clermont Ferrand, France
November 29 – Zénith Metropole – Nantes, France
December 12 – AccorHotels Arena – Paris, France