Jean-Michel Jarre releases Amazônia

Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre has composed and recorded a 52-minute musical score for Amazônia, a new project by award-winning photographer and filmmaker Sebastião Salgado, for the Philharmonic Paris. As well as a regular stereo version, Jarre has also recorded a special binaural version, available digitally and alongside the 5.1. Surround Sound Version available via a download code in the CD & Vinyl. All versions are available today, Friday, April 9.

The binaural version provides the listener with a truly spectacular and immersive sound experience. Whereas stereo sound delivers a directive left-ear/right-ear sound, binaural audio, when listened to on regular headphones, creates a 3D surround sound experience, closest to our natural human auditory sense. Amazônia binaural was specially mixed in such a way that the listener feels right in the heart of the forest.

‘Amazônia’ is an immersive exhibition focusing on the Brazilian Amazon, featuring more than 200 photographs and other media by Salgado. He travelled the region for six years, capturing the forest, the rivers, the mountains and the people who live there, and most of the work will be seen publicly for the first time. At the heart of the exhibit is an invitation to see, hear and think about the future of biodiversity and the place of humans in the living world.

Jean-Michel Jarre’s accompanying sound-creation is a symphonic world that will engulf visitors to the exhibit in the sounds of the forest. Using a blend of electronic and orchestral instruments with other real-life natural sounds.

“I wanted to avoid the ethnomusicological approach or creating background music. In the Amazonian forest, there is the dimension of nomadism; moving from one place to another, from darkness to light, from a gentle quietude to a latent threat, moving forward leaving reality behind to sink into the power of rites and dreams,” says Jean-Michel Jarre. “I built this music like a toolbox, made up of different sound objects, like a wandering through organic, natural, ethnic, orchestral and electronic elements, which would only pass by like in a forest that we would cross and leave behind us, temporary vestiges of a time and a space without end.”

Appointed ambassador to UNESCO in 1993, Jean-Michel Jarre is involved in many remarkable projects for tolerance and cultural pluralism, as well as for the defence of nature and the environment. For the ‘Amazônia’ project, he actively collaborated with the scientific team of the Museum of Ethnography of Geneva (MEG) to restore as closely as possible the sound identity of the forest and the people who inhabit it.

Jarre explains, “To represent the eternal human presence in this great green ocean, I selected incomparable sound material from the precious archives of the Museum of Ethnography in Geneva, unparalleled for their timbre and their dreamlike power. I composed ‘Amazonia’ in one go, day and night, in front of these photos scrolling in a loop in front of me, immersing myself in this immensity, familiar and mysterious, serene and disturbing, powerful and vulnerable… This addictive and fatal drug. Sebastião Salgado’s forest.”

The Amazônia exhibition opens at the Philharmonie de Paris on May 20 and will then tour several cities around the world from Paris to São Paulo, via Rio de Janeiro, Rome and London. It features over 200 photographs, as well as films including testimonials from indigenous personalities on the need to save their culture and environment.

Exhibit locations are as follows, dates TBC:

Paris Philharmonie de Paris
Rome Maxxi
São Paulo SESC Pompeia
Rio de Janeiro Museu Do Amanha
London Science Museum

Buy/Steam Amazônia here.


About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are travel, wine, and eating too much good food!