Jean-Michel Jarre

The French composer, performer, and producer Jean-Michel Jarre is celebrated as a pioneer not only of synthesizer-driven electronic music, but also of outdoor instrumental spectaculars. Selling over 80 million records worldwide, he was born into a family of artists — including his father, composer Maurice Jarre, whose work would later influence his son's own amalgamations of music and art — in 1948 in Lyon, France. Jean-Michel Jarre was raised in Paris and studied classical piano before playing guitar with The Dustbins in 1967. He released his first single, "La Cage/Erosmachine," in 1969, mixing synthesizers with tape loops and effects. He then composed music for TV and theatre productions before releasing his debut album Deserted Palace in 1972. Jean-Michel Jarre went on to write music for Francoise Hardy and finally became an international star in 1976 with the release of Oxygène, a concept album that used a dramatic cacophony of melodies and effects. The more baroque-sounding follow-up, Équinoxe, saw him performing to mass audiences as his shows became more spectacular and he was the first western artist invited to play in China. More ambitious albums like Les Chants Magnétiques, Rendez-Vous, Zoolook, En Attendant Cousteau, and Métamorphoses followed and, after a seven-year absence, he returned in 2007 to record the trance-like dance album Teo and Tea. After years of touring, he released 2015's Electronica 1: The Time Machine with help from electronic artists like Gesaffelstein, M83, Edgar Froese, and Tangerine Dream. Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise followed in 2016 and featured more collaborations with other artists, and Oxygène 3 arrived before the year was up. 2018 found Jarre performing everywhere from South America to Coachella. He released another album, Equinoxe Infinity, that same year, then created an audio-visual app called Eōn in 2019. Remaining adventurous well into his 70s, Jean-Michel Jarre stretched his creative horizons once again with 2021's Amazônia, the audio companion to a photo exhibit about the Amazon rainforest.

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