Jean-Michel Jarre visiting the Idem near Perpignan: “We have tended too much in France to separate culture from technology”

A pioneer of electronic music, Jean-Michel Jarre was on Monday May 23 at the Soler School of Creative and Digital Professions to talk about music, virtual reality and metaverse. Meeting with the planetary star with more than 85 million records sold.

You have come to inaugurate the new ultra-modern studios of the Idem. Does the future of electronic music go through this type of equipment?

All these new technologies are essential in terms of culture and the very evolution of our society. It is also urgent to acquire our independence in terms of virtual reality platforms and to have a real independent cloud, therefore a political will that goes beyond audiovisual. In this moment of total post-Covid disruption, it’s an opportunity to change the paradigm with a new way of expressing yourself. It would be a big mistake for creators to miss out. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to write books anymore. It is interesting to see that in creation nothing replaces anything, everything is added.

You are also involved in the Metaverse (the internet of the future, virtual reality…). Is the public ready to follow these innovations?

At the start of the Internet, no one imagined that it would one day be possible to do almost everything with their mobile phone. Our society has been turned upside down by technology over the past 25 years, but that’s nothing compared to what’s going to happen. In China, students learn to code in primary school like learning a foreign language. It is absolutely necessary to jump on the bandwagon now if we do not want to become complete digital colonized. A school like Idem is a great opportunity to be in tune with the world of tomorrow.

New technologies have allowed you to sell a lot of records. Can popular music be so scholarly?

I like this question because it would never happen in Anglo-Saxon countries. Not to mention the public, I think that the French elites have missed out on pop culture like Philip Roth, Bruce Springsteen or Basquiat… When Sacem still existed there was a different reward for so-called “heavy” music or light music, it’s typically French. For my part, I was predestined to contemporary music, as it was called in the 70s, but I turned out badly (laughs). My next project in homage to Pierre Henry is precisely a bridge between contemporary music and current music, even if this divide exists less and less. The Idem is also a unifying example on the subject of metaverses or technology with a more cerebral approach to creation and another more intuitive.

Your hypnotic New Year’s 2021 concert in a Notre-Dame de Paris reconstructed in virtual reality was the most “streamed” online and the result of a collaboration with the Perpignan start-up VRrOOm.

For me VRrOOm is the only start-up I know in France that allows me to go after my dreams. For the Fête de la Musique 2021 concert, which was the first to be broadcast live in virtual and real life, or for Welcome to the other side, we found ourselves a lot on the idea of ​​understanding the tools that technically allow us to reach the viewer and be able to play with sound and visual limits. There has been too much of a tendency in France to separate culture from technology when the two are in fact intimately linked. We also realize that in the era of zapping, if technologically you are not coherent, relevant and efficient, people leave.

A word about your news?

I worked on the immersive soundtrack of the exhibition amazonia by Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. On the other hand, I am putting the finishing touches to the project Oxymoron which will be released in October 2022. It is a creation in homage to Pierre Henry (one of the fathers of electroacoustic music, editor’s note), one of the very first projects created from the start for multichannel and with the help of Vroom for the elaboration of a whole virtual universe.

The Idem and the Pôle Action Média at the forefront of immersive technologies.

Established for four years in the heart of the Cité Digitale du Soler, the Idem inaugurated its audiovisual studios to produce cutting-edge virtual reality content (spatialized sound, binaural, virtual and 360° images, etc.). A new step for this young international school already at the forefront of digital trends with also the launch of a whole sector dedicated to the metaverse.

Beyond training, the companies of the Pôle Action Média will create a laboratory around this new industry: the MétaLab. A zone shared between artists, developers, start-ups and students in order to experiment and create the new web practices of tomorrow.

Considered a world leader in the metaverse in the field of entertainment, the start-up VRrOOm, created by Perpignan Louis Cacciuttolo (former vice-president in San Francisco of the company THX created by George Lucas himself) has just proceeded an initial fundraising of €1.5 million from Bpifrance or the Occitanie Region, with the creation of 60 jobs planned over the next 24 months.

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Jean-Michel Jarre visiting the Idem near Perpignan: “We have tended too much in France to separate culture from technology”

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