Review of the album "Amazônia" by Jean-Michel Jarre
«Amazonia"- the twenty-first studio album by the French musician and composer Jean-Michel Jarre. The album came out in April 2021 on the Columbia Records label. It was recorded specifically for the project "Amazonia» famous photographer Sebastian Salgado. Organized for the Paris Philharmonic, the exhibition is dedicated to the Amazon, featuring over 200 photographs and videos taken by Salgado himself. Thus, the album serves as a score for the Brazilian photographer's project... All tracks are written by Jean-Michel Jarre.
About the album
Jean-Michel Jarre has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the electronic, new age and ambient scenes! Particularly during their rise to 70s! In addition, the French composer is known for his commitment to social activism ... Perhaps that is why working with Sebastian Salgado in partnership with the Ethnographic Museum of Geneva, it seems like an alliance made in heaven... "Amazônia" is 52 minute soundtrackcreated to accompany the Brazilian photographer's captivating multimedia exhibition of the same name: the album combines analog and digital elements and flawlessly brings to life the project's emotional intent as Jarre draws beauty and sadness, hope and loss in his music... By the way: In addition to the regular stereo version, the composer has also taken care of a special binaural version available in digital format. Jarre himself comments:
“In the forests of the Amazon there is a dimension of nomadism: moving from one place to another, from darkness to light, from gentle silence to hidden menace, moving forward, leaving reality behind to plunge into the power of rites and dreams ... This album has a wandering through organic, natural, ethnic, orchestral and electronic elements that will only pass by, like in a forest that we will cross and leave behind us ... "
Representing these visual points of contact, Jarre created a symphonic composition that combines electronic and orchestral instruments with "real soundsto showcase the clash between nature and industrialization, between the organic and the digital… Natural land is analogue, while globalization (and its implications for indigenous communities) is digital. In this work, the composer reports that all these elements can coexist harmoniously, but this requires thoughtful consideration and a detailed approach...
“It was interesting for me to fantasize about the forest… The Amazon is very attractive and rich in images for both Westerners and American Indians…”
List of tracks
Like any symphony, there are moments of clarity and tension in this album. Enjoy the tracks...
Amazonia, Pt. one"
Amazonia, Pt. 2"
Amazonia, Pt. 3"
Amazonia, Pt. 4"
Amazonia, Pt. five"
Amazonia, Pt. 6"
Amazonia, Pt. 7"
Amazonia, Pt. 8"
Amazonia, Pt. nine"
As you can see by now, Amazônia is not only an album, but also a major project by award-winning Brazilian photographer and filmmaker Sebastian Salgado. The exhibition was held at the Paris Philharmonic April 7th. Later it will also be transferred to South America, Rome, and even London... This breathtaking gallery is inspired by the mysterious Amazon! It featured over two hundred photographs and other materials (including films) taken by the photographer during his travels in the region many years ago… Salgado captured not only the charming natural landscapes, but also the indigenous people of the Amazon…
The joint work of Jean-Michel Jarre and Sebastian Salgado offers to plunge into the mysterious and such a wonderful symphonic world called “Amazônia”…
The listener is immersed in a truly breathtaking symphonic world, and thanks to the binaural version, the sound closest to our natural human perception, feels right in the heart of the forest...
“I was trying to avoid an ethnomusicological approach or traditional background accompaniment. I conceived a kind of instrumental set containing musical elements - orchestral and electronic - designed to recreate or evoke the timbre of natural sounds. To all this, I added environmental sounds and, finally, ethnic sources (voices, singing, instruments). I approached this work with great respect! To represent the eternal human presence in this vast green ocean, I have chosen incomparable sound material from the precious archives of the Ethnographic Museum in Geneva, unparalleled in its timbre and fabulous power. I composed "Amazonia" in one sitting: day and night I worked in front of these photographs, immersing myself in this vast, familiar and mysterious, serene and disturbing, powerful and vulnerable ... It is truly an exciting experience! the composer commented.