New Jean-Michel Jarre Album, Oxymore, Inspired By Pierre Henry & Musique Concrète

French synthesist Jean-Michel Jarre has announced a new album, Oxymore, that is inspired by French electronic music pioneer Pierre Henry.

Jarre calls Oxymore his most ambitious project to date. It’s described as “an extremely conceptual work, dedicated to late French composer Pierre Henry.”

Henry (1927 – 2017) is best known as a pioneer of musique concrète – electronic music that’s based on the tangible manipulation of sampled sound. In the 1940’s, Henry – along with French composer Pierre Schaeffer – created a style of music, built on the physical manipulation of sounds on tape.

“I believe that the tape recorder is the best instrument for the composer who really wants to create by ear for the ear,” explained Henry.

Jarre and Henry had plans for a collaboration for Jarre’s album Electronica, but Henry died before it was completed. After Henry’s death, his widow gave Jarre the stems of material that had been prepared for this collaboration. Jarre used this material as the foundation of Oxymore.

Oxymore is described as “a musical journey, where Pierre Henry’s sounds interact with Jarre’s, in an elegant dance between digital and analogue sounds, inspired by the French movement ‘musique concrete’.”

The albu has been conceived as an immersive work, in a multi-channel and 3D binaural version. Here’s the first single from the album, Brutalism:

Oxymore is scheduled for release Oct 21, 2022.