Jean-Michel Jarre – Alone Together in Virtual Reality Concert

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a live virtual reality performance by French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre.

The event, which starts about 25:40 into the video, embedded above, was broadcast in VR, along with live streaming on Youtube and other social media channels. Jarre’s VR avatar does a DJ-style performance in a virtual venue that looks like Half-Live: Inside The Minds Eye.

The performance focuses on his more recent music. If you’re interested in seeing Jarre do a live synth performance of some of his classic tracks, check out Oxygene (Live In Your Living Room). It captures a live performance with vintage synths of his breakthrough album.

At the end, at about 1:14:30 into the video, Jarre explains a little about his setup. While the VR version of his rig is made up of translucent panels, his real-world rig includes some Roland synths, Akai APC 40, Roland Handsonic HPD electronic percussion, Moog Memorymoog, several iPads and a glass panel controller that sounds like it may be a Smithson Martin Emulator.

24 thoughts on “Jean-Michel Jarre – Alone Together in Virtual Reality Concert

  1. It seems personal and cozy, but I dont understand what exactly is “first ever” about it; did not jmj himself perform in Wave before, which is also live and vr? What about duran duran in 2006 in second life?

  2. Many of us didn’t see Jarre’s avatar at all, but saw a screen behind the “stage setup” that broadcast a narrow view of his avatar performance. Unfortunately, its placement meant Jarre himself was difficult to see for all the “stuff” in front of him. The rest of the performance…backgrounds, etc….was quite visible. Seeing this, I am doubly disappointed in the performance, as this was what I expected but did not see. I have screenshots…I’m sorry I can’t post them here.

  3. I joined the “concert” in VR. Was very much looking forward to it. But it turned out to be very disappointing and even frustrating since the technology (and/or preparation) could not keep up with the idea behind this event. It was clear that a lot of people would join. After login I saw a crowd of funny avatars (most of them complaining via their mics) in a silent room. No music, no JMJ. Leaving and re-entering the room over a dozen times and restarting VRChat after crashes finally brought a blurry flat low-res JMJ silhouette video on “stage”, hidden behind the 3D modeled “live controllers” with sound in mono and no visible musical or audience interaction.
    Isn’t it possible in 2020 to place virtual speakers in the room for a (kind-of) spatial experience? Concert was almost over by then. Claiming this was the first live concert of a new kind I would add “without life”. Others might have had other experiences. I read a lot of comments that imply I’m not the only one. Directly after the concert there was no applause, just a little later a bunch of people clapped hands, or was it a sample? Spooky!
    Other than that where was the “love” in designing the additional environment (I liked the stage visuals) like e.g. floor walls with large posters of LP art work or exclusive photos that you could enjoy even when there was no audio? Oh, there was a poster on one wall and if I remember it correctly it was an ad by Ubisoft, all right! Or some kind of “interaction” except the mirror in the hallway? The upside on that was chatting with some suffering fans alone together!
    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to paint things black. I really appreciate the efforts and see the potential of this technology but to make it a pleasant experience a lot of care and development is necessary. Maybe next time then.

    1. For what it’s worth, I didn’t get to see JMJ’s avatar in my room, but the music and sound was fine. The front of the stage clearly worked in a spatial context. Perhaps it was a function of latency in some rooms, some machines, some connections? I found crowded rooms were very glitchy so I created a private instance of the room and just watched it by myself. It was smooth on an admittedly fast connection.

      1. Indeed, the stage was connected to a virtual mono speaker in VR so you could pinpoint the sound. I was thinking of multiple sources letting the audience discover the sound field (and have at least stereo sound). The problem was not the connection speed but the main act missing in a lot of rooms for a lot of people. Why not reducing the amount of other avatars if the system is overstrained but keeping JMJ always on stage? For some this was a concert without music. And even that is not a new experience.;-)

  4. An interesting concept, but in my view a major technical fail and a missed chance. You could hear the metronome in many cases ruining the sound. The “communication” with the Avatars didn’t work at all (and the paid? Avatars were ridiculous.)

    The focus on recent work lead to making the music appear replacable with any disco pop music. The genius of this man in terms of simplicity and sound design didn’t transport at all. For decades, in may of his concerts, I seem to observe that he looks for confirmation of big dancing crowds. He should better focus on a loyal fanbase which admires and truly appreciates his music.

    Sorry, I was very disappointed.

    Disclaimer: I only watched the 2D stream on YT.

  5. Hi jean will you be doing a concert next year in birmingham please as my husband and brother love your music xx

  6. I hope there’s a real video recording of this and they release it sometime.
    If this is a state of art VR event (I mean the VR itself and not the musical performance) it’s… rather primitive.

  7. I was there in VR. I didn’t know what to expect. I agree with the comments but I have to say I was surprised by the calibre of techno he had written. I thought it was great he mixed in a little bit of his old tracks into it. It didn’t get too cheesey ( only some ). This is the future of rave and VR and he showed us it can be done. I realise there were technical problems ( I couldn’t see any avatars! ) but I felt like this was an important step into showing us how exciting this stuff might turn out to be. I hope there will be lots more of these things and the setup will be easy and VR headsets cheap. Bring it on!

  8. Great article. I really enjoyed last nights concert, and this even was even more amazing than the Docklands and Wembley ones I was fortunate enough to go to. I watched alas in 2D on YouTube but I’m there already in looking into a VR setup for if he ever does another one!

  9. Awesome show last night – though I only viewed in 2D on YouTube – now I’m very interested now in the unlimited possibilities that VR provides for concert gathering. With VR Jarre can call an audience to join him no matter what our location or environment one day.

      1. “That’s life.” No, i believe this is the opposite of Life.
        “Better off living in a VR World.” No, i prefer to live in reality.
        “Some say we are already living in a VR World.” Some say anything, too. Trust your own honest judgment.

        1. Sad is homelessness wars children starving animal cruelty so many things.
          Saying this JmJ Vr is sad : is you lacking perspective is immature.

          Life is full of inspiration.
          Take inspiration from life.
          Create your own inspiration.
          Saying this JmJ Vr is uninspiring :
          shows you drowing in negativity lacking in inspiration.

          You did not understand what i meant by thats life :
          That’s life is to just say yeah its ok at artistic things as JmJ VR
          instead of being negative, bitter this only damages yourself.

          Some say we are living in a VR world was for you to realise
          you yourself are living in your own world partially made up by your brain.

  10. I watched the YT replay it was quite interesting. Bravo to JMJ and the French minister of culture. It was a cool free show. There was only missing an applause feature in my opinion.

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