It’s not quite the news I ever expected to write about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden! But the mass-surveillance busting superhero has taken time off from saving the world from itself in order to team up with legendary French composer and film scorer Jean Michel Jarre. Together they have released a techno track called “Exit”.
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Snowden’s contribution is, admittedly, strictly vocal, with Jarre laying down the rave-influenced electronic tune, interspersed with sound bites of Snowden talking about privacy and government surveillance. Jarre described the tune as,
“A hectic, obsessive techno track, trying to illustrate the idea of this crazy quest for big data on one side and the manhunt for this one young guy by the CIA, NSA and FBI on the other.”
Snowden, for his part, shows off his typical geekiness by saying that he likes electronic music because,
“The melodies I remember with the most fondness are from video games.”
Jarre’s last project, Electronica 1: The Time Machine, was a collaboration featuring artists such as M83, Armin van Buuren, Air, Moby, Gessafelstein, Pete Townshend and Massive Attack. The new song with Snowden, Exit, will appear on Jarre’s next album, Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise.
Jarre, who approached the Guardian for help in arranging the collaboration with Snowden, explained why he wanted to make this song,
“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.”
Snowden, for his part, seems flattered to have been approached by Jarre,
“It was something I wasn’t expecting. As an engineer, someone who’s not really cool, it was something of a treat to collaborate on a big cultural project.”
So the big question is, of course… is it any good? Well, I’ll leave that for you to decide, but Snowden probably shouldn’t give up his day job as the world’s number 1 privacy champion for a musical career!