Jarre whistles up a wind band
SUNDAY DECEMBER 02 2001
JEAN MICHEL JARRE, the French musician who pioneered electronic music with his album Oxygene 25 years ago, plans to perform a concert powered totally by wind, writes Maurice Chittenden.
The synthesizer player, who has played to millions of people by taking over whole cities for extravagant light and sound shows, will rely on energy from 45 windmills.
The event, planned for a wind farm near Aalborg in Denmark next spring, will include displays by wind surfers and giant projections of pictures of windmills. Carlsberg and Tuborg, the lager companies, have been involved in negotiations over possible sponsorship.
The concert for 50,000 people aims to raise more than £1m for charity and will be filmed for future broadcast.
Jarre, 53, once married to the British actress Charlotte Rampling, said: "When talking about the wind, people nearly always state what damage it can cause. However, through the music I am composing specially for the show, it will express how we can use the wind in our favour.
"Both the wind and water are elements that go back to the creation of Earth. The element of water has been used a lot by artists for many years. However, very little has been done using the wind."
Jarre, who ate nothing but beans on toast for two weeks on his first trip to Britain on a school exchange 40 years ago, said: "When you are a passenger on an aircraft you can see light and the wind as the plane rises. Thousands of images are conjured up in your mind. The wind will be the engine and the heart of the concert."
The performer, who has sold more than 50m albums, took over London’s emerging Docklands 13 years ago for a spectacular show of lasers, fireworks and images projected on buildings. Hank Marvin of the Shadows joined him on stage and the concert was watched by the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
He has since performed similar concerts in Houston, Beijing, Paris and Moscow, playing to 3m people in the Russian capital in what was claimed to be the biggest ever rock concert. He celebrated the millennium with a show at the pyramids.