THIS year will see The Godfather of Electronic Music, Jean-Michel Jarre, back with a spectacular live show for the first time in six years. The nationwide arena tour brings him to Cardiff’s Motorpoint arena on October 4.

Famed for staggering visuals and the use of cutting-edge digital technology, which has been seen by millions of people around the world, the new live show promises yet again to be a truly immersive musical journey, with Jarre set to showcase brand new music from his stunning two-part LP, ‘Electronica’, alongside classic material from previous albums such as Oxygene and Equinoxe.

Jarre recently answered questions about the forthcoming tour.

Can you tell us a bit about Electronica Volume 2?

The project is actually coming from an idea I started some time ago, gathering around me musicians, artists and collaborators who have been and who are an ongoing source of inspiration to me – linked, directly or indirectly, to technology and electronic music covering different generations.

Because everyone said yes, the project became much bigger than I had imagined and I decided to divide ELECTRONICA into 2 separate albums. Volume 1 was released in October 2015, and volume 2 will be released May 6, 2016 with another bunch of great collaborators. The essence of the double album was to physically travel to meet with those artists I invited on-board, spending time in their working environment and share a creative process physically - merging our DNA through a piece of music. I composed the first demo for every artist with my fantasy of their music and touch in mind, to start from something as a platform, while leaving enough space for him or her to add their part.

The collaborators you’ve worked with on this album, were they on top of your wish-list of people to work with?

Yes absolutely, that was the core concept. I must say that I was touched that everyone I approached said yes and so I had to stop otherwise it would have become an endless project. There are others I would have liked to work with but the musicians gathered in this project are really the people I wanted to work with in priority.

You’ve been working with Primal Scream and Hans Zimmer etc. Was it your decision to have varied musical styles and artists to work with?

Yes, for every artist there is a true reason why…in terms of sound, in terms of direction, in terms of what they personally means to me and to my vision of Electronic Music. Whomever, be it Robert del Naja (Massive Attack), or Pete Townshend, or Gary Newman, or Julia Holter, or Moby or Air – each and every one of them have a singular and instantly recognisable sound, and I wanted to create something new from the merging of our ‘sounds’.

You know, that was really the idea, to be able to mix so many styles and directions and to have them all cover 2 things; an organic approach to sound and music and also an intrinsic and visible touch. You listen to 30 seconds of Moby and you know its Moby, or Air and you know its Air, and the same with Julia Holter… The real challenge was to try and create a cohesion and coherence throughout the two albums and I think I can say this was achieved. I am delighted having collaborated with so many prestigious, talented artists, beginners or legends, whatever the generation, and to show it in this way, in a sense, that electronic music has a family, a legacy and a future.

You’re coming back to the UK this year for live shows, what can the audience expect from this new show?

It’s always a great excitement to play the UK for me. I have so many personal links with the country and I think that I am working on a fairly, at least I hope, exciting stage design. I’ve always been involved in the visual aspect of my work. It’s very important moreover now as we are in days where technology allows us to push creativity even more than when I started out with my giant projections before mapping was even heard of. It’s a very exciting challenge to be able to explore different directions. I want to try to share an immersive sound and vision experience with the audience something fresh and new and hopefully totally different from a usual electronic or rock music show.

I am working on a lot of different techniques, which is great these days, as technology allows you to mix the analogue world with the digital world, the real futuristic ideas with some more traditional ideas, and mixing them together to create something specifically adapted to what you want to express. And, also creating and building a production that can stun in the bigger arenas, but also in a small theatre or in an outdoor, or a festival environment, this is obviously quite challenging but very exciting, it’s really what I am working on at the moment, and so far so good!

You’ve played so many massive outdoor shows, how does an arena compare, do you find it quite an intimate setting compared to the outdoor shows?

You know, I always felt that a performance, at the end of the day - whether you are in a small theatre or a big environment such as the Docklands, or a big arena like the O2, or a festival – it’s all about the chemistry you create between 2 entities, the stage and the audience, no matter the size of each. I’ve always been interested by trying to conceive a ‘total spectacle’ where the audience are really immersed on a visual and audio point of view into a kind of voyage, or trip. But in these days where technology is offering you so many different possibilities, but with everyone deploying the same tools, endeavouring to be a bit different and propose something unique is I challenge I enjoy taking on: this is what I always try to do in my life and what I want to do specifically with my Live production, also because it’s the extension of my very special double album project. I want to share all of this incentive and my experience in creating one-off shows in the best possible way with the audience during this Electronica World Tour, especially in the UK where from Jodrell Bank to Glasgow, to the O2, you have so many different venues and types of environments which is quite exciting and challenging in the aim to give each audience, every night, a unique experience.

What has been your favourite ever gig that you’ve performed over your career?

To be honest, all of my shows have been really so special to me, for their own reasons, moments, venue. However, I can say that Docklands stands-out and on all fronts, not only artistic but the whole crazy story of the Docklands and what happened there, the whole saga it created, plus the stormy weather and Princess Diana deciding to join-in on the madness at the last minute. Docklands sealed forever my bond with the UK, I never felt so welcome in every household than that particular time!

In terms of other artists what shows have you been to see live recently?

In the past two weeks I’ve seen two really great shows. One was Peaches, who is one of the most interesting performers at the moment - I am absolutely blown away by the fact that she is almost alone on stage and delivering this fantastic performance. I also saw the last Massive Attack gig, it was one of the last shows of their tour in Paris and I really enjoyed it.

Your name is synonymous with electronic music, how do you think the genre has changed throughout your career? Do you think the genre has developed in a good way since you started especially with the likes of EDM?

I am delighted to see that Electronic Music has taken over the world, in all its genres, not only EDM: we were just a few believers or geeks a couple of decades ago trying to break new ground in a world dominated by rock’n’roll, disco, metal… I feel more at home in the music scene today, than back then for sure, or at least less alone!

Actually today everyone is more or less making “electronic music” because the electronics & technology have never been more at the heart of how we make, produce, share, consume and perform music.

Finally, do you have a message for the fans?

I would like to thank them for their patience and support these past five years since I was so caught up with the double album Electronica. I was cut-off from them, but I knew they would understand why once I came out of the studio. You can be sure that I am going to do my very best to create a show that will satisfy them beyond their expectations and I know how big their expectations are!

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