Jean-Michel Jarre Teams Up With Virtual Reality Company TheWaveVR For New Album

Peter Lindbergh
Jean-Michel Jarre

He's renowned for his ground-breaking live shows, but for his new album electronic music star Jean-Michel Jarre is to journeying into the virtual realm. 

The latest in a rapidly expanding list of musicians experimenting with virtual reality, Jarre has teamed up with U.S.-based tech company TheWaveVR to give his fans the chance to experience, remix and host live concert playbacks of Equinoxe Infinity in immersive VR. 

The content will be made freely available to HTC Vive or Oculus Rift VR headset owners (via the TheWaveVR app) from December 3 and will also feature specially commissioned visuals from comic book illustrator and digital artist Sutu that users can drop into their fully customisable live shows.

 Fans wishing to experience the album in VR will also be able to remix its tracks using in-app virtual decks, as well as host listening parties for other users to attend. 

"Virtual reality is part of the next frontier of music," said Jarre, who will host an exclusive Q&A in TheWave platform, preceded by a special live show hosted by Sutu, on 12 December. 

Released earlier this month on Columbia Records, Equinoxe Infinity is Jarre's 20th studio album and is the sequel to 1978's Equinoxe, released exactly 40 years prior. Jarre says the record "considers where we are going as a society, including the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning may impact us."   

Talking about his partnership with TheWaveVR, the electronic music pioneer said he has "always been passionate about the potential of music to merge with future technologies" and wanted to team up with the company after personally experiencing its platform. 

"I loved that spatial art -- one of the specialities of my live shows -- isn't limited to scale or real-life constraints," said Jarre. "Creators can host the concert of their imagination. This is where Equinoxe Infinity belongs."

Based in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas TheWaveVR bills itself as the world's first social virtual reality music platform. Other artists that have worked with the platform include Imogen Heap and Glitch Mob.  Commenting on its partnership with Jarre, CEO Adam Arrigo said the two parties were "we're kindred spirits." 

"When we met with Jean-Michel we realized he had an instant understanding of the important role that immersive, visual experiences like ours have to play in the future of music," said Arrigo, calling it a huge honor to bring his music to virtual world.