Edward Snowden, the man who gave up his citizenship and a cush $200,000.00-per-year job to inform Americans that the NSA is spying on all of us, is apparently ready for the next chapter of his life: techno.
According to The Guardian, French electronic musician—and holder of the Guinness World Record for attracting the largest concert audience in history—Jean-Michel Jarre was composing a new album of collaborations when he conjured up the idea of having Edward Snowden make a guest appearance on a track. The upcoming album, Electronica Volume II: The Heart Of Noise, will also feature collaborations with luminaries like the Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan, and Peaches.
“All the people on my new album are geeks,” Jarre told The Guardian, but he was especially interested in Snowden because the whistle-blower—whom he calls an “absolute hero of our times”—reminded him of his mother, who was a part of the French Resistance. “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.
The track is called “Exit”, and features Snowden speaking, as recorded by Jarre via a Skype conversation the two had. After the song was finished, Jarre traveled to Moscow to film Snowden speaking so the video could be used in the live performance of “Exit”.
“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,” Jarre said.
You can stream “Exit” below, and scroll on to watch The Guardian’s report on the collaboration.