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Jean-Michel Jarre's 'Equinoxe Infinity' Takes You On An Immersive VR Concert Experience
The French GRAMMY-nominated avant-garde electronic music artist Jean-Michel Jarre has been putting out groundbreaking albums and putting on breathtaking shows since the '70s. Now he's catapulting his art further into the future with Virtual Reality for his 20th studio album, Equinoxe Infinity.
With the help of TheWaveVR, a music-centric tech company that has also created VR experiences with other cutting-edge artists like GRAMMY winner Imogen Heap, Jarre is offering the world a new way to see his live shows—now virtually and customizable. The special VR experience will also allow participants the ability to remix his music and invite other headset users to their show, all within the app.
Jarre explains that this was the first time he thought about the visual elements before beginning to make the music, meaning the VR experience will surely offer a whole new layer to the album. "For the first time in my life I started from the visuals, and having all the visuals of the artwork before starting one note of music," Jarre explained in the "making of" the album video above.
He also shared his excitement about being able to offer a new visual experience to more people in more spaces. The in-app visuals will feature creations by digital artist Sutu, made specifically for the experience, and can be customized by the user. "Virtual reality is part of the next frontier of music," Jarre told Billboard. "I loved that spatial art – one of the specialties of my live shows – isn't limited to scale or real-life constraints. Creators can host the concert of their imagination. This is where Equinoxe Infinity belongs."
Jarre has been experimenting with sound as an avant-garde electronic musician since the '70s, when there were very few others in the electronic music space, and has continued to release cutting-edge music and put on energetic laser-filled live shows. Released on Nov. 16, Equinoxe Infinity is Jarre's 20th studio album and follow up to 1978's Equinoxe, his second studio album, 40 years later.
He received his first GRAMMY nomination for 1986's Rendez-Vous, for Best New Age Recording at the 29th GRAMMY Awards. The album's music was created for a special performance he gave in Houston celebrating NASA's anniversary, and while it was an electronic recording, the GRAMMY's Best Dance/Electronic Album category did not get added until 2004. Jarre was nominated in this category at the 59th GRAMMY Awards for 2015's Electronica 1: The Time Machine, a 16-track album, each of which is a collab with a range of talented electronic artists, including fellow GRAMMY-nominees Moby, Armin Van Buuren and M83.
Equinoxe Infinity will be available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR headsets with the TheWaveVR app starting December 3, visit their website for more details. To learn more about Jarre's latest album, check out his website.