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Did Jean-Michel Jarre tamper with his biography?


Post Posted Wed Feb 09, 2022 3:42 pm
Kanta
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Did Jean-Michel Jarre tamper with his biography? :shock:

The electro musician claims to have spent two years at the Musical Research Group, where he rubbed shoulders with great masters, such as Pierre Henry or Karlheinz Stockhausen. An assertion that somewhat annoyed Michel Chion, himself a composer and biographer of Pierre Henry.

"If we want to understand the artistic itinerary of Jean-Michel Jarre, it is essential to take a detour through his two years (1969 to 1971) at the Musical Research Group (GRM)", where the future electro musician "crossed the road of Pierre Henry”. This is what we can read on the page of the first “Hyper Weekend Festival” organized at the end of January by Radio France, and of which Jean-Michel Jarre was a star guest. It is an understatement to say that this story was not to the taste of Michel Chion, composer of concrete music and biographer of Pierre Henry, who made it known before the event in a vitriolic open letter entitled "JMJ in the country of the GRM, a fairy tale". “Jean-Michel Jarre, a composer who has everything, popularity and wealth, and that on a planetary scale, thinks that he just has to arrange his biography and invent what apparently – I am astonished – he suffers from not having had, whereas it should be indifferent to him: membership, formerly, in an old institution founded in 1958 by Pierre Schaeffer”.

If he was indeed a “student” at the GRM electroacoustics course, like Michel Chion, Jarre junior was never a “member”, unlike his former comrade. "Your imagined stay at the GRM as a member is all the more a fairy tale in that, according to you, you would have met only stars of contemporary music there: Stockhausen (whom I have never seen at the GRM), Pierre Henry (who hadn't been part of it for a long time)...", still annoys Michel Chion, who remembers that his classmate, in 1971, nevertheless held Schaeffer's laboratory for "a group outdated and under -team ".

Source: https://www.diapasonmag.fr/a-la-une/jea ... 23079.html
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Concerts attended:
Théâtre Marigny, Paris - 2007
Symphony Hall, Birmingham - 2008
RAH, London - 2008
Wembley Arena, London - 2009
NIA, Birmingham - 2009
POP Bercy, Paris - 2010
NIA, Birmingham - 2010
O2 Arena, London - 2010
Zénith Aréna, Lille - 2010
Port Hercule, Monaco - 2011
TUI Arena, Hannover - 2011
Festival International de Carthage - 2013
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham - 2016
Post Posted Wed Feb 09, 2022 4:03 pm
Robi83


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Ajjaj, seems serious..?
Post Posted Wed Feb 09, 2022 4:21 pm
Dr_Jones


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Indeed. He's even the biographer of Henry, so he probably knows best.
Post Posted Wed Feb 09, 2022 5:10 pm
Richard-Eastham


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  • I posted a question on this forum way back (when I first became a member) asking about JMJ's tenure at the GRM - sorry, I cannot find the post right now. I was asking how long he was a student for.... some sources I'd read suggested just a few weeks, others say for years. I could never work out what actually happened. Now it seems even less clear.
  • I suppose linked to this, is the fact I'd never read any interview in which JMJ referred to Pierre Henry. Since Oxygene 7-13 he often references Pierre Schaeffer in interviews as both a teacher and inspiration, but never Pierre Henry. At least I am not aware of any times he has referenced him. So the whole Oxymore project was a bit of a surprise to me.
  • I did read somewhere that his work with Stockhausen was not at the GRM, but in Cologne, where he worked as a studio assistant for him. Again, unsure about when or for how long.
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Post Posted Wed Feb 09, 2022 6:36 pm
Herr Dunkel


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Interesting comment by Michel Chion. But he might have read the Festival's PR blurb too literally... Those blurbs are typically not written by whom they are about and are hyped up.

JMJ never said he was a member of GRM, merely that he studied there. He never said he met Stockhausen at GRM, he said he met him in Cologne where he did some stints. As for meeting Pierre Henry, as late as his interview on France Musique for Oxymore on January 23, he said that at the time he joined GRM, Pierre Henry had already left the group to work by himself so he only met him on a couple of occasions, and then again much later (probably during the time he worked on Electronica) to discuss a collaboration.
Concerts: 2017: Upper Darby < 2010: Lille, Liège, Paris < 1997: Lille < 1990: La Défense
Post Posted Wed Feb 09, 2022 9:51 pm
Dr_Jones


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Well said. And yeah, makes sense. In the past newspapers wrote that he was was a member because of sloppy journalism.
Post Posted Thu Feb 10, 2022 11:26 am
Richard-Eastham


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Can you study at the GRM without being a member? I recall an interview where JMJ said he passed an "entrance exam" as it were, being asked to produce a piece of music concrete. The best submissions were then used to select four students to join the GRM, and he was one of them. He did a piece of music using a wood block, I think. I can't recall if this detail was in his autobiography, or in some other place.
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01.09.93 Manchester / 07.06.97 Manchester / 30.03.08 London / 22.05.09 London / 10.10.10 London / 01.07.11 Monaco / 04.05.16 London / 23.07.16 Macclesfield / 06.10.16 Brighton / 07.10.16 London.
Post Posted Fri Feb 11, 2022 6:52 am
Herr Dunkel


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Members were the "staff" of GRM: musicians / instructors. For example: Pierre Schaeffer, François Bayle, Bernard Parmegiani, etc. at the time JMJ studied there. And, earlier on, Luc Ferrari, François-Bernard Mâche, Beatriz Ferreyra, Iannis Xenakis, etc.
Concerts: 2017: Upper Darby < 2010: Lille, Liège, Paris < 1997: Lille < 1990: La Défense
Post Posted Fri Feb 11, 2022 2:46 pm
Finaero


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You'd think an official biographer would do the research first before making such claims (not that it matters for tabloids and the like). :P







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