Jean-Michel Jarre Collaborates with NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden on Techno Track
Published Apr 15, 2016Jean-Michel Jarre's Electronica Part 2: The Heart of Noise will feature guests like David Lynch and Peaches, but you may be surprised to learn that he's also tapped someone who knows a great deal about a different kind of electronic transmission. The record's "Exit" features the musical debut of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Guardian reports that the collaboration came in the wake of an interview they conducted with Jarre last year in which he asked the publication if they could get him in touch with Snowden. After sending Snowden a demo of a "hectic, obsessive techno track" and having a conversation over Skype, Jarre flew to Moscow to work on the song with the former CIA employee, who leaked classified NSA information on global surveillance in 2013.
The song finds Jarre providing the musical backdrop, while Snowden contributed a spoken word passage on the topic of surveillance and privacy.
Calling Snowden "an absolute hero of our times," Jarre explained that the collaboration fits into the grander narrative of his next album, which focuses on our many relationships with modern technology.
"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 the other, we are spied on constantly," he told The Guardian.
Jarre added: "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 Tinder. It seemed quite appropriate to collaborate not with a musician but someone who literally symbolizes this crazy relationship we have with technology."
A video interview with Snowden has him explaining that he was quite surprised to be contacted by Jarre, but ultimately pleased with the result.
"It was something I wasn't expecting," Snowden said. "As an engineer, someone who's not really cool, it was something of a treat to collaborate on a big cultural project."
Electronica Part 2: The Heart of Noise sees release May 6, but you can stream Jarre and Snowden's "Exit" down below.