Jean-Michel Jarre has confirmed that his 22nd studio album will be his most ambitious project so far. The release of Oxymore on October 21 via Sony Music will accompanied by a VR world, Oxyville, which is designed to further enhance the listening experience.
The keyboard wizard explains: “Oxyville will be a virtual music city, and in the future I will invite other artists to be a part of it, as well as hold masterclasses and other events. I want it to become a sandbox for new music experiences."
Oxymore's conceptual creation builds on the immersive qualities of its 2021 predecessor, Amazônia, which provided the soundtrack to Sebastião Salgado's exhibition of the same name. This time, the creative process was road-tested in an exclusive 360 concert for a small number of fans. The finished album is also a binaural recording – ie. it was tracked using two microphones to give the music a 3D feel when listened with headphones.
The new album and its VR world are just the latest ways in which the musician has embraced modern technology to enhance the enjoyment of his music. Back in 2020, his avatar gave a virtual reality performance under the banner of Alone Together and he welcomed in 2021 with a virtual concert in Notre Dame. Back in the 1970s, his groundbreaking Oxygène album helped shape the sound of modern synthesiser music and continues to inspire to this day.
Watch a clip of Jarre's Notre Dame VR concert below.