I remember going to a TARGET store in the early Summer of 1986. While looking around their music section, I noticed an interesting album cover and an artist that I wasn’t familiar with.
I stared at the artwork on the front very intently and then read the track titles on the back side. They just said Rendezvous part 1, Rendezvous part 2 etc. I thought, OK…this is a total blind purchase but something kept drawing me towards it. I thought to myself, “This better not suck.”
Remember, there were no cell phones back then and you couldn’t just look something up within seconds, let alone get a complete review on AMAZON because the internet wasn’t even dialup yet.
I returned home, got appropriately baked, put on my headphones and within 5 seconds, once again, was transported into another universe of wonderful electronic music. I couldn’t believe the sounds that I was hearing.
It was the soundtrack for space. I could literally picture myself taking a journey into depths of the universe. Each track flowing into the next one and culminating with a solo saxophone track mixed with his virtuoso electronic musicianship. I found out later that this song was written to be performed in outer space on the next space shuttle trip! Astronaut Ron McNair was going to perform it LIVE from SPACE while on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. As we all know, he never got the chance. So, the last track entitled “Ron’s Piece” is very bittersweet and even more profound for the level that Jean-Michel is thinking about how music can be played and where.
The concerts usually have hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of people watching and the most epic scope of visuals ever seen at a live performance. If it’s not projecting holograms and lasers onto the entire downtown Houston cityscape, while literally stopping the freeways to a complete standstill to the 12 Dreams of the Sun Millennium concert in Egypt.
I have been playing the piano since I was 8 years old. Started taking lessons at 10, first band and live performance at 18. I taught myself multitrack recording and the beginning of synthesis and MIDI as a freshman at the University of North Texas.
I taught myself drums and percussion when I was about 23 and within a few years started learning how to setup and play analog synthesizers without any presets. Which leads me back to Jean-Michel Jarre and his inspiring music and talent. His music has been embedded within my DNA since note one and continues to be an inspiration to me.
I had the very rare opportunity to finally see him live in concert in 2017 at The Verizon theater in Grand Prairie 14th row, dead center. It was a dream come true to witness all of the songs I had been actively listening to for over 30+ years. His energy was contagious for someone in their 70’s. The visuals were unlike anything I have ever see with 3D projections on mesh screens in dimension that would move around in 3D space, along with green lasers, holographs and projections. It was truly outstanding, memorable and made me realize how special his music has meant to me for most of my life.
I will never forget that day and how that began my journey into the magical world of Jean-Michel Jarre.