mercredi 8 octobre 2008


While Jean Michel is pretty busy, here is a link to an interview he gave at the paris music show. The interviewer is from LAG, who crafted all the custom-made instruments of Jean Michel's early concerts. They ran into each other, and since he was conducting artist interviews, they hit it off and improvised, which explains why the journalist has no prepared list of questions. Of course it's in french, but Nico kindly provided an english translation in the comments for this post.
Video Here

9 commentaires:

Paes a dit…

Please, somebody to translate it to English or even better to Spanish. Or at least a summary of the most interesting things he talks about.

Thanks in advance.

Turid Elisabeth a dit…

Hi Jean Michel's so pleasant to see the interview even if I don't understand French that good!:)

You have not changed much,- but are the same wonderful enthusiastic person as you was in your first youth!:))

Turid Elisabeth

Kanta a dit…

Dear Jean Michel,

Thank you for both your videos. I would definitely vote for you as President.

Love and hugs. xxx

FRANCK a dit…


Kanta a dit…

JMJ’s LAG interview was very kindly translated into English by Nicolas Kern aka Nico_Noyau– Junior Admin on forum (many thanks Nico :D). By permission from Nico, here is the translation:

LAG : JMJ, quite a lot of years elapsed since we last met because we had quite an interesting adventure, some years of passionaating work, 1988-1991 because it was for the concerts around Docklands, PLD with a serie of unique instruments built during nights, so it's a pleasure for me to see you again on La Boite Noire Du Musicien (The Black Bo of the Musician) because this is now my family.

JMJ : this is mine too, because this is the family of a lot of musicians too, more than a shop this is an open club, a concept.

LAG : I'd like you to remember us how it was to be with those very particular and unique instruments.

JMJ : LAG has a particular position in the high-quality of guitars in the world, and when we met I had the wish (and it's still present, and it even has grown since) that we could find the same love of the esthetism and the emotional touch we can have with an instrument like the guitar with a keyboard, and there is a lot of improvement to make today on the esthetism linked to the sound, LAG was the leader and still is to developp a link between quality of the sound and emotional link to the instrument, I think what we did together was to try to have a thought about an esthetic approach of electronic and of electronic instruments and interfaces, it means having portable keyboards being something else in a visual way than a black box (joke with the name of the shop, ahha), a piece of plastic which has no identity, trying to have an identity we can take over, I think a violin, a guitar, a trumpet, have a shape, an esthetism, some sort of maintain.
The more I go the more I'm against convergency, the material being at the same time coffee machine, hoover, hair-drier and oven does all bad, whereas an instrument, a guitar, a violin makes one thing in the right way, so a synth has to be the same, what we tried to do and what I absolutly want to continue to developp especially nowadays when with the english saying "less is more" is absolutely right nowadays, we need an instrument making a function very well, rather than some sort of "put all inside" and moreover with an esthetism which has to be thought, and here we need people like you, really we need them, when we see big synths companies which are taken into other industrial problems like the microchip which has to be used on the most instruments to cost the less money possible, but finally they forget one of the most important relationship to music being that we are analog animals made with flesh and wounds, we need to touch and all this irrational relationship, the big big force of Apple was not to have made devices which are better than others, but we developp straight away an emotional and esthetic relationship and so we are a part of irrational, and I think than in music with instruments, the irrational and the subjective is capital.
Today, the evolution makes that in term of matter, there are a lot of things with which we can express ourselves, and you are totally in phasis with the needs of the music industry, which means we need people like you, people who can have a technical reflection and at the same time an esthetic and instrument-maker, and that's what's missing terribly in the
keyboards domain more than any else because for the domain of guitars, there are lot of things, people are sensitive to that, so in the rock and classic there is a mythology of musical instruments, there are iconic instruments : the Les Paul of Gibson, the Telecaster of Fender, the LAG are reference and legendary instruments, the Steinway, the Besendorfer (?), the Stradivarius are legendary instruments in classic, we don't have (independently of Moog) legendary instruments being on top of the pyramid, and without the top of the pyramid we can't build a pyramid.

LAG : but it lacks retreat, this is not the first thing done, but this is a thing in which the musician is interested, he is in everyday's life, he is the fashion, he needs mateer and emotions, but if we could change it, it'd be happy to work on it in France

JMJ : and at LAG and some other in the world, and we absolutely need people working on that to see that quite fast, otherwise they will be confronted to the problem we musicians are confronted to in the disc world which is the dismaterialization, which was the case for the CD where people download music on internet now because they broke with the emotion of the support, the vinyl was organic with which we has an emotional relation, the cover, the mateer, and today if we offer to people something which is not a CD but an object, people are going to buy it, this is the same thing with music because if we don't take care we will soon have a superb midi keyboard with fancy softwares because we won't need it anymore and finally a software will make ten times what an instrument makes today, so the only way for the music instruments to continue to exist is to reevaluate the esthetism and the sensual relationship to the object.

LAG : so finally this is the guitar which easily wins, because we take an acoustic guitar, we don't plug it, we play, we sing, that's the party, as was the accordion at a time, todays instruments brought us far from this conviviality, but that's mainly because they are not convivial, if they had a shape, an easy approach, we would go back to it.

JMJ : and that is the only progress in the years to come, WE COUNT ON YOU, I kiss you, see you soon, good luck to the Boite Noire, and for a black box we can't do better, we can even leave with it, we put the keys and we leave, bye !

Paes a dit…

Thanks Nico and Kanta.

Heidcast a dit…


Wonderful! great interview!
I love to see you,the way you express your self and what you
have inside...
your moves, your eyes...
and the way you look...
JMJ, J´adore!

(I´m writing a book, and
I would like to have a meeting
like this with you...)

(from BCN - sorry by my english...)

T J a dit…

If LAG would release the Tableau Circulaire as a commercial product, with a good price tag, I'd buy one immediately, it makes so much sense, instead of a straight keyboard, even the portable version would do.

Great stuff!

Jean Michel Jarre for president ! :-)

Nina, Anna Ostasiuk a dit…
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