Text by CLOT Magazine
Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre is releasing his brand new studio album Equinoxe Infinity, the sequel to his 1978 album Equinoxe. Jean-Michel Jarre has always been fascinated with machines and technology. Trained as a musician (piano and music theory) in 1976, he composed Oxygène using a variety of analogue synthesisers to create memorable bits, sounds and rhythms that led to a synth revolution and pushed the boundaries of science and technology.
In 2017 Jean-Michel Jarre was awarded the ‘Stephen Hawking Medal for Science & Communication’. Based on his conversations with Professor Stephen Hawking about whether there will come a day when we [humanity] will have to leave the planet Earth to conquer another world to survive, Jean-Michel Jarre conceived the central idea for Equinoxe Infinity.
It draws on his interest in new advances in technology, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence: Are these new technologies a wonder or a threat? Jean-Michel Jarre composed and produced the music of our future and the watchers, the symbol of machines watching us, look into this future: Will we live in harmony with machines or instead will we be dominated by machines? Harmony or a dystopian future? Following Michel Granger’s design for Equinoxe in 1978, artist Filip Hodas designed the album’s two covers. In one of the covers, the watchers watch us living harmoniously with nature and technology. At the same time, in the other one, the apocalypse comes across the planet, and the watchers look into this dystopian future in which machines dominate humans.
Equinoxe Infinity is set to arrive this Friday, 16 November, almost forty years to the day since Equinoxe was launched in 1978. We got the chance to meet Jean-Michel Jarre at Sony Music in London, and for over one hour, we talked about technology, AI, machine learning and what’s next for humanity.