Electronic maestro keen to tackle "final frontier"

Beatrice Thomas, 
The West Australian  
Updated July 27, 2012,

Electronic maestro Jean Michel Jarre keen to tackle 'final frontier'.

His outdoor lighting and sound extravaganzas have attracted audiences of millions.

When he performed for Prince Albert of Monaco's wedding last year, 3.5 billion people watched on television and the internet.

But Jean Michel Jarre, the famed French composer, performer and music producer, says Perth is his "final frontier".

"I've been a big fan of Australia for a long time," he said yesterday during a whirlwind visit to Perth.

"I fell in love with the place, the environment. It's extraordinary. But the community also, it's very nice and warm people. I said to myself we should really promote this place to the world."

Introduced to Perth by Maryanne Bell, a local entrepreneur and founder of ITM Productions, the 63-year-old pioneer of electronic music is working to bring his big outdoor concert to Perth in March after an initial November date was ruled too ambitious.

With the concert billed to rival the Australia Day Skyworks, Jarre said he also wanted to leave a legacy, including through the global TV audience his concert would attract.

A painter and a keen collector of Aboriginal art, he envisaged it would be a key visual element of the show. And the long-time UNESCO ambassador said he also wanted to incorporate schoolchildren's artwork in the graphics.

"As an outsider and a friend of Australia and a big admirer of Western Australia, I think it's time to put this part of the world . . . on the map," he said.

"There is huge excitement worldwide already about the project."

Jean Michel Jarre concert celebrating the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco in July.

The Perth concert would be his first in Australia. Jarre's 1976 album Oxygene featured in the 1981 Australian film Gallipoli.

He also spent a month at Uluru in the 1980s while promoting the album Zoolook, which was influenced by Aboriginal music.

In a week spent working Perth corporate and government circles to shore up backing for the March event, Jarre said he was also excited about his new role, announced yesterday, as one of two new international ambassadors for the Perth Fashion Festival.
 Source: au.news

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