Monday, November 16, 2015

The odyssey of Jean Michel Jarre in China (1983)

The Concerts in China (or Les Concerts en Chine), is an important part of the history of modern music. So are 800 million people (!!!) who followed the live concerts or radio. And it is that nobody wins Jean Michel Jarre you great mass gathering of people for a single concert, remember 2 million in Paris in 1990. The musical content of the double album is a selection of songs from the last two albums of previously edited Jarre (no Deserted Palace and Les Granges Brulees), plus a few new songs that either were made specifically for the tour (The Overture , Arpegiator, Laser Harp, Night in Shanghai, Orient Express) were either traditional (Fishing Junks at Sunset) or were only included on the disc a posteriori (Souvenir of China). Something to keep in mind is that the issues were very strictly selected for editing, since not all the concerts-given the special circumstances that Jarre had to count on such a juncture, and later explain the why-they had a perfect sound quality. Probably Jarre was asked that he should put special attention to the staging (lasers and others) rather than music, as this surely would sound very strange to the Chinese and had to give them a show if or if. But do a little history ... The French musician went out (and almost ruined) for being the first Western musician to play in post-Mao China. The experience was chaotic and unforgettable, but likely to be worsened. In mid-December 1979, Jean Michel Jarre received a call from the secretary-general of UNESCO, the Senegalese Amadou-Mathar M'Bow. The Chinese Government would be interested in Hua Guofen Jean Michel Jarre travel to Beijing and formalize a series of concerts in communist China, just three years after the death of Mao. Amadou-Mathar had studied in Paris and felt a very special affection for France. At the meeting of the UNESCO headquarters, Secretary General tells Jarre to Radio Beijing has begun to radiate their albums, from 'Oxygene' to the last 'Magnetic Fields'. Jarre almost jumped for joy, because it was a year and a half insistence to the Chinese Embassy in Paris to approve his concerts, at the same time that there was astonished. Moreover, it was clear who was handling all the threads of the recent Chinese Communist economy was Deng Xiaoping. That same month, China had purchased several planes to Boeing and Coca-Cola announced the opening of a factory in Shanghai ... something was changing in the most isolated country in the world, or so it seemed at first glance. The July 13, 1980, the following year, Jean Michel Jarre and his wife Charlotte Rampling reach Beijing. His first meeting with the Chinese authorities occurs at the Conservatory of Music in Beijing China, located in one of the adjacent streets of Tien An Men Square. Jarre had taken the precaution of taking a couple of synthesizers to let them show the Chinese what electronics had changed the face of music. Chinese hallucinated with new sounds. They are excited with all the 'currencies' Western. Jarre himself was surprised at the Conservatory that not a single acoustic piano is not found. During the Cultural Revolution, the piano had been convicted of Western musical decadence. It seems that throughout Beijing, at most, there were only two pianos and controlled cultural apparatus of the communist regime. That evening, Jean Michel and Charlotte attend a concert of Chinese symphonic music. Jarre recorded on a cassette music to compose something about Chinese musical idea, but with synthesizers. At night, dine with Madame Wuang, director of the national radio. The ruling says that over half a million Chinese already know Jarre's music, because he has given orders that are heard as disturbing technological innovation in the culture of a new country, developing. As everything becomes eternal by the civil service, Jarre does not return to that country until February 1981. It flies in the same Concorde, with François Mitterrand, who is about to be president. The presidential candidate says he will talk with the Chinese to get to act, at least in Beijing. Jean Michel tells the president that his idea is to adapt some traditional theme of Chinese classical music with synthesizers and adapt. Something difficult to solve, because in Chinese classical music are not interpreted scores memory and hearing. In June, Jean Michel back again Beijing. last technical details with the huge workforce of Chinese officials, unable to understand each other. The meetings almost mad French artist. Nearly a week after the discussions, it is on the verge of aborting the project, to abandon the business. Charlotte explains that these concerts will be more difficult to achieve a concert at the far side of the moon. And precisely for that time, Jean Michel is impressed by the staging of 'The Wall', the magnum opus of Pink Floyd. So hires Mark Fisher to achieve spectacular staging. The signing of Mark for the project raises morally Jarre, who agreed with the Chinese finally two concerts in Beijing and three in Shanghai. Finally, on October 15, 1981 Paris off a special plane to Beijing. Transported 15 tons of material with boxes labeled 300 and 70 people on board. The plane arrived in the capital 30 hours after China. In the airport, the Chinese authorities forced him to formalize and sign a kind of contract. But soon they begin endless problems, since the decline of the Chinese Communist apparatus causes chaos in the expedition. For starters, the authorities had not provided many rooms in the hotel where they stay. To the extent that Dominique Perrier, one of the technical loses his wife for many hours lost in one of the hotels that have enabled the fly in some remote part of the huge city. But the worst is yet to come. Arrived at Beijing Sports Palace, Jarre team is stumped. No electrical outlets and no electricity no concert, after long talks with Chinese-French translators do not translate well, you have to step in China's Ministry of Industry to solve the problem. Every Frenchman has a Chinese technician available, although in some ways are their caretakers and guardians of the Chinese Communist apparatus. Another problem is that the Chinese back their crazy coffee machines that have installed the French team. In a couple of days, there is no 'stock' or coffee or sugar. Who said that Chinese like tea? Dictated by unscrupulous authorities, there are two general technical inspections every day. The first at 11.30 am and the second at 17:30 pm. Jean Michel Jarre talks to the 'bureau' communist and requires them to be free tickets. You receive an insolent no for an answer. They say the tickets are very cheap. 30 cents more expensive and the cheapest 18 (change) cents. But keep in mind that China's average wage was only four hundred and eighty cents (just about five dollars). A Jarre has no choice but to swallow left. As few tickets sold are sold, Jean Michel, with his partner Dreyfuss ensure buy and give away 180,000 tickets three days of performances in Shanghai. A view of the business, the Chinese charge six cents each entrance faces tax issue, they say. Fortunately, the rest of the material, synthesizers and set design time have come to Hong Kong. Comes the big night, on October 21, 1981. Most were soldiers and public officials. In the end, the regime had given the inputs. Like everything is going to film and will have a global propaganda, the regime installed as president of the Palacio de los Deportes in Beijing to Panchan Lama Ederni, which had been the collaborationist Tibetan leader, the friend who had been cast as vice president National Assembly to show that China is crushing the Tibetan people. Jarre premiered in Beijing on Fairlight, the new instrument could sequence and sample any sound. But the Fairlight fails because of the continuing brownouts in electricity. Worse, Frederic Rousseau is wrong to shoot sequences and ends nagging. A musical chaos. The sound is a disaster. After the concert, Jarre learns that more than two near the Palacio de Deportes neighborhoods have been dark for the French to have their electricity. Jarre is also demoralized because, as the concert progressed, people were leaving the premises. Officials say it was because he did not want to lose the last public vehicles only means to return home. Actually, everything is a whimsical game advertisements. A Jarre drove him crazy, excited him become the first Western artist who played in China. For the Chinese regime was widely publicized show the world that were not closed to the world. Quite the opposite. They were the more modern village, open to the Marco Polo mail with a society open to the latest music technology. Pure marriage of convenience. The truth and the only truth was that the Chinese did not understand at all Jarre's music. And neither the lasers, the overwhelming sound and paraphernalia staging of Mark Fisher made them out of indifference. They were forced to concerts, like the entire French team were guarded in a special way. The concert of the second day was much better. In addition, Jean Michel Jarre could play with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra small one of the most famous pieces of traditional Chinese music, 'Fishing with reeds at sunset'. Quite an achievement, but everything sounded out of tune. Chinese-government daily, the next day, Jean Michel Jarre called "the magician of sound and light," the "great master of electricity." But its electronic circus has to travel to Shanghai. We expect three concerts, on 26,27 and 28 October. As had happened in Beijing, a large district of Shanghai remains without light for feeding electricity to the stadium of 60,000 spectators. Or giving away the tickets, the stadium is completed to fill any of the three days. Yes, the public hallucinating with portable synthesizer Jarre and even his famous harp electronic works in Shanghai. Beijing had failed to install due to technical problems. Besides the China National Radio broadcast live across the country each and every one of the concerts. In the end, there is a general feeling happy. All concerts have had great impact worldwide. Jarre had invited more than 20 journalists from many countries. The Chinese offered the possibility of a sixth concert in Beijing before the propaganda success in the world. But Jean Michel prefers to buy a motorcycle to a police officer in Beijing for three thousand francs and return to Paris after the Chinese nightmare. On the plane back, Jarre write the topic of their double album 'The concerts in China'. He calls 'Souvenir de Chine'. A week later, Jarre and his musicians all come into the studio to select the items to be recorded on the disc. For the rest of the five nightmares in China can only assert the footage shot on film. Dreyfuss Jarre and his partner had lost 5 billion francs-about a nearly 400 thousand euros of today on the trip to China. It took nearly five years to recover the money from the venture. Interestingly, Jean Michel back to China in March 1994. Thirteen years later. But what was even more chaotic, because the concert was made in Beijing's Forbidden City. This was even worse than the first adventure. The Chinese had lost oppression of the communist regime and just enjoyed the money. Jarre learned much from a Chinese proverb which read: "The wise man can sit on an anthill, but only the fool is sitting in it." Sure you associated with his second trip to China.