This year’s award for greatest “we didn’t see that coming” moment is definitely going to this one. Jean-Michel Jarre, the great French electronic composer has collaborated with Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who laid bare the top-secret US surveillance program that spawned a flood of outrage and civil distrust towards their own and the US government throughout the world. 

The track, called Exit, will appear on Jarre’s forthcoming album, Electronica Volume II: The Heart of Noise. For his new release, Jarre invited colleagues Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan and rapper Peaches for guest appearances on the album. But Edward Snowden was on the top of Jarre’s list of having on his new work.

In an interview with The Guardian, the newspaper that was pivotal in the process of publishing Snowden’s information and government documents, Jarre explains “Edward is an absolute hero of our times. When I first read about him, it made me think of my mother. She joined the French resistance in 1941, when people in France still thought they were just troublemakers, and she always told me that when society is generating things you can’t stand, you have to stand up against it.

The whole Electronica project is about the ambiguous relationship we have with technology: on the one side we have the world in our pocket, on on the other, we are spied on constantly. There are tracks about the erotic relationship we have with technology, the way we touch our smartphones more than our partners, about CCTV surveillance, about love in the age of Tindr. It seemed quite appropriate to collaborate not with a musician but someone who literally symbolises this crazy relationship we have with technology.”

Jarre’s invitation to Snowden to collaborate on ‘Exit’, which features Snowden’s recorded voice (speaking, not singing), was passed on by the Guardian to the whistleblower’s attorney. “I had no idea if he would be interested,” Jarre said of his contact with Wisner, “but he loved the idea, thought Edward would love the idea and put us in contact. I sent him a demo of the music, then had a meeting with Edward over Skype, 90 minutes of conversation, where I gave him the understanding of what I wanted to do, we talked about his situation, the reason why he did what he did, then we recorded his vocals.”

Jarre then flew to Moscow to meet up with Snowden. “I wanted to film him, because I want to play the track on stage. I think it’s important if I’m playing at festivals with a young audience that the statements in the track are promoted and exposed. We spent three hours together, we filmed him, we talked about a lot of things.”

Electronica Volume II: The Heart of Noise will be released May 6.

Source: The Guardian