Jean Michel Jarre On Vintage Synth Nightmares

Jean Michel Jarre, who’s on tour with truckloads of rare vintage keyboards performing his classic Oxygène, says that the old gear posed some unique challenges at his most recent concert:

The MemoryMoog went out of tune, the same for the ARP; we had very little time to set up everything. I tried quickly the Moog Liberation (the portable keyboard) and it had a constant vibrato that I couldn’t stop. We tried everything and eventually Patrick succeeded to make it usable.

I decided to go on stage with a maximum of energy and ready to cope with anything and….. everything happened!

First of all the Egg chair did not turn properly, the arpegiator of the MemoryMoog was blocked, the ARP was out of tune and I had to retune each of its oscillators live, one AKS had no sound, I had to switch the power off and on to make it work, I had to re-pitch the flute sound constantly all along Oxy 2, the DigiSequencer was blocked and I had to reload the sequence for Variation 2 and play something else in the meantime, the percussive sequence on Oxy 5 was hard to start and the Eminent went crazy on Oxy 13 during the encore..

But I felt Claude, Francis and Dominique really on the case full time and the audience totally with me from the beginning and it gave me the necessary energy to rage against the machines!

The Moog Liberation solo with its strange sound was probably one of the most inspired I’ve played since the beginning of the tour and the concert one of the most spectacular since the beginning as well.

The result was that the audience went really crazy screaming and doing the Ola at the end – we got the most animated standing ovation. ¡Viva Madrid…!

I have no idea what “doing the Ola” is – if you do, let me know in the comments.

And shouldn’t we all have problems like Jean Michel Jarre’s?

12 thoughts on “Jean Michel Jarre On Vintage Synth Nightmares

  1. Making a ola means stand up, raise the hand in the air, and sit back. You could see this kind of things in stadium, when all the public begin to stand up one by one. It create a beautiful human “wave” 🙂

  2. I remember his concert from 1993 in Seville. I think that they had the same problems that he is talking about today, because there were parts that sounded terrible, and others were awesome.

    There was also a fat guy from the technical crew who was behind a big speakers tower (the stage was inside an artificial lake and we were all watching it around the “shore”, and the speaker towers were distributed all around it). I don’t know why, but the guy seemed to like hanging with his hands from a bunch of cables, and the sound went off a lot of times. No idea why he was doing that, but it was really annoying.

  3. Kitaro is better than Jean Michelle Jarre but they are both good. The best musician of all time is Kitaro – the wizard of Japan.

  4. Is not Ola it is probably Ole!

    Is what Spaniards scream in bull fights when they like what the bull fighter have done. So by analogy a guess Jean Michael Jarre was the bull fighter to the old synths beast

  5. I think is not Ola

    They probably scream Ole!
    This is something that Spaniards scream when the bull fighter do something they like by analogy to what Jean Michelle Jarre did by controlling these old synths beast.

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