Jean Michel Jarre to light up the Canaries?

That title may not mean much to younger people, but if you are a 40 something, like me, it will conjure up exciting images of strident electronic music, and laser and light displays that would impress even Steven Spielberg, all played out on giant living canvas’s in some of the worlds biggest cities. The French musical genius has been in La Palma and Tenerife over the last few weeks, and the outcome may be one or even two mega performances in 2009.

Jean Michel Jarre

Just to fill in the blanks, Jean Michel Jarre had 2 blockbusting LP’s in the late 1970’s, Oxygene and Equinoxe and he backed these up with lavish spectacles around the world, several in front of a million plus people such as Rendevous Houston. I saw the Destination Docklands show from london on television at the time and even through that medium, the sheer scale of the event was impressive. As the great man created musical magic on banks of keyboards and synthesisers, lasers played up the side of tower blocks and hi stacked offices.

The Canarian connection has come about through Jean Michel visiting the observatories in Tenerife and La Palma to research his next work, Music Of The Stars. The La Palma observatory at Roque de Los Muchachos has 14 telescopes, including GRANTECAN, which has the biggest segmented primary mirror in the world. It came on line in January 2007 but will be officially inaugurated in 2009 in front of a select audience of politicians, scientists and former Queen guitarist Brian May. If that last name seems out of place, be impressed, Brian started a PHD in Astronomy before his music took off, and recently dusted his work down and completed his studies with research at La Palma and Tenerife observatorys. The freshly qualified guitarist is now writing a special musical fanfare to be performed on GRANTECAN’s big day.


Jean Michel Jarre has been invited to get involved musically in the inauguration, but that is unlikely to be a public event. I did the tour of the observatory 18 months ago, it’s at the highest point in La Palma, 2,400 metres, a good hours drive up the winding roads, the logistics of a major concert would be too much to overcome. Hopefully a big outdoor concert in Tenerife, maybe in somewhere like the Teide national park, could be more practical, but Jean Michel  is very keen, look at his personal blogsite to read his impressions of Tenerife.

Let’s hope something can be organised, because it could be one of the most spectcular things to hit these islands in years. I have a torch and some coloured crepe paper and i’m ready to help out with the special effects, but i suspect they might have something a bit more fancy in mind.