‘Redefining the concept of music’: Jean-Michel Jarre AV project aided by APG

France’s Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (PBA) art museum recently unveiled a new immersive AV exhibition developed by electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre and digital musical instrument and app created BLEASS, with an APG system delivering sound.

As part of the PBA’s Open Museum Music exhibition, the project, entitled EōN, was designed to immerse visitors in an ‘endless AV experience via constantly evolving music and an endless organic progression of the visual content’. The concept initially began as an app that would create ‘endless’ audio and visual  content. It was subsequently upscaled from the limits of a smartphone screen to a wall-mounted 75’’ Sony 4K Bravia video screen and a pair of APG iX8 speakers.

Vianney Apreleff, BLEASS’s manager, explained: “Jean-Michel Jarre’s vision was to present the video screens vertically, to be reminiscent of the monolith in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. That gave us the idea to arrange the iX speakers on either side, creating a kind of triptych effect.”

Jarre commented: “It probably is one of the most exciting creative projects I’ve worked on since Oxygène. I have always wanted to create music that is specific to each listener, capable of constantly evolving in terms of rhythm, tonality, tempo, melody and texture. So here it is. EōN is conceived and composed as a different journey for everyone, with no determined end.”

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Discussing the audio specification for the project, Apreleff continued: “We felt it was essential to have an audio system that matched the quality of the music. We were happy to find a manufacturer in APG that could offer professional and perfectly reliable equipment that is also made in France! One of the major benefits was the bass response of these speakers. It was able to meet the trait’s high expectations in terms of sound quality, while negating the need for the additional subwoofer.

“The audio side of the installation took us less than an hour. The PBA technical team had already positioned the screen centrally as we had asked them to. The result is splendid, and the visitors are often captivated by the sound. It’s not too loud, but loud enough for themcto immerse themselves in the artwork on display.”

The exhibition is scheduled to run until January 10 2021, with a handheld version coming soon to the iOS platform.

“We have all been able to work together to continuously improve the audio engine that orchestrates Jean-Michel Jarre’s music,” said Apreleff. “It’s such a joy to be able to contribute to the creation of a work that truly redefines the concept of music: unlike the things we are used to listening to, which have a beginning and an end, EōN immerses us into a sonic adventure without limits; it allows us to grasp the concept of ‘infinity’ with our own ears and eyes.”