The French musician is releasing a new album, Téo & Téa. In an interview with Metrofrance.com, he spoke about his music, on record and on stage, his style and his career.
He welcomes journalists in his wide flat, in Paris. He
just landed from Spain and is about to leave for Poland. Jean-Michel
Jarre, who will soon turn 60, gives one interview after the other. His
last opus, Téo &Téa, was released worldwide on March 26th.
Journalists wait patiently for their turn. And when it finally comes,
sometimes, the tongue slips...
Let us talk about your first alb..., oops, your 18th album...
My first album... there is a little in that, indeed ! (He laughs).
Funny that you say that because that's how I see it. Three or four
years ago, I went through a terrible period in my life, both personally
and professionally. I changed my record label in difficult conditions.
Téo & Téa is my first album at Warner. It's been an exhilarating and
refreshing experience. I've rediscovered both my innocence and my
strong desire to make music.
How did you proceed to make Téo & Téa ?
I made about 50 sketches in a month, then selected 20 of them when
I started working in studio. Then again, I selected a score of it,
worked them over and over again. I'm a perfectionist... For this album, I
also changed my way of making music. I didn't stay in front of the
screen of my computer all the time. I played music on real instruments. A
sensual way of making music in fact... It's like a first record :
everything is different ! It is more rhythmic, more fun. After the
terrible period I had gone through, it appears to me like a vaccine, as
if I had inoculated myself quite a large amount of energy.
What does the title refer to ?
Téo & Téa is about the meeting. I get the impression that, in
our society, finding a partner or a soul mate is an obsession. Téo &
Téa isn't about the relationship between two characters, it gives the
framework of the encounter in general. An electrifying and stimulating
How do we dance on your music ?
My music is more rhythmic than ever, it's clearly adapted to the dance floor.
What's the best place to listen to it ?
This album was made to be listened to anywhere. I listened to it a
lot with my earphones. I like this wandering way of listening to music,
of bringing it everywhere with me. I think it's rather poetic. Another
way of appreciating the record is to get immersed in the sound, with the
dolby surround version.
You've had a long career already. Do you still feel nervous when a new album is about to be released ?
When your first album is released, you don't know what to expect,
so you don't feel that much nervous. But when the second record is
released, then you get nervous. Because the critiques are all waiting
for the chance to catch you out. Since my last record was released
(Aero, in 2004), many things have changed in my life, as in the disc
industry. The context is different, so I just don't know what to expect.
I find again the same innocence and the same desire to meet the
audience as if it were my first album.
What is the most unpleasant when you make a record ? Promoting it ?
Talking about music, my music, is the most difficult thing to do
for me. I have at the same time a familiar and a strange relationship to
my music. I know the album by heart because I spent days and nights
working on it. But at the same time music is abstract, it always escapes
from its author.
You're famous around the world for the huge concerts you give. An
audience of 3,5 million people in just one night in Moscow, in 1997, is
your record. But the show you'll give in Antwerp, Belgium, on March
28th, is based on a different concept.
Yes. The original idea was to organize this concert anywhere in
Europe. The place in itself is not that important because part of the
creation is dematerialised. The only persons present at the show will be
about 300 "Téo & Téa", so couples, coming from all European
countries. But everyone will be able to attend the show, on a virtual
way, behind their computer screen, thanks to the Web.