Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre will release his 22nd studio album and one of his most ambitious projects to date OXYMORE on October 21 via Sony Music.
The album has been conceived as an immersive work in a multi-channel and 3D binaural version. Multi-channel binaural sound will revolutionize how music is composed, mixed and produced, placing sounds and textures in space in 360 degrees, and can be easily experienced by any listeners with headphones. OXYMORE is the first commercial release of this stature which pushes the future of musical audio and sound to this new level.
As part of the immersive project, Jarre will also launch ‘OXYVILLE,’ a VR world which accompanies the album release.
“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,” he explains.
Jarre is no stranger to innovative disruption when it comes to VR and the metaverse, having recently performed ‘Welcome to the Other Side,’ a groundbreaking livestream broadcast worldwide from a virtual Notre Dame in Paris on New Year’s Eve, 2021. U.S. touring & live entertainment trade publication Pollstar stated that the livestream attracted record breaking audiences of over 75 million viewers worldwide across various platforms, television and VR.
During the creative process of OXYMORE, Jarre performed an early version of the composition in physical 360-degree spatial audio Live as an exclusive world preview, within the walls of Maison de la Radio in Paris, home to Jarre’s Groupe de Recherche Musicale years before Oxygène. The happy-few and purists of musique concrete who could attend, were asked to close their eyes and immerse themselves completely in the music: Oxymore was welcomed as an « oeuvre majeure » - a major work - in Jarre’s repertoire.
The concert was also offered in social VR in real-time and has been lauded by VR experts and publications as one of the most innovative VR music performances yet, including Kent Bye of the ‘Voices of VR’ podcast, who said “Oxymore is probably about 4-5 years ahead of [the metaverse that] Meta (Facebook) is thinking about.”
OXYMORE is available from October 21.