Jean-Michel Jar during a visit to Eden near Perpignan: “In France, we are too inclined to separate culture from technology”

Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre was at the Soler School of Creative and Digital Professions on Monday, May 23 to talk about music, virtual reality and the metaverse. Meet the planetary star, over 85 million records sold.

You’ve come to open Idem’s new state-of-the-art studios. Is this type of equipment the future of electronic music?

All these new technologies are necessary in terms of culture and the very evolution of our society. There is also an urgent need to gain our independence in terms of virtual reality platforms and have a true independent cloud, and therefore a political will that goes beyond audiovisual. In this moment of total post-COVID destruction, we have the opportunity to change the paradigm with a new way of expressing ourselves. It would be a big mistake for the creators to miss out. This does not mean that we will no longer write books. It is interesting to see that in creation nothing replaces anything, everything is added.

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

In the early days of the Internet, no one imagined that one day it would be possible to do almost everything using your mobile phone. Over the past 25 years, our society has been turned upside down by technology, but that’s nothing compared to what’s to come. In China, students learn to code in elementary school the same way they learn a foreign language. It is absolutely necessary to jump on the bandwagon now if we do not want to become a complete digital colony. A school like Idem is a great opportunity to be in harmony with the world of tomorrow.

New technologies allowed many records to be sold. Can popular music be so scientific?

I like this question because it will never come up in Anglo-Saxon countries. Not to mention the public, I think the French elite missed out on pop culture like Philip Roth, Bruce Springsteen or Basquiat… When Sacem still existed, there was another award for so-called “heavy” music or light music, it’s typically French. For my part, I was predestined for modern music, as it was called in the 70s, but I did it badly (laughs). My next project, dedicated to Pierre Henri, is precisely the bridge between contemporary music and contemporary music, even if this gap is getting smaller and smaller. Idem is also a unifying example of a metaverse or technology with a more intelligent approach to creativity and another more intuitive one.

Your hypnotic New Year’s Eve 2021 concert at Notre Dame Cathedral, reconstructed in virtual reality, has become the most “streamed” online concert and the result of a collaboration with Perpignan startup VRrOOm.

For me, VRrOOm is the only startup I know of in France that allows me to follow my dreams. To the Fête de la Musique 2021 concert, which was broadcast live for the first time in virtual and real life, or on Welcome to the other side we found ourselves largely on the idea of ​​understanding instruments that technically allow us to reach out to the viewer and be able to play with sound and visual limitations. In France, there is too much desire to separate culture from technology, although in fact they are closely related. We also understand that in the era of zapping, if technologically you are not logical, irrelevant and inefficient, people leave.

A few words about your news?

Worked on the immersive soundtrack of the exhibition Amazon Brazilian photographer Sebastian Salgado. On the other hand, I’m putting the finishing touches on a project. Oxymoron which will be released in October 2022. This creation is in honor of Pierre Henri (one of the fathers of electro-acoustic music, approx. ed.), one of the very first projects created from the very beginning for multi-channel and with the help of Vroom to develop an entire virtual universe.

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

Established over four years in the heart of Cité Digitale du Soler, Idem has opened its audiovisual studios to create state-of-the-art virtual reality content (spatial audio, binaural, virtual and 360-degree images, etc.). A new step for this young international school, already at the forefront of digital trends, as well as the launch of an entire sector dedicated to the metaverse.

In addition to training, the Pôle Action Média companies will create a laboratory around this new industry: MétaLab. A zone shared by artists, developers, startups, and students to experiment and build the new web practices of tomorrow.

Considered the global leader of the metaverse in entertainment, VRrOOm startup created by Perpignan Louis Caciuttolo (former vice president in San Francisco of THX, founded by George Lucas himself), has just launched an initial €1.5 million fundraiser from Bpifrance or the region Occitania, with 60 jobs planned over the next 24 months.