Jean Michel Jarre – “Jarre”-ing the Senses

Ambient Music

Jean Michel Jarre broke new ground in the whelm of new age/ambient music in 1976, when his signature single, “Oxygene IV,” was released as part of the album with the same name sans the Roman numeral. Needless to say, it virtually “synthesized” the whole world and placed new age electronic music on center stage.

In Jarre’s official website,, his bio stated what was to set him and his musical genius apart from other new age/ambient musical artists: “(1970-1979) Having followed formal studies of harmony and counterpoint at the Conservatoire de Paris, he [Jarre] was inspired to reinvent music at its core, with his own singular vision, deploring the technology and tools of his epoch.”

This sense-filled artistry of Jarre also proved not only to re-create new age/ambient music and raise it to excitingly new levels, but it also broke the culture barrier. For the record, Jarre was the first Western (being French, of course) musician who was invited to officially perform in the People’s Republic of China. Not to mention his other unsurpassed feat, for holding the world record for the number of people of an outdoor event (and we all thought it was the Woodstock!).

Anyway, after Oxygene IV, Jarre’s progressive and spiritual electronic-based new age/ambient music became very much in demand, especially as musical scores for the cinematic arts. Aside from staging and directing concerts, Jarre managed to do the musical score of the film Gallipoli, directed by Peter Weir and featuring the then debut of the actor Mel Gibson. What is more inspiring is that Jarre is also, for the past decades, a UNESCO Ambassador who is at the forefront of raising global awareness for UN projects, such as “Water for Life” and “Education for All.”

Clearly, the new age/ambient music of Jean Michel Jarre is not only an artistic endeavor of a genius, but it also serves as the guiding principle for one great human being’s way of life. For his music is not only considered as progressive rock, or ambient music, or spiritually enlightened, or the epitomy of relaxation, Jarre’s music is new age music. It is the embryo of ambient music which then gave birth to a whole new generation of music the world has never known before.

And Jean Michel Jarre is not finished yet! As stated in his official site, on “June 6, 2013 at the World Creators Summit in Washington DC, Jarre is elected President of CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), representing all artistic disciplines – music, cinema, visual arts, theatre and literature – the voice of over 3 million creators around the world.”

What an adventure! He started with the birth of new age/ambient music, and he is at the helm of bringing into fruition a new age/ambient way of life. A life, as one great poet once wrote, of “rotund, opulence and elan”.