Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre was at the Soler School for Creative and Digital Crafts on Monday, May 23 to talk about music, virtual reality and the metaverse. Meet the planetary star who has sold over 85 million copies.
You have come to open the new ultra-modern studios of İdem. Does the future of electronic music pass through this kind of equipment?
All these new technologies are crucial to the evolution of our culture and society. In terms of virtual reality platforms, it is also urgent to achieve our independence and have a truly independent cloud, and therefore a political will that goes beyond audiovisual. In a time of total post-COVID disruption, it’s an opportunity to change the paradigm with a new way of expressing yourself. It would be a huge mistake for creators to miss out. This does not mean that we will no longer write books. It is interesting to see that nothing replaces anything in creation, everything is added.
You are also included in the Metaverse (future internet, virtual reality…). Is the public ready to follow these innovations?
At the dawn of the Internet, no one imagined that one day it would be possible to do almost anything with a mobile phone. Our society has been upended by technology in the last 25 years, but that’s nothing compared to what’s to come. In China, students learn to code the same way they learn a foreign language in elementary school. Jumping on the bandwagon now is absolutely necessary if we don’t want to colonize fully digitally. A school like Idem is a great opportunity to be in tune with the world of tomorrow.
New technologies have allowed you to sell a large number of records. Can popular music be that scientific?
I like this question because it would never happen in Anglo-Saxon countries. Not to mention the public, I think the French elite missed out on pop culture like Philip Roth, Bruce Springsteen or Basquiat… While Sacem still existed, there was a different award for so-called “heavy” music or light music, usually French. For myself, I was destined for contemporary music in the 70s, but I ended up poorly (laughs). With all due respect to Pierre Henry, my next project will truly bridge the gap between contemporary music and contemporary music, although this distinction is becoming less and less. Idem is also a unifying example of metaverses or technology with a more cerebral approach to creation and another more intuitive approach.
Your hypnotic New Year 2021 concert in Notre-Dame de Paris, recreated in virtual reality, was the most “streamed” online and the result of a collaboration with Perpignan start-up VRrOOm.
For me, VRrOOm is the only venture I know of in France that allows me to follow my dreams. For the Fête de la Musique 2021 concert, broadcast live for the first time in virtual and real life, or Welcome to the other side We’ve got a lot of ourselves into the idea of understanding the tools that allow us to technically reach the audience and play with the audio and visual boundaries. In France, the tendency to separate culture from technology has been too great, while the two are in fact closely linked. We also know that in the age of zapping, people leave if you’re not technologically consistent, relevant, and efficient.
Something about your news?
I worked on the immersive music of the exhibition Amazonia By Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado. At the same time, I am putting the finishing touches on the project. Contrast It will be released in October 2022. It is a tribute to Pierre Henry (one of the fathers of electroacoustic music, editor’s note), one of the first projects to be recreated for multichannel and with Vroom’s help. elaboration of an entire virtual universe.
Idem and Pôle Action Média are at the forefront of immersive technologies.
Founded in the heart of the Cité Digitale du Soler for four years, Idem has opened its audiovisual studios to produce state-of-the-art virtual reality content (spatialized audio, bi-audio, virtual and 360° images, etc.). It’s a new step for this young international school already at the forefront of digital trends, as well as the launch of an entire industry dedicated to the metaverse.
Beyond education, Pôle Action Media companies will create a laboratory around this new industry: MétaLab. A shared space between artists, developers, startups and students to experiment and create tomorrow’s new web applications.
Created by Perpignan Louis Cacciuttolo (former vice president of THX company in San Francisco, created by George Lucas), start-up VRrOOm, widely regarded as a world leader in the metaverse in entertainment, started with an initial fundraising of €. 1.5 million from Bpifrance or Occitanie Region, 60 job creation planned over the next 24 months.