Flash
The Gorge - Flash Bristow's Website
Jean Michel Jarre at the Royal Albert Hall
On 30 March 2008, I watched Jean Michel Jarre perform Oxygene on analogue instruments; there were more than 50 synthesisers on stage.

Jean Michel stepped out of his Clockwork Orange style egg chair, and introduced himself and his three stalwart supporters. He dedicated the performance to his friend Arthur C Clarke, who died recently.

Then he stepped inside his cluster of knob banks and synths, leaving it only to play the theramin and a portable Moog. Claude Samard-Polikar, Francis Rimbert and Dominique Perrier stuck to their stations at the back of the stage (from where we were, overlooking the right hand side of the stage, they were side on). They not only had keyboards, but what looked like telephone exchanges, where wired plugs were pulled out and rerouted throughout the performance.

Other than the introduction at the start, and thanks at the end, there was no speech and there were no breaks. Simply, Oxygene was played from start to finish, and the music spoke for itself. It was fantastic to see Jarre flitting between machines, and to realise how the music had been generated, by pedals, keyboards, and knobs. It gave me an appreciation for Jarre's craft which I'd never previously felt.


View fullsize
The Royal Albert Hall fills up (this photo from my phone).

View fullsize
Jarre emerges and addresses the audience, explaining that they will have to tune these "old ladies".

View fullsize
A first glance at the layout as Oxygene I gets under way. The revolving egg from which Jarre emerged is visible on the other side of the stage.

View fullsize
As you can see Jarre is beavering away front stage, with his three musicians backing him up at their stations.

View fullsize
It looks like a primitive telephone exchange as wired plugs are removed and relocated.

View fullsize
Jarre plays a 1920s Russian Theremin. See a video of this from my phone (226kb 3gp video).

View fullsize
My best photo of Jarre working the knobs.

View fullsize
Playing the portable Moog...

View fullsize
...as if it's a guitar solo.

View fullsize
The clearest shot of everyone at work. You can just see the bottom of the mirror angled over the stage.

View fullsize
The finale gets underway as lights flash. A quick glimpse (12Mb avi video).

View fullsize
Finally the mirror lifts up and an animation of the Oxygene cover art is played onto the screen.

View fullsize
Jarre thanks the crowd for their warm applause.


This page last updated: 01 April 2008



Hosted by RackSense Designed by Web Design & Mastery
If you have a comment, please leave it in the guestbook. To contact Flash directly, complete this form. Like this site? Buy me a drink!

This site moved from a fixed width to the current layout in 2009. Some older content such as photo sets may still have a fixed width. However if you notice any pages which are actually broken, please be kind enough to let me know via this form.

© Flash Wilson 1999-2013. I charge a fee for use of my photos.